What: Akmal Live
Where: Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts, Howitt Street
When: Saturday, June 1 at 8pm
Tickets: Adult: $44.90
Bookings: 5339 5994 or www.wcpa.com.au
GROWING up as a member of one of Egypt's largest Christian churches, Akmal Saleh became disillusioned by religion from a young age.
"Growing up in that environment, I have come to think of religion as the most destructive source. It has been terrible for humanity and has held people back from growing throughout history," he said.
One of Australia's most well-known comedians, Saleh's work is often influenced by his experiences growing up in an orthodox church and in the middle-east.
But Saleh said he was not exactly proud of his heritage. More often than not, he became ashamed to say he was Egyptian.
"I have distanced myself from any heritage and I'm not very close to my Egyptian family," he said.
"The society I come from values money over anything else and people get really anxious about being included in society's elite.
"The most proud I have been of my heritage in my entire life was when the Egyptian revolution happened because that was the most peaceful uprising in history. It was unique because it was led by everyday people and it was quite inspiring."
Known for his incredible ability to deal with hot topics in a hilarious and slightly offensive way, Saleh is currently on tour and delivering a show that is punctual and jam-packed with words.
Drawing on his Arabic background, his experiences migrating to Australia at the age of 11 and his disillusionment with society today, he will stage a show that is fresh, honest, funny yet thought-provoking.
"My intention is to make people laugh, but as I get older I tend to subconsciously convey certain messages but it has to happen naturally," he said.