Bok Choy Ballroom
REVIEW: Matthew Sykes
With news having broken at the beginning of the week that "controversial" Dutch MP Geert Wilders would not be able to fulfil his speaking engagements in WA, it seems that Perth crowds were forced to look elsewhere for their comedy kicks this week.
Sweeping up at least a few young cadres who might otherwise have been outside a hotel with a placard are comedians Nesh Sooriyan and Sami Shah, the bearded tag-team duo whose show Extremist Intentions is about to begin a sell-out run.
Local talent Nesh Sooriyan opens proceedings, beginning the night with an earnest deconstruction of his relationship with Australia.
Sooriyan's smooth and confident delivery style matches perfectly the wryness of his observations; his appraisal of Australia's bizarre approach to immigration policy practically bringing the house down.
Sooriyan waxes lyrical about undeserved baby-bonuses, the unconscionable nature of rat's tails hairstyles and the many eccentricities of Facebook etiquette, providing a fitting snapshot of an Australia just as divided by the question of social class as it is by race or religion.
This is a strong performance by a Perth comedian who you'd do well to catch while you still can.
Recent WA emigre and world-renowned joker Sami Shah is up next. Shah wastes no time in launching into his brand of caustic comedy, his high-energy set keeping the audience laughing with an emphatic gusto perhaps unsurpassed at this year's Fringe.
Like Sooriyan, Shah spends only the first few minutes of his set dealing with the stereotypes and prejudices that attach themselves to a man with brown skin and beard, choosing to instead dedicate the majority of his time to discussing the rigours of monogamy, fatherhood and overzealous Pakistani internet censors.
Again like Sooriyan, this is excellent stuff, and if Perth can hold on to comedians of this calibre then we've much to look forward to.
As the triumphant comedians take the stage together to receive their final applause, there's a sense that they have been preaching to the converted. No matter, though, as this is top-shelf comedy that transcends the sort of trashy gimmicks you might reasonably expect from a show titled Extremist Intentions.
Though a total sell-out for the rest of its run, I dearly hope Sooriyan and Shah can soon make room for one more. You see, I happen to know of a gentleman here in town for business whose plans have unfortunately fallen through.Extremist Intentions runs until February 24. All sessions are sold out.
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