May 5, 2016 Theatre
It’s no surprise Khalafalla had a sell-out Australian comedy festival season. Khalafalla has a no-holds-barred approach to race-centric humour, something he justifies by proudly repping his Muslim heritage throughout the show. And it works. When Khalafalla launches into what feels like the one-thousand-and-one ‘touchy’ subjects banned from 21st century joke books, I half expected to hear a pin drop in the theatre. Instead, his social commentary on areas including what he called ‘Arab 101’ and being ‘gluten free’, were received with the odd gasp, followed by fits of laughter.
At the beginning of the show, he acknowledges that his jokes aren’t for everyone, aptly stating “I will upset at least 10 of you tonight” – a rather bold statement in a small theatre holding no more than 20 people. It is this exact humility (oh and the fact he was spotted flyering his own show outside the theatre an hour before it began) that allows Khalafalla to cross the line without seeming completely tactless.
Khalafalla’s penchant for audience interaction caused him to veer from his repertoire in spells. At times this was hard to bear as the person beside me gripped their seat, whilst tackling severe bouts of stage fright. However it also made for some of the best comedy, including a role-play of the Viaduct and its characters by night.
Expect impressions, accents, the war on terror and the odd stab at gym junkies.
Khaled Khalafalla: Jerk, May 4–7, Q Theatre. Book tickets.