Dubai diaries: Live live laughs this week
As Christian Talbot once stated: “Words can’t express how much I hate World Emoji Day,” and this week I am equally tongue-tied at the extent I’ve missed live comics telling jokes on stage. For longer than I’d care to remember, the smell of the crowd and the roar of the greasepaint has eluded many, either through choice or reduced capacity resulting in tickets being sold out. However, as the Dubai Comedy Festival gathers pace this week, with a host of diverse shows being put on an almost every day until May 22, there’s no excuse not to get up for stand-up. Over the weekend we saw the return of the Laughter Factory at the Movenpick JBR to light the fuse on the wave of witticisms. Three comedians, one microphone and a socially-distanced room full of people; the recipe sounds so simple, though the effect was mesmeric. Perhaps down to the Agostino Zoida, George Zach and Ari Matti trio, or maybe the combination of solid routines and a communal laughter experience, the spectacle was a triumph and instigated a resolution to support more live gigs with my attendance.
I know it’s so much easier to not go out than it is to do so. Trust me. Possibly the only better feeling than completing a decent run or swim is coming up with a reason why tonight is no good and deciding on not going in the first place. How much sweeter does that chocolate chip cookie in front of an episode of Friends taste when you know at that very moment you were scheduled to be getting some fresh air and exercise? The trouble is, if we all constantly succumb to our laziest desires nothing would get done, nor in fact organised. Events exist relying on our participation, so the least we can do is meet them halfway once in a while. It’s not even a hardship. All I’m asking is (and this is as much reinforcing my own commitment as it is advice) for you to sit in a theatre while professionals do what they’re paid to do and entertain you whether it’s through my personal gig of choice, comedy, or any number of gatherings.
We also have to take into account the performers’ lot. After the sketchiest of sketchy years, most of the world appears to be slowly emerging into the light and these artists are once again able to do what they feel they were put here to show off. Do you think they’re going to blow it with a poor performance? 12 months stuck inside with nothing but practice filling the hours between takeaway meals has to count for something. We, the audience, have never been in such a powerful position. Those in the spotlight are equally, if not more, grateful to be there meaning for the time being we should be treated to presentations of a lifetime. Let’s demonstrate our appreciation.