Shazia Mirza’s Fav Places
Shazia Mirza is one of the top comedians in the UK, with an award-winning live show and with regular appearances on TV and radio. She’s actually well funny – just read this!
I have a friend who lives in Cheltenham who I went to school with and she’s always going on about Bicester Village. I’m not really into fashion but she kept saying, ‘Oh but you must come here, you can get anything you want really cheap’. I didn’t think it was that cheap – I mean, yes, you can get a jacket reduced from £5000 to £2000 – but what I did love was just walking from shop to shop, everything in one place, lovely cafes and all that stuff. Really this is a place for divorced women with loads of money – who else goes shopping for a £5000 jacket on a Wednesday afternoon?
Chipping Norton Farmer’s Market
A friend and I went to Chipping Norton’s farmers market a while back. Our car got clamped and basically they built the market around the car. The clampers weren’t allowed to release it until 6pm so we stayed all day. It was good fun at the market actually, quite entertaining with lots of street performers, organic food, home made this-and-that. Chipping Norton seemed quite a vibrant place. A good option on a Sunday if you’re car is clamped.
One of my comedy writing partners lives round there, so I’ve been here lots of times. It’s very pretty, and the walk along the river is lovely, lots of boats and barges – I live in Muswell Hill which is not a barge-heavy area. I also really like the shops in Marlow. I’m into vintage clothes and I bought a fantastic ball dress for £25 from a second hand shop here. The Shaw Trust in Marlow always seems to have really good clothes.
North Wall Theatre, Summertown, Oxford
The Northwall is a lovely space, and the people are nice to me, a very genteel area. I don’t get heckled in there.
High Wycombe Service Station
Is it odd to recommend a service station? I always meet a colleague to discuss comedy ideas on the High Wycombe service station on the M40, largely because she can’t be arsed to come to Muswell Hill and I can’t be bothered to drive into High Wycombe. So we meet at the service station, ostensibly to discuss work, then always end up discussing the people at the service station because it always looks like they’re having an affair. It’s an odd place to meet in the middle of the day. Couples always look conspicuous, and leave separately. Then because we’ve talked about nothing else, we end up writing about it.