Mahmoud (Pandemic Theatre) 2012 Toronto Fringe Review

I saw Mahmoud tonight as part of this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival. This was my second show and so far it’s two for two. I really enjoyed this show and apparently so did the rest of the audience as it was a full house that ended with a standing ovation. Impressive for opening night!

This show is a riot. Tara Grammy acts, sings, dances, puts on very different accents and does this all while playing three very different people. An Iranian taxi driver; a fiery gay Spaniard and an almost teenage Iranian-Canadian girl. Grammy’s acting chops blew me away.

The script written by Tara Grammy and Tom Arthur Davis is witty and full of social and cultural references that I think everyone will “get”. The show basically looks at the experience of being Iranian by ethnicity while living in Toronto and the challenges and stereotypes that go with it. I know this sounds a little heavy but it is quite the opposite. There’s a joke every other minute and Grammy is just so entertaining to watch. It’s a very energetic and lively performance.

There are a couple of very real and important messages in the show as well. One is about the immigrant experience and how being from a different culture but growing up in Toronto can lead to an identity crisis of sorts. And the other is the current situation in Iran and how different things used to be years ago.

The audience was a good mix of ages and genders and everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy it including my show partner. This will definitely make my list of  favourite Fringe show this year and I strongly recommend it. Catch it before it moves on to The New York Fringe Festival next month.


  • Mahmoud plays at Venue 2, The Tarragon Theatre Extra Space (30 Bridgman Ave.)
  • Show times: July 04 08:45 PM, July 07 01:45 PM, July 08 01:15 PM, July 10 03:30 PM, July 11 11:00 PM, July 13 12:00 PM, July 14 08:45 PM
  • All individual Fringe tickets are $10 at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Tarragon Theatre Extra Space, 30 Bridgman Ave. (Advance tickets are $11 – $9+$2 service charge)
  • Value packs are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows

Photo of Tara Grammy by Nir Bareket