Dubai Comedy Festival: Michelle Wolf, Vir Das, Mo Amer and Nemr among headliners
Several stand-ups will take to the stage in the UAE this month
Many of us have not had much reason to laugh in 2020, but the Dubai Comedy Festival is doing its best to change that.
The event revealed its programme for this year, with several of stand-up's biggest names in the line-up.
The festival, which will be held at various venues across the city, will take place from Wednesday to Saturday, October 21 to October 24.
Michelle Wolf, Vir Das and Nemr are among the comedians scheduled to take to the stage, with all venues sticking to social distancing and safety protocols.
“We welcome everyone to celebrate the beauty of comedy and laugh together at this festival, providing even greater inspiration to the participating artists from the East and West, and a boost to all the local artists who are part of the UAE’s growing entertainment landscape," says Ahmed Al Khaja, chief executive of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment.
Here's who to expect on stage and when.
Michelle Wolf and Mo Amer: Wednesday, October 21, Dubai Opera
The two seasoned performers will take to the Downtown Dubai venue's stage in a night hosted by Dubai's own stand-up, Ali Al Sayed.
Wolf, who has written for Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, famously headlined the 2018 White House Correspondents Dinner. The American comedienne also recently released her second stand-up special, Joke Show, on Netflix.
Palestinian-American comic Amer, meanwhile, plays Mo in Ramy Youssef's hit comedy show Ramy. His first comedy special, The Vagabond, which came out in 2018 on Netflix, was the first show of its kind by an Arab American on the streaming platform.
Nemr: Thursday, October 22, Dubai Opera
A regional favourite, Lebanon's Nemr Abou Nassar returns to the UAE for his Dubai Opera debut. The comic's career continues to make strides in the Arab world and abroad. As well as selling out multiple UAE gigs, Nemr's special No Bombing in Beirut was broadcast on Showtime in 2017.
Vir Das: Thursday, October 22, Dubai World Trade Centre
Das, who played a sold-out show at Dubai Opera earlier this year, has starred in films including Delhi Belly and Badmaash Company. The Indian comedian and actor had his own Netflix stand-up special, Abroad Understanding, in 2017 and has also appeared in sitcom Fresh Off the Boat and starred in 2019 comedy-drama Whiskey Cavalier.
Gad Elmaleh: Friday, October 23, Dubai Opera
The French-Moroccan comedian, who will perform in French, last performed in the UAE in 2018. The comic, often dubbed the "Seinfeld of France", has starred in several films, including Coco and Midnight in Paris, and last year released the Netflix series Huge in France.
Gaurav Kapoor: Friday, October 23, The Theatre, Mall of Emirates
Described as a "sweet Delhi boy", Kapoor is a prime example of India's flourishing stand-up comedy scene. As well as supporting Russell Brand on his 2015 Indian tour, Kapoor has performed well-received gigs at some of India's hottest comedy nights including Big Mic, Canvas Laugh and Chalta Hai. Performed in English, Kapoor’s comedy will discuss "Jaat culture, people who buy Royal Enfields and poverty ... mostly his own".
Mina Liccione: Saturday, October 24, The Theatre, Mall of Emirates
In the show Mina Liccione and The Funny Girls Go Pink, the American comedienne will be joined by a group of comics in a performance dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness. Liz Bains, Sameera Khan, Rebecca How and Nada Karim will perform stand-up sets, while DJ Trina will later spin some tunes.
Updated: October 11, 2020 10:43 PM