Fringe Q&A: Esther Manito, Crusade

Has history taught us nothing? Crusades don’t work! Esther Manito, So You Think You’re Funny finalist 2017 and co-author of Don’t Panic I’m Islamic, brings you her debut hour. Esther takes you on a whirlwind tour of what life is like when you can’t meet the expectations of your identity. From battling comments online to facing head-on confrontations in person, she’s not sure she wants to battle the crusade!

Is this your first time at the Fringe?


Tell us a bit about the show you’re in this year?

It’s a solo show called Crusade. It looks at the conflicting pull of identity politics. I have pooled together comments, tweets and messages I have received since starting stand up three years ago which challenge how I represent certain identities, Arab, Mum, Muslim, Brit, Woman, Wife. The crusades were (an economic strategy for Europe) but worked on the basis of enforce ideologies on others, hence it being the name of my show.

How much work has gone into getting it ready for Edinburgh?

I started putting this show together about 20 months ago. I have performed it up and down the country. It has had a lot of re drafts.

Are you nervous ahead of your opening night?

Yes I am terrified.

There’s thousands of shows on – why should Fringe-goers fork out to see yours?

Well. Obviously there are a lot of shows that are amazing. I have worked very hard to give an honest, funny, fiery observational take on identity politics.

Are there any other shows on this year you’d recommend?

OH MY GOD THERE ARE SO MANY! Jen Brister, Rich Wilson, Ryan Dalton, Sara Barron, David Mills!

What’s on your hit-list to see?

All of the above and lots of great comics I know are doing their first hour, I am hoping to go and support them.

What are you planning to do on your days off?

I only have one day off and I plan to lie down.

Sell your show in no more than ten words….

A fierce whirlwind tour of what it means to be a mum, a Muslim, a woman and British.

Esther Manito’s debut stand up show ‘Crusade’ will be at the Gilded Balloon Turret at 4pm daily from 31st July – 25th August. For tickets go to

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