Entertainment Hive 2017

Akmal

Adelaide Fringe, Royalty Theatre, Angas Street, until March 14

Review by Honey B

Akmal Saleh is the self-deprecating Australian/Egyptian comic – who can be mistaken for Carl Barron. While Akmal often said “it’s just jokes’’ and didn’t seem to want to offend, he quite often cut close to the bone on opening night (February 13). He got stuck into PM Tony Abbott in fine style including the Government’s “turn back the boats’’ policy as well as Abbott’s refusal to acknowledge climate change which brought him quite cleverly to religion. I was not sure what triggered it, but two audience members walked out in the middle of the show with one mumbling something on the way out – politics and religion do polarise! While Akmal’s show seemed like snippets of banter here and there, the comedy stalwart knew exactly the direction he wanted the show to go in and could read the audience well. He liked to chat with the audience and bounce off of many of them, which lead to some interesting moments and a few flat notes. Akmal wove a long-running joke about selling his house quite nicely into the mix, but the most jarring part of the routine, for me, was the way he continually downplayed his intelligence and there were a few awkward pauses during the performance. Sure, he might not be good at buying or selling houses but he certainly has a keen sense for comedy, reading people and dissecting some meaty subjects in a casual manner.
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