Comedian Nadia Manzoor Is Lifting The Veil With Her One-Woman Show ‘Burq Off!’

by Elizabeth Kiefer


Comedian Nadia Manzoor touches herself in public. It’s not an act of exhibitionism: It’s just a thing that happens when she pretends to be a devout, respectable religious teacher in her one-woman show, Burq Off!. Manzoor’s autobiographical premier—which has been lauded as “Terrific!” by The Economist and called “A no holds-barred performance” by Vogue India—is a romp through her conservative Muslim upbringing, dizzy London nightclubs, and secret romances. But it’s not just a string of punch lines, because Manzoor isn’t just telling jokes: She’s living them.

The comedy comes as much from Manzoor’s incisive cultural insights as it does from her spot-on characters (she plays twenty-one of them), her Bollywood dance moves—and her honesty. The comedienne has said she’s ‘breaking the cycle of shame’ with this show by hysterically highlighting the contradictions facing young women in immigrant Muslim communities (one way to do it? By losing your virginity onstage, which Manzoor definitely does in this performance). In a phrase, this gal has serious guts.

Even media-ites are paying attention to Manzoor’s performance. CNN International’s Christiane Amanpour recently said the show “resonates deeply right now as the world confronts the brutality of ISIS, especially toward women. . . and it’s funny!” But don’t take it from us (or Amanpour, for that matter), go see for yourself! Purchase tickets here before they sell out and don’t forget to check out the Burq Off! trailer beforehand. On with the show!


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