Stage set for comedy festival
August 17 2016 01:20 AM


Mixing stand-up, storytelling and surrealism, Doha prepares for a  three-day comedy festival running from August 18 to 20 as part of the Qatar Summer Festival (QSF) celebrations.
Organised by Social Studios and presented by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), the Doha Comedy Festival  will see 18 comedians from around the region perform at Qatar National Convention Centre from 8pm to 11pm .
The popularity of the show, which featured its first edition last year, is evident this year as it returns with three times the number of stand-up talents.
Though unheard of just a few years ago, solo stage comics have now blossomed across the Middle East, drawing huge crowds in countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE, Yemen, Lebanon and Jordan.
Popular comics from around the Arab world expected to gather in Qatar for the festival include: Badr Saleh, Fadi al-Shahry, Abdullah Saidan, Wadah Sewar, Ahmed al-Shammari, Ibrahim Khairallah , Mohamed Qaraawi, Rajai Kawas, Abdulrahman al-Shaikhi, Bashar al-Jazzaf, Zaid al-Soudaa, Mouad Alnafii, Mutassem Trabzoni, Nicholas Khoury, Ibrahim Saleh, ‘Shiyyab’, along two Qatari talents, Hamad al-Amari and Mohamed al-Tamimi.
“Our aim is to boost the entertainment sector in Qatar by sowing the seeds for home-grown talent. Stand-up comedy is inspired by the region’s culture and tradition, and bringing together Arab talents from around the Middle East region is a way to enrich the viewers’ experience,” Social Studios managing director Hamzeh Zaher said.
“Qatar is a pioneer in so many fields, and, since comedy is a reflection of a society’s reality, the Doha Comedy Festival seeks to mirror this advancement in the entertainment industry by growing local talent and attracting renowned regional talent,” he added.
QSF is organised by QTA in partnership with the private sector to energise hospitality, retail and entertainment sectors, especially in traditionally off-peak seasons.
More Qatari talent will be showcased on the festival’s stage this year, with Mohamed al-Tamimi joining Hamad al-Amari for the first time.
Al-Tamimi has performed 18 stand-up routines in Qatar so far, with performances in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia planned for the coming period.
“My routine will revolve around my daily personal situations in Qatar as a result of my interaction with a specific sect from the society. I call on everyone to come and join us and enjoy the show,” he said.
Al-Amari was first inspired to join the comedy scene in Ireland, where he was born and raised. He has so far performed 65 stand-up routines in Qatar and is founder of the YouTube channel “Assa Ma Shar”.

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