Preview: Omid Djalili, Iranalamadingdong
Making big points not on the Iranian-British star’s agenda these days
This article is from 2015.
He’s been in the comedy-making business now for two decades, but that doesn’t mean that Omid Djalili can’t be immune to the charms of some celebrity cockney geezers. And who could not be wooed by the likes of Ray Winstone especially when he’s talking about lamping someone? ‘When I was working on Moonfleet last summer, Ray told me, “I don’t feel I come alive on set until I’ve done a fight scene and thrown my first right hook”,’ Djalili recalls. ‘Similarly, I don’t really feel I’ve come to life unless I’ve triggered laughter from a crowd.’
So, you can be assured that when the Iranian-British actor and comic takes to the Playhouse stage for the puntacular Iranalamadingdong, there will an early gag on the way to get everyone’s juices flowing. Although his early stand-up shows were part-physical comedy (his Godzilla impersonation is still right up there), part-showbiz patter (he previously dubbed himself the ‘Les Dennis of the Middle East’) and part-social discourse (his show No Agenda was a call to arms against intolerance), Djalili doesn’t feel any burning desire to always be making political points.
‘I don’t feel the same pressure to talk about things in the news anymore,’ he admits. ‘On Twitter, comics feel they constantly have to comment on things that are trending and put their oar in. But nowadays if everyone is talking about fracking, I’ll just talk about 1970s singing duo Peters and Lee.’
Edinburgh Playhouse, Thu 22 Jan