Sharlin Jahan on Brown Sauce: I found the UK comedy scene is paler than the cast of Lord of the Rings

Fringe Debuts!

Welcome to our Fringe Debuts series, where comedians taking their first show to Edinburgh Fringe will give you a little taster of what to expect, an insight into their world, or really super weird musings on something equally bizarre — to be honest, we just let them run with it. If you’re readying yourself for a giant lol injection in August, now’s your chance to find something NEW to add to your list.

Sharlin Jahan is bringing the success of her South Asian comedy night Brown Sauce to Edinburgh Fringe. Here, she tells us how it came into being, and taking inspiration from Kemah Bob’s Femmes of Colour.

Hello everyone! This is Brown Sauce, and we are making our first Edinburgh debut (Southern Belle-style).

Who are we?

Well, I am Sharlin Jahan. I’m a comedian who is the creator of Brown Sauce, a South Asian comedy night (although other Asians sometimes make an appearance…).

You can often hear me expressing myself (yelling) at people in bars about the trials and tribulations of being a short, Bangladeshi, Canadian, female-type person in Britain. I’ve been on radio and done well in competitions (I choose never to win any of these competitions, just to keep me sharp. I know, how brave of me).

Brown Sauce started at the iconic London venue 2Northdown in late 2021, and was met with rave reviews. It’s now ready to make its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe, with critically-acclaimed headliners such as Sindhu Vee and Atsuko Okatsuka. It'll also be debuting at the Leicester Indian Summer Festival (with the also critically-acclaimed and indomitable Eshaan Akbar).

Why did I make this show?

Well, why not? Brown people are cool.

Other than that, it’s because I mostly grew up in the snowy, uninhabited hills of Canada, surrounded by nothing but Game of Thrones-type wildlings (I mean, even the bears were white!). Even when I started doing comedy in the UK, it didn’t get much more colourful. I soon discovered that the UK comedy scene is paler than the cast of The Lord of the Rings (people of colour are more mythical than Elves and Orcs in Middle Earth apparently). I realised that I would have to make an effort to meet brown people, if only because they are the only ones equipped to survive the impending climate crisis. Inspired by Kemah Bob, who set up the hugely successful Femmes of Colour comedy club, I decided to set up a South Asian comedy night. I’ve loved having the opportunity to laugh, learn about my culture, and finally meet some goddamn brown people!

Who is this show for?

EVERYONE! Everyone is welcome. People come to the show because they want to see something different, and they leave because…well, I tell them to (show's over, folks!). So, come hang if you need a break from hearing about Dave and Mary’s marital problems and want to hear about Rahul and Priya’s marital problems!

Come and say hi!

Brown Sauce runs from Aug 16-21, 9pm, at Venue 17: Assembly George Square Studios — The Flick at Underground. Tickets here

@Brownsaucehaha on all social platforms

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