Khaled Khalafalla certainly is a fresh new comer who might still be refining his craft in the early few days of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. His show Loose was taken quite literally Saturday night as the comic seemed to stray a bit too far from his pre-planned routine and tried to rely a little too heavily on bantering with the audience whom didn't seem to be very receptive on this particular night.
It certainly was a brave move for the comedian to move away from his usual material and use his power of banter and pure improvisation to create some laughter. Of course with this sort of approach the comedian is basically rolling the dice on his audience and at times during the night Khaled just got a little bit lost which brought about a few moments of awkwardness and nervous laughter followed by some long pauses and silence, which at a stand-up show probably isn't the ideal atmosphere to create.
However with all that said I thought there's plenty to like about the show and it seems impossible to dislike the handsome (that's right Khalafalla is one of the more handsome looking comedians you will probably see this festival) and energetic charm of this comedian. He has the talent and confidence to become a heavy hitter in Australia's (and international) comedy scene. I would say it was just an off night and Khaled Khalafalla is a comedic superstar in the making and trying to find the perfect balance between structured materials versus audience interactions.
The young comedian certainly started the show well and finished strongly with his tales of being Muslim, being the black sheep in the family of overachieving doctors, living with the pressure of having to marry your cousins and his recent attempt of being a "manly man". He does excellent impressions and accents, slipping in and out of various ethnicities, regions and ages with ease.
So go see a fresh new talent, so you can say you saw him back in the days when he was still refining his craft and support the newbies, especially one who is so willing to put himself out there and has in the past proven how fast and funny he can be. The show is a bit raw, sometimes a bit rocky but it's still an enjoyable night out.