Review | Kieran Eaton
Aliya Kanani is a successful comedian, but still people ask her where she is from – and I don’t mean nationality, I mean ethnicity. If you must know, she is a Canadian, whose parents are from Zanzibar and is of Indian ethnicity. Kanani tells the story of how she became a stand-up comic based on being stereotyped due to the colour of her skin. The good thing is she does not like to resort to racial based humour.
Kanani presents with a sense of warmth and casualness – like she wants to get to know us. The early gags are quite conversational and appear to be feeling us out. Personally, it frustrates me because from the interesting title, I want her to get to the nitty gritty – however, by the end of the show you see a purpose to her method. Kanani does a bit about going into airports and the casual racism that occurs but she is tough about it – gaining insight that this funny lady just likes to turn things on their heads with her imagination. This clever woman is very personable and makes up for any moments that maximum laughter is not achieved. She even comments that people mention how she is not a typical comedian – however, if you have seen a vast array of styles during FRINGWORLD 2020, you will see this as normal. Kanani takes a reasonable outlook on social issues, showing her maturity to display nuance.
Aliya Kanani: Where you From, From? opens with a Perth comic called Emo – his comedy is just explaining on why he is here, and this brief intro gets us to build up the atmosphere. This comedian displays a cool but friendly presence that is a perfect match for Kanani. You see the show title on a big screen and however this is the only reason the screen is used. Kanani loves challenging our perceptions but does it in a way that feels like you are on a date – being gentle and gradual – unlike some male approaches for intimacy she gets! Speaking of sex – this performance builds to a beautiful climax that makes you want more. By the end you feel like you could easily watch another hour of her – display her comical wisdom. So, go watch this festival show to feel connected to humanity through humour.
WHERE YOU FROM, FROM? is playing during FRINGEWORLD 2020 in Perth. You can get your tickets here.