Ak­mal rev­els in con­tro­versy

Pilbara News - - Lifestyle - Louise Alling­ham

One of Aus­tralia’s favourite co­me­di­ans, Ak­mal Saleh, is re­turn­ing to the Pil­bara with his new show Trans­par­ent.

Saleh is no stranger to the North West af­ter tour­ing the coun­try ex­ten­sively since he started in com­edy more than 20 years ago and head­lin­ing the REAF com­edy show in Kar­ratha in Septem­ber last year.

He said he was look­ing for­ward to hit­ting the road and get­ting back to the Pil­bara.

“That part of Aus­tralia I just love, it’s so dif­fer­ent — I grew up in Syd­ney, so hav­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence that part of the coun­try is great,” he said.

“My favourite thing to do is travel and do shows — I still get so much en­joy­ment out of it.”

Known for his abil­ity to deal with hot top­ics in a hi­lar­i­ous and slightly of­fen­sive way, Saleh said com­edy could be a pow­er­ful tool in cop­ing with the prob­lems of the world.

“It’s quite a high-risk, dan­ger­ous time and that’s al­ways a good time for a co­me­dian be­cause we kind of ex­ploit and ex­plore that, and it works,” he said. “It’s a good thing to do — it’s a good thing to laugh at the things that scare you.

“It’s hard not to talk about Trump — every co­me­dian in the world is talk­ing about him and hope­fully I’ve found an angle that no one else has thought of.”

The ti­tle of the show, Trans­par­ent, echoes Saleh’s re­fusal to shy away from con­tro­ver­sial top­ics.

“Good com­edy tends to be very trans­par­ent, I think, when it’s work­ing,” he said.

“My favourite co­me­di­ans are the co­me­di­ans that have noth­ing to hide and they talk about ev­ery­thing and there’s noth­ing that’s off the ta­ble or noth­ing that they won’t dis­cuss or talk about or ex­plore for com­edy.

“I’ve al­ways been like that; I’ve al­ways kind of said ‘what­ever’ and I’ve got­ten in trou­ble over the years with var­i­ous peo­ple, in­clud­ing my wife.”

Saleh said al­though he had writ­ten lots of new ma­te­rial for the tour, he likes to im­pro­vise as much as he can.

“I’m kind of very loose so I im­pro­vise a lot — that’s just the style I’ve de­vel­oped,” he said.

“Some of the best laughs that I get on a good night is off the cuff and they’re the best laughs. That’s the sign of a good night when you’ve done a small per­cent­age of your ma­te­rial and the rest has just been of the cuff.”

Trans­par­ent opened the Ade­laide Fringe fes­ti­val back in Fe­bru­ary and since re­ceived a run of rave reviews.

Saleh, how­ever, said he paid lit­tle to no at­ten­tion to reviews.

“Reviews are just pot luck,” he said.

“You could have two re­view­ers watch­ing the same show — one could give it two stars and the other could give it five stars be­cause that’s com­edy — it’s very sub­jec­tive.

“What one per­son finds funny, the other per­son might find of­fen­sive.”

Ak­mal will perform at Matt Dann Theatre, in South Hed­land, on Fri­day, July 14 and at Tam­brey Tav­ern, in Kar­ratha, on Satur­day, July 15.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit ak­mal.com.au.

Co­me­dian Ak­mal Saleh.

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