CREAGH/CARR REVIEW: Bilal Zafar at the Hat Factory

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Your celebrated Creagh/Carr Review is back, combining the views of seasoned hackette Bev Creagh and flamboyant newshound Stewart Carr. Here, they review Bilal Zafar’s show at Luton’s Hat Factory.
CREAGH SAYS ... After seeing award-winning comedian Bilal Zafar’s hilarious Cakes routine at Luton’s Hat Factory, I’m convinced he’s wasting his time on the stand-up circuit and should be entering politics.

His show is based on his real life experience with his Twitter handle @zafar-cakes - and some initial Tweets he thought would amuse his brother.

But the banter between the two was soon intercepted by far right groups getting stuck in, believing zafar-cakes was a Muslim-only bakery in Bristol.

The exchanges had the audience crying with laughter but it was also quite an eye-opener about just how vicious (and ignorant) these bigots can be.

Bilal gently takes the mick as Tweets from ‘St George’ and other extremists say they will shut down the shop and report him to the authorities, especially after he claims to have ‘saved’ his benefits to open it.

But even through all the hate and nastiness, he mocks himself and his detractors, seemingly dismayed being blocked after all their interaction on Twitter: “I thought we were becoming really close.”

His intelligence and humour shine through, which is why he would be such an asset in parliament.

He was the winner of Edinburgh Comedy Awards New Act of 2016 and it’s not hard to see why.

Bravo to The Hat Factory for putting on such up-to-the-minute comedy.

CARR SAYS ... Proof that the not-so-bright will believe whatever they want to believe is the hilarious and depressing conclusion of Bilal Zafar’s debut tour.

25-year-old Zafar treats us to the Twitter adventures of his pretend Muslim-only cake shop in Bristol, as it is quickly becomes beseiged by far-right Twitter users unaware that it is blatant ploy.

I have to say, for a young comic, Zafar’s created a show that is not only funny, but engrossing with a single, linear plot that just gets worse with each new tweet.

Zafar, having recently won a comedy award in London, describes how he is mocked by his brother on Twitter - who jokingly accuses him of being a muslim-only baker in Bristol.

Sitting in front of a smiling chocolate cookie in a cafe, Zafar audaciously changes his profile picture and goes along with the joke as hordes of nationalist ‘patriots’ unquestioningly aim fire.

But there’s nothing snobbish about Zafar’s show.

The truth behind the Twitter joke is obvious to anyone who cared to scroll down his profile, but it’s either ignored or misunderstood by legions of keyboard warriors who seize upon the ‘muslim-only cake shop’ as evidence to fuel their prejudice.

Funny, timely and relevant - this is a show and a comedian worth watching out for.