InReview InReview

Support independent journalism


His name is Akmal


Comments Print article

Akmal, in T-shirt and jeans, walks onto the bare stage at the Royalty Theatre with no preamble, no warning, setting the scene for an hour of banter that regularly cuts to the core.

There can’t be many comedians who are known by just their first name. Who knew that his surname is Saleh? And to think Akmal originally called himself Peter (to conceal his Wog roots so he could get gigs in places like RSL clubs). That was years ago. Now Akmal is a household one-word name and invited onto TV shows (some appearances he clearly regrets).

Akmal surely wrote the lecture notes for “Dealing with Hecklers 101”. He doesn’t just deal with hecklers, he encourages them; he beckons them. His eyes gleam as much as his trademark bald head when a hapless heckler chooses to give him some lip. Dave (who kept coming back for more) and Sean were the main victims on Saturday night, providing the comedian with bounteous material.

Verbally fighting-fit and nimble with it, his sharp wit and quick repartee take him into potentially offensive territory, but his warm persona and self-deprecating comments have the audience happily joining him on the journey.

Akmal has his own take on subjects dear to stand-up comedians, such as politics, religion and racism. All three seem to blend together with two particular topics in his repertoire: terrorism (a topic with which Akmal has been anointed, being Arab and that, albeit a Christian one) and Tony (a topic he gleefully embraces).

It was a hot night on Saturday, and the air-con in the theatre struggled to cope – but not Akmal. If you like him on the telly, you’ll love him live (and definitely kicking).

Akmal is performing at the Royalty Theatre again on February 20-21 and 27-27, and March 6-7 and 13-14.



Make a comment View comment guidelines

Support local arts journalism

Your support will help us continue the important work of InReview in publishing free professional journalism that celebrates, interrogates and amplifies arts and culture in South Australia.

Donate Here


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

. You are free to republish the text and graphics contained in this article online and in print, on the condition that you follow our republishing guidelines.

You must attribute the author and note prominently that the article was originally published by InReview.  You must also inlude a link to InReview. Please note that images are not generally included in this creative commons licence as in most cases we are not the copyright owner. However, if the image has an InReview photographer credit or is marked as “supplied”, you are free to republish it with the appropriate credits.

We recommend you set the canonical link of this content to to insure that your SEO is not penalised.

Copied to Clipboard

More Festivals stories

Loading next article