Mustafa Algiyadi is a Libyan stand-up comic living in Germany. Now on tour at the Brighton Fringe, he shares his worldly experiences and observations in a brand new stand-up routine. Algiyadi blasts through British sensibilities with no holds barred, as he talks about his views on European culture, relationship drama and growing up in a Muslim household all in playful jest.
In the pub venue, fittingly named ‘The Snug’, Algiyadi smoothly fosters a laid-back atmosphere, engaging well with the audience. So relaxed that, when he ends a joke by speaking in Arabic, an audience member replies in the same tongue and it comes across as amiable as two friends chatting. His rapport with the audience is excellent; Algiyadi repeatedly asks the audience personal questions - from what they do for work to the status of their dating life - and effortlessly weaves their responses into his routine.
A Little Killing Hurts No One is full of little twists and turns. It begins with a card trick demonstration, and with this same perky energy, morphs into anecdotes about what it’s like to be an Arab in Germany. Algiyadi respectfully touches on subjects like cultural differences and the gender pay gap, although at times the quick pace at which he shifts from bantering with the audience to joking about how lesbian couples must be living in poverty if each woman is earning 15% less than a male (Algiyadi’s PhD in Mathematics is apparent) feels like whiplash. Yet, he maintains a safe balance between teasing and political correctness.
His jokes get into more personal matters as the show progresses and the ribald side of his humour comes into play. It borders on the surreal at some points as, after revealing a previous partner cheated on him, Algiyadi ponders on if a smart kitchen appliance is the perfect partner - he will know what it’s doing at all times.
Some of his accounts are amusingly relatable for Brightonians: he discusses how, after declining a cake that was offered to him at a cafe in Brighton, the waitress mentions that it is ‘gluten-free’, as if that’s ever been a convincing selling-point for a cake. Hipster vegans and their fixation on seasonings are another group not spared by Algiyadi’s mocking. Although joking about vegans may seem like low-hanging fruit, it was a clear winner; eliciting much laughter from the audience.
The show ends with one final twist (I’ll refrain from spoiling too much), but needless to say he finishes with the same level of comedic prowess as he exhibited throughout the performance.
Show Title: A Little Killing Hurts No One
Venue: The Snug at The Jolly Butchers
Review date: 20.05.23, 8:00 PM