Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 27 October 2020

From Omid Djalili to Nemr: All the stand-up comedy shows coming to Dubai this autumn

The coming months are packed with comedy gigs, so here's who to see and when

Omid Djalili returns to Dubai this month with new stand-up show 'Good Times'. Dubai Opera
Omid Djalili returns to Dubai this month with new stand-up show 'Good Times'. Dubai Opera

The revival of the UAE's entertainment scene appears to be led by stand-up comedians.

On the heels of August's sold-out shows by Jimmy Carr, fellow UK funnyman Omid Djalili has announced his Dubai return with a gig this autumn.

The comic and actor will take to the Dubai Opera stage on Saturday, November 7, with his new show Good Times.

In addition to multiple regional tours and sell-out performances at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Djalili – whose parents are Iranian – has built a strong career encompassing everything from theatre to Hollywood blockbusters.

When it comes to the latter, he shared quality screen time with Russell Crowe in 2000’s Gladiator, in addition to appearances in the 1999 James Bond flick The World is not Enough and 2001 thriller Spy Game.

Djalili also won rave reviews in 2009 for his role as Fagin in the West End production of Oliver, while he lent his voice to the 2015 animated hit film Shaun the Sheep.

While touching upon his heritage and understanding of the region, Djalili's comedy is often about shared experiences and frustrations.

“It’s talking about everyday things: long-term relationships, the pitfalls and trappings of celebrity, and getting older," he told The National in a previous interview. And, as for his penchant for adding a bit of musicality to his gigs, that's just the way he was brought up.

“It’s a tradition where I come from; if you’re holding court, there’s got to be a bit of song and dance as well,” he said. “That’s just the way we are. A lot of people in the Middle East, if there’s a one-man show and there’s no singing and dancing, that’s not a one-man show – that’s just someone talking.”

With tickets starting from Dh195 from Dubai Opera, Djalili's show is one of a number of comedy gigs happening in Dubai over the next few weeks. Here are all the other laughs to come.

Thursday, October 8, to Friday, 16 October, in various venues: The Laughter Factory

The enduring live comedy series is back with its latest installment.

Leading October's bill is the UK's Adam Bloom, who comedy superstar Ricky Gervais once described "as one of my favourite stand-ups for about 10 years". He will be joined by British-Nigerian comic Babatunde Aleshe, whose career also includes acting work with appearances in British soap opera EastEnders and drama Waking the Dead. Rounding off the bill is seasoned Irish performer Rory O'Hanlon.

The trio will perform at Movenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach on Thursday and Friday, October 8 and 9; Zabeel House by Jumeirah – The Greens on Saturday, October 10; Grand Millennium Dubai Barsha Heights on Thursday, October 15; and the Hilton Dubai Jumeriah on Friday, October 16.

Tickets start at Dh160 and are available on The Laughter Factory’s website.

Thursday, October 22: Nemr at 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. The show starts at 8pm and tickets start from Dh175 from Dubai Opera.

Friday, October 23: Laughter Night featuring Gaurav Kapoor at The Theatre, Mall of the 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". Shows are at 6pm and 9pm Tickets start from Dh60 from Platinumlist.

Updated: September 30, 2020 09:10 AM

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