Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Nazeem Hussain – Basic Idiot

Nazeem Hussain’s star is on the rise and you know why? This man embodies comic genius.

Nazeem Hussain embodies comic genius!

Reviewed at the Factory at The Garden of Unearthly Delights 5th March  2019

Presented by Live Nation

Nazeem Hussain’s star is on the rise and you know why? This man embodies comic genius. A diminutive Sri Lankan boy who even though he has just become a father cannot escape his Sri Lankan mother’s belief that he is somewhat challenged in his sexuality because he saves money on tour by sharing a room with his best friend – it’s really complicated, and the comedy keeps getting better and better as he expands, diversifies and spins a web of fairy floss around the impossible situations he creates for us to follow.

I was surrounded by a mix of ages, nationalities and colours, who obviously loved this (in his own words) good card carrying ‘brown’ man. The majority of this audience have obviously followed him on the tele from SBS, to Chanel 7 to Netflix and they love him. From the moment he walks on stage, to the moment he leaves, Nazeem is in touch with his audience. Testing, feeling, judging and knowing just the right moment to push for that big laugh. Nothing is safe from the forensic wit that this man possesses.

His recent introduction to fatherhood is a string of anecdotes, discoveries and conclusions that rendered me helpless with laughter. Yep Nazeem, spot on! No-one has the qualification to become a parent and as you so keenly observed, the less qualifications you have the more kids you tend to produce – and it can be geographically influenced. You have to get a ticket to follow up on that.

His decision to use each day of the week to educate his child in different religious practices was carefully judged, delivered with such clean energy everyone laughed, no-one was offended. How could we be? We were as an audience laughing too much to be able to find anything offensive – he’s too funny! It’s, as he says, about diversity, and the constant delivery of another set of stories or observations about how we behave escalated until I watched the man sitting in front of me disintegrate into a helpless, shaking, mess of laughter.

The material is contemporary, peppered with stories and anecdotes guaranteed to make even the dourest person crack a smile, and explode the occasional guffaw and maybe even groan. His wonderful commentaries on terrorism made me laugh so hard I thought I’d hurt myself, and I wasn’t alone. Intelligent understanding of how to make all sections of your audience laugh – what a gift.

This is an opportunity to see a real superstar, I don’t want to give away any more of his jokes, I want to go back and see it again, and again. If you can get a ticket for this you will not be sorry, you will have a wonderful night out. If you can’t, in the true spirit of Nazeem Hussain, tough, you should have woken up a bit earlier.

I am sorry, Nazeem, but I lied, I have to steal one of your very funny lines – My mind was blown, like a car standing outside an embassy. I’m so glad I got to see you before you got so famous even I couldn’t afford the ticket. Hang on, it was a media comp!

Run to the computer and book a ticket – if you can get one. You won’t be sorry.

Reviewed by Adrian Barnes

Venue:  the Factory at The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Season: March 5th – March 10th  2019
Duration:  60 minutes
Tickets:  FP $22.00 to $38.00 Conc: $28.00


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