Don’t Tell My Family by Amna Bee
The Sky Room, The Griffins Hotel, Tarntanya (Adelaide)
Saturday 19th February 7:15 pm

In a medium dominated by cis white men, Amna Bee is a breath of fresh air. Her stand up had me laughing at things that I didn’t think I’d ever feel comfortable laughing at – from the influence of honour killings on her adolescence, to guns, to the inevitable COVID-19 jokes.

She had some great takes on what Australians can learn from Pakistanis when it comes to COVID-19 restrictions, as well as considerations you may never have thought of when wearing a mask. I hope we see more and more comedians like Bee in the coming years. None of her material felt recycled from any previous stand up I’d seen, and that is part of what I value about having more diversity in the stand-up space. It was refreshing to see the audience itself also reflected this diversity. Bee worked well with the crowd, and developed great banter with some audience members.

I generally don’t feel relaxed watching stand up. I don’t like being singled out of a crowd and the standard jokes made by (mostly cis white) men mostly leave me feeling objectified, unsafe, or rolling my eyes. While there were times when Bee made jokes that made you think “Should I really be laughing at this as a white person?”, she always made you feel comfortable, exuding humble confidence. It was like sitting with a new friend in their living room and hearing funny stories from their life. The spacious but cosy performance space only added to this.

For those with access needs, it’s important to note that from what I could tell, the performance space is not accessible to those that cannot climb one flight of stairs (with a railing). However, if you are able to manage that, there is plenty of space in the venue to store a mobility aid once you reach the top of the stairs. Once you get through the pub to the performance space, it is quiet (excellent for those hard of hearing) and not too visually overwhelming for those with sensory issues.

If you’re in the mood for someone who’ll make you laugh while opening your eyes a little more to the world, Don’t Tell My Family is for you.

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