The ha! of Iran: Omid Djalili

Omid Djalili is a joker. An Iranian joker, no less. You may already know him as the warden in the summer blockbuster The Mummy, or as the broadsheet theatre critic in Channel 4’s Coming Soon.

And now don't laugh - he is bringing his own brand of Iranian Ceilidh to the Fringe. Actually, do laugh because Djalili may well be the hottest comedy ticket this year. ’I wanted to share something of Iranian culture,’ he explains. ’An Iranian Ceilidh mixes music, stories and gags which I thought would be perfect for Edinburgh. But it was also to show off his talents.’ Djalili is referring to Kamal Mazlumi, a classically trained musician with a keen interest in Celtic music who plays violin, percussion and a santoor - an instrument related to a hammer dulcimer - and does so the way Jimmy Page plays guitar.

Djalili's status as the UK’s only Iranian stand-up comic makes him fairly unique from the off, but it's all perfectly logical to him. ‘The tradition of Persian storytelling is very, very surreal,‘ Djalili insists. 'lt's very allegorical - hidden meanings behind hidden meanings. You don't know whether it's based in truth or in some parallel universe.’ The truth about Omid Djalili's show is that it is simply unmissable. (Ross Holloway)

& Omid Dja/I/l (Fringe) P/easance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 6—30 Aug (not 9, 23)

70 35pm, £9/E8 (EB/f 7) Prewew 5 Aug, £4, Queen's Hal/ (Venue 72) 668

2079/credit card 667 7776) 23 Aug, 70.30pm, £9 (£8),

productions to Its shores But what happens when filmrng wraps and Gibson, Spielberg et al leave town? Writer and dlrector team Mane Jones (Women On The Verge Of HRD and Ian lvlcElhinney provrde an answer In their new comic play.

'These films tend to be made in remote towns and use the entrre local commumty,’ explains Jones '30 the play IS about two cultures collidmg It lends itself to humour and pathos '

The comic hI-JlnkS are seen through the eyes of two extras on a fictional

worries, But does his lrttle nephew mind hrs elder's intrusron into what is technrcally his patch? 'Nah, ldon’t mind him ridrng on my coat tails. I'm a professional' (Mark Robertson)

a Rich Hall Aka Otis Lee Crenshaw (Fringe) P/easance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 6-30 Aug (not 70, 76) 70.75pm, £9/8 (£8/7) Prewew 5 Aug, £3.

THEATRE PREVIEW Stones In His Pockets

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