Royalty Theatre, Sat Feb 14
Even before he appeared onstage, Akmal Saleh received a generous, anticipatory round of applause by an eager audience intent on having a great night. This is clearly what punters expect at an Akmal show, such is his reputation as one of Australia’s best stand-up comedians. When he does begin it’s easy to see where this rep comes from – he is genial, warm and effortlessly engages the front few rows in chatty conversation. He takes the mickey out of most of them but things never get offensive – his aim is always to be funny rather than unpleasant.
Akmal covers a range of topics, but of course his cultural heritage remains a constant source of material as he describes how only becoming a doctor could make his family happy and how fortunate the general public is that this never actually happened. Tony Abbot – his favourite comedian – cops a serve in true Akmal style, who admits his fingers were crossed for the PM to survive the recent leadership spill. The man is comedy gold, after all.
There were a few overly enthusiastic audience members who persisted in attempting to reverse the comedian roles and Akmal dealt with them calmly and with great humour, clearly putting them in their place to the great delight of the crowd. Toward the end of the set it was clear that he was struggling with the heat onstage and this could perhaps account for a few ‘vague’ moments and momentary loss in concentration. A consummate performer and skilled improviser however, he simply incorporated these moments into the act to hilarious effect.
Akmal is always a sure bet when it comes to choosing a stand-up gig to see and despite the audience interruptions and heat, he still managed to deliver in his own inimitable style.
Rosie van Heerde
Akmal continues at Royalty Theatre until Sat Mar 14.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.