Akmal tests new material at Byron

AKMAL will be on home turf when he shares extracts from his forthcoming book release, The Life of Akmal, at the Byron Community & Cultural Centre on January 23 and 24.

Akmal moved to Byron Bay in March last year but has spent minimal time in the area due to a busy touring schedule.

He is happy to be back home, but knows a hometown audience doesn’t necessarily mean a hometown reception.

“Its tough doing a show on home turf because if you run into someone who was in the audience down at Woolworths, they will let you know if you stank,” Akmal explains.

“But it’s a great place to be working up new material. Byron audiences are smart. If the material doesn’t work here, it won’t work any- where.”

Akmal has experienced first-hand when his comedy act has failed to please a crowd of spectators.

The toughest audience he ever faced was in his first year as a professional stand-up comedian.

He was booked to be the opening act for a Canadian male strip show called Body Heat in the town of Wangaratta, Victoria.

The all-female audience were not happy when Akmal, dressed in a suit and tie, entered stage left instead of one of the semi-naked strippers.

“As soon as I came out on stage I could see the disappointment on the women’s faces,” Akmal says.

“The 500-strong female audience had been drinking for two hours before the show and within three seconds after seeing me, and not one of the Body Heat men, they started yelling out in unison ‘boring, boring, boring’.

“Then they started pelting me with hundreds of plastic cups. I left the stage after only three minutes.”

Catch Akmal at the Byron Bay Community Centre this Saturday January 23 and Sunday January 24.

Tickets are $30 from the venue. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.byroncentre.com.au or call 6685 6807.

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