top of page

Mawaan: Songs About Birds (WIP)

Pleasance Courtyard - Pleasance Two


Every now and again a British television show appears, seemingly from nowhere, and captures the nation's interest.

A few years ago "Taskmaster" popped up on Dave. With Greg Davies in charge and his sidekick Alex Horne, a perennial Edinburgh Festival favourite, overseeing the contest, comedians take part in a variety of silly tasks against each other. The joy of the show is watching performers you think you know in situations where they are completely outside of their comfort zone.

The real master stroke I think is filling each show with a balance of well known and less well known comedians. If you look at the line up of comedians at this festival, a few of them have appeared on this show, with Ivo Graham basically shaping his show around appearing on it.

As well as seeing Mr G, we have also seen Mark Watson, a Darkchat favourite. The appearance of Mawaan Rizwan in our spreadsheet is purely due to the impact of seeing him on this show, though we were also very taken by his Interview technique in a recent BBC comedy showcase in Cardiff, where he questioned Diane Morgan and Jamie Demetriou about how they created their comedy characters.

Today, however, was all about Mawaan. By sitting in the front row we must have completely confused him about the type of audience he attracts (as we are twice his age) but we were in the perfect position to experience his larger than life performance. To say that he attacks the stage and the venue (smaller than I thought he would have been playing) is an understatement. He was like a panther, albeit an immaculately dressed and manicured one, who pounced onto the stage with unbounded energy.

In an stunning outfit, which didn't stay on long, he quickly showed his singing and dancing skills. The show was a combination of chat and excellent songs.  We particularly liked " What do you mean I'm too much?" and " My Grandmother is a post box" and his moment in the spotlight with an audience member will long remain in the memory.

What has surprised me this festival is how open comedians are about their private lives. Although the stories were funny, perhaps I could have done without knowing so much about Mawaan's sex life.  

I normally avoid Work in Progress shows as I prefer to see the finished product but I so wanted to see Mawaan that I broke my own rule and I'm glad I did.  The whole point of this kind of show is to try out new material and see what works and what doesn't.  His "guess the bird" and "mergician" sections clearly needed work but I am sure will be better in time for the forthcoming tour.  

Despite those reservations, we loved the show and we loved him.  There are slicker shows at this year's Fringe but few have Mawaan's energy, charisma and general gorgeousness. 

Mawaan's short run at the Fringe is over for this year

You can find details of future gigs and work here

Mawaan: Songs About Birds (WIP)
bottom of page