Review: We Are Lady Parts.
It’s not often that I binge watch a whole comedy series these days; it takes something very, very good to keep me entertained for 3 or 4 hours straight. We Are Lady Parts, E4’s brilliant new comedy that debuted on Thursday, managed it with aplomb. It is a superb comedy, wonderfully acted, and beautifully imagined by writer and creator Nida Manzoor.
Without too many spoilers! The show follows the misadventures of Saira (rhythm guitar and lead vocals) played by the excellent Sarah Kameela Impey; Juliette Motamed as Ayesha (a drummer with anger issues), Faith Omole as Bisma, a bassist with a vicious tongue but probably the most level headed of the ensemble, and Anjana Vasan as Amina (a lead guitarist whose nervous disposition causes volcanic eruptions of vomiting and diarrhoea when she performs live). The group is ably managed by Momtaz played by Lucie Shorthouse.
We follow the band as they navigate the difficulties of an all female Muslim punk four-piece getting noticed in the digital age. They have to deal with social media influencers and skinhead pubs, in pursuit of gigs and an audience. Along the way, we get a real emotional rollercoaster of laughter, surrealism, romance, parental approval and disapproval, some really good music (I defy anyone to dislike a song entitled ‘Voldemort under my Headscarf’), and a genuine portrayal of modern youth that was very familiar from my days teaching in Hounslow.
I’d like to add that this isn’t the Monkees, these women can actually play their instruments. They might not be playing live on the show, but their hands and fingers are still playing the right notes. At no point was there the fear of faking it to shatter the suspension of disbelief, even if they are not virtuosos (Honestly, I can just about remember the Sex Pistols in the 70s. Sid Vicious was NOT a virtuoso either). There is the group dynamics that I remember from my days in student bands, and all the actors play off each other with a sharp dialogue that nearly had me wetting myself (the scene with a little old Pakistani lady shopping for lingerie!). At the end of the series – yes I binged the lot – I was left with a massive cheesy grin on my face from the perfect finale.
I may not be the show’s target audience (middle aged, white, public school educated man), but good comedy transcends target audiences. Frankly, more than enough ignorance has been spouted by my demographic about cultural diversity and modern Britain. So all I will say is this: watch it! We Are Lady Parts is fucking brilliant satirical slapstick, cleverly written, superbly performed by the ensemble cast, and I pray to the commissioning gods that Channel 4 gives it another series.
You can see We Are Lady Parts on E4 on Thursday nights at 10pm or binge the whole lot on demand.