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Aamer Rahman : The Truth Hurts

Venue: 
Melbourne Town Hall
Main Artists
Aamer Rahman
Date/Time: 
28 March 2013 @ 8:30pm
Price: 
$20
-$25

Highlighting political and racial inequalities within Australia through sharp wit and insightful humour, one half of award-winning cult comedy duo Fear of a Brown Planet, Aamer Rahman will perform his first ever solo show, The Truth Hurts, at the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. This is no departure – politics, racism, the War on Terror. Same themes, harder line. The proverbial bull in a china shop, Rahman blatantly treads the most delicate of lines. This is confronting, uncompromising political comedy at its best – and designed to hit hard.
 
Born in Saudi Arabia, Aamer moved to Australia when he was six. At ten he moved to Oman, only to return here at 13, living in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. It was during his younger years that he was first met with racism in Australia while at primary school. He says, “you’re too young to understand what it is, but you’re treated like an outsider.” It was through youth work events within the Muslim community that Aamer met close friend and FOBP partner Nazeem Hussain. Stumbling into comedy several years ago, Aamer entered the RAW Comedy competition. With a law degree, pursuing a career in comedy was never something he had never previously entertained despite his avid interest in the comedy of Chris Rock, Bill Hicks and Margaret Cho. “Nazeem mentioned it [the competition],” he says, “We both did quite well. Nazeem made the state finals and I made national finals…five minutes of mucking around on stage turned into a full blown show.”
 
Now an accomplished stand up who has since 2008 performed at the MICF, Sydney Comedy Festival, Adelaide Fringe and the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival, including a sold out tour of the UK in 2012. His TV credits include Network Ten’s 2010 Oxfam Comedy Gala, the Comedy Channel’s You Have Been Watching, and most recently, the upcoming ABC1 comedy quiz show Tractor Monkeys, and an episode of the top-rating Australian Story, which featured him together with his comedy partner Nazeem Hussain. Rahman was also a contributing writer for season one of the Australian series of UK TV show, Balls of Steel. Fear of a Brown Planet still exists, however Aamer wanted to try a different outlet. “Not everything makes it into a Brown Planet show,” he explains, “Some of this [The Truth Hurts] has been around for years and some will be based on the news tomorrow.”
 
His forceful use of politics has earned Aamer comparisons to Civil Rights leader Malcolm X. “It’s obviously flattering,” he laughs, “But at the end of the day I’m a comedian. You can’t expect more than comedy. Most people know that.” The polemic nature of his comedy has come under fire resulting in labels of ‘un-Australian’ being blasted his way. When asked if he believes he is ‘un-Australian’ Aamer replies, “iIf being Australian means calling people un-Australian because they call people racist. Who gets to define that? It doesn’t bother me.”
 
With a hard political line comes controversy, and apparently controversy coupled with immigrant experience and a strong opinion on Australian racism is a good justification for death threats. “Through YouTube and Facebook you can find a lot of general racist hate,” Aamer explains. “I get death threats every now and then. Things like, ‘next time you’re onstage I’ll shoot you.’ You can’t take it seriously though.”
 
Looking forward to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Aamer notes that he loves hanging out with people after the show. “It’s really fun to be on stage,” he says. “But I always hang out after the show. The audience is so mixed…I really enjoy seeing who has come out. We are not a mainstream act, so our fan base really supports us and follows us really closely.”
 
BY TAMARA VOGL
 
Venue: Melbourne Town Hall – Portico Room, Cnr Swanston & Collins Sts, CBD
Dates: March 28 – April 21 (except Mondays)
Times: 7.30pm (Sundays 8.30pm)
Tickets: Full $25, Conc., Group, Laugh Pack, Tightarse Tuesday and Preview $20