And you thought your wedding was chaos? Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched mines a rich vein of intelligent comedy, says David Zampatti.
- Reading time • 4 minutesFringe World Festival
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Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched, Ahmed Kazmi ·
State Theatre Centre of WA, 18 January, 2021 ·
Dr Ahmed Kazmi, physician, of London and Perth, is clearly possessed of a winning bedside manner. He also knows how to build a thriving practice.
I’m sure you’ll find this if you visit his rooms up Wanneroo Road in far Madeley; alternatively, you could consult with him on the stages where, since 2016, he has assiduously grown such a following as a stand-up comedian that he’s now a major attraction of Fringe World’s comedy program. Quite right, too. Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched, the story of his efforts to find true love and his marriage to the one he found, is charming, revealing, and leavened with insight as well as humour.
He’s got plenty of grist for his mill here; Dr Ahmed is gay and from a traditional Pakistani family ruled with an iron will by his mother. He works in the UK and Australia and his new husband, Maximos, is a bit older. And Greek.
Dr Ahmed warms us up with a couple of disco-and-dance routines (he’s not the greatest hoofer the world’s ever seen, but, hey), flirts with some ladies in the audience as only a handsome gay man can, and runs smoothly through some pretty standard comedy of the dating app du jour variety.
The show really gets cracking when he gets to planning his “epic Greek-Pakistani-inter-faith-inter-racial-same-sex wedding” and some gorgeous sitcom material ensues. There’s a wardrobe malfunction with the groomsmaid’s sari, there’s a caterer who doesn’t know the difference between chickpea curry and moussaka. There’s trouble with Maximos’s traditional Greek wedding favours and an AWOL celebrant. More seriously, there’s an all-guns-blazing boycott of the wedding by Ahmed’s mother that takes out his entire family other than an auntie in Canada who, as a Hindu woman married to a Muslim man, understands Ahmed’s predicament (and hates his mum).
It has all the charm of a classic rom-com, but runs a lot deeper than that with a powerful and poignant message about the importance of accepting your loved ones as they are, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Though not everything works out fine, romantic love triumphs, and in a touching coda Ahmed pays a sweet tribute to his mother, who died in the past week.
Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched is likeable comedy par excellence, performed by an impressive and intelligent individual being with something to say and an impressive and intelligent way of saying it. I’m sure you’d enjoy it.
- Editor’s note: This review was amended on 1 Feb 2021.
Pictured top: the charming Dr Ahmed Kazmi has a powerful and poignant message about love. Photo supplied.
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