When a comedian talks about racism and terrorism in his act, it feels strange to describe his show as ‘safe’, but after watching the creator and star of the television show Legally Brown in his Adelaide Fringe show, Hussain in the Membrane, safe is how the show felt… funny but safe.
Set in the beautiful Garden of Unearthly Delights, the show takes place in Studio 7 (I think this venue has been moved from the right side of the Garden to a quieter left side). On a 28 degree Wednesday night, the packed out tent was extremely hot and sweaty with the crowd in good spirits. Just one thing to the guys running the tent: less smoke machine, more air conditioning please!
When finding out I was going to review this show, and being a viewer of Legally Brown, I was well prepared for his humour. “Where are all my white people at?” he questions as he walks on stage. He playfully jokes about people of all colours. Nothing offensive – to me anyway – but the show is peppered with ‘white people’ comments as well as other cultures throughout the hour.
I say ‘most of the time’ because on a few occasions his jokes fell completely flat as the audience sat in mostly silence as he delivered his punch-line. To his credit he acknowledges this silence and simply says “Ok, I guess I will move on!”
Everybody found something to laugh at and seemed to leave the show with a smile on their face. Not heavy on the swearing and not much crowd interaction; it’s structured but funny!
Hussain in the Membrane plays in the Garden of Unearthly Delights from 29 February to 6 March 2016; book through Fringetix.
Reviewed by Shane Berketa
Follow Shane on Twitter: @shaneberketa