Lebanese-born, Sydney-based comedian Fady Kassab greets his audience as though they were guests. ‘They told me to wait in the back, but I want to meet everyone,’ he says with a grin. This sets the tone for the rest of his performance of Fady Kassab: Borderline: the intimate crowd feels more like a lunch with family, with your hilarious uncle holding court, than a stand-up comedy gig. In Fady Kassab: Borderline, the 2019 winner of Triple J’s RAW Comedy discusses everything from his childhood experiences growing up in war-torn Beirut to living in Australia post-9/11, all the while exploring relationships, parenting, and life as he knows it. If you have ever wondered how Middle Eastern migrants navigate the complexities and subtleties of Australian life, Fady Kassab: Borderline provides you with a charming education. Kassab creatively weaves humour into tales of hardship (which takes some doing, given the circumstances) and delights the audience with his hilarious insights. Often irreverent, occasionally shocking—and deliberately so—but always entertaining, Kassab delivers an hour-long set, gifting the audience with belly laughs intermingled with social commentary and food for thought. It is not hard to see why Kassab was selected to feature in the Best of Edinburgh Showcase Show, where he made the grand finals of the Gilded Balloon’s So You Think You’re Funny? comedy competition. It is hard to make civil war funny (this reviewer should know; I grew up in one) but in Fady Kassab: Borderline, Fady narrates with heart, humour and a certain irreverence that delights, shocks and leaves the audience wanting more. And never again will you take the simple pleasure of cheese toastie for granted. Rating: 4.5 stars Fady Kassab: Borderline is running until Saturday, 27 February in the Drama Llama at Rhino Room, 131 Pirie Street. Buy your tickets here. By Leila Hallak-Low