Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 September 2020

Stand-up comedy in Dubai: Wonho Chung and The Laughter Factory announce August shows

There are plenty of laughs to be had in the emirate this month

South Korean-Vietnamese comic Wonho Chung will perform in The Theatre at Dubai's Mall of the Emirates. Satish Kumar / The National
South Korean-Vietnamese comic Wonho Chung will perform in The Theatre at Dubai's Mall of the Emirates. Satish Kumar / The National

Sometimes it's best to just let it out.

This is what South Korean comic Wonho Chung plans to do with his performance at The Theatre in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates on August 20.

With Life in Quarantine, a family-friendly show, Chung plans to "rant and vent" – in his dry and witty way – about some of his experiences while self-isolating in his Dubai home.

An inclusive brand of comedy

The show is Chung’s first physical performance in four months.

The funnyman’s last gig was a virtual show in July, which was streamed on the social media pages of the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation.

Born to a South Korean father and Vietnamese mother, and raised in Jordan, Chung made his stand-up debut as a supporting act for the 2007 regional hit tour Axis of Comedy, starring Egyptian-American comic Ahmed Ahmed, Maz Jobrani from Iran and Palestinian funnymen Aron Kader and Dean Obeidallah.

Chung went on to forge his own path as a solo comedian and actor – the latter earning him strong reviews with a starring role in the 2017 Ramadan drama Saq Al Bamboo, a television adaptation of award-winning novel The Bamboo Stalk by Kuwaiti author Saud Alsanousi.

Wonho Chung starring in 'Saq Al Bamboo' Courtesy: MBC
Wonho Chung in 'Saq Al Bamboo'. Courtesy MBC

Describing comedy as his first love, Chung regards his material as a constantly evolving craft, reflecting not only his personal growth but that of the region as well.

“My comedy at the beginning of my career was mostly focusing on ethnic stereotypes, and that’s because I look a certain way and I speak a language that’s different to the way I look,” he told The National last year.

“So before, I was mostly focusing on accents – I do Filipino, Korean and a few others – and now things have changed. I won’t say that there has been a backlash to that form of comedy, I would say that the conversation has developed and there are more interesting things that are happening in the world today that are worth talking about.”

The show will run with limited capacity and follow the social-distancing measures put in place by the Dubai health authorities. Tickets cost Dh95, and are available at dubai.platinumlist.ae.

The Laughter Factory announces August shows

Chung’s performance comes as part of a wave of stand-up comedy shows coming to Dubai throughout the month.

In addition to two sold-out performances by UK comic Jimmy Carr at Dubai World Trade Centre on Thursday and Friday, August 13 and 14, The Laughter Factory is also back with another run of shows.

Headlining the latest instalment are UK comics Eddy Brimson and Leo Kearse, plus Canadian up-and-comer Dana Alexander.

The trio will perform at Movenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach on Thursday and Friday, August 6 and 7; Zabeel House by Jumeirah – The Greens on Wednesday, August 12; and Grand Millennium Dubai Barsha Heights on Thursday and Friday, August 13 and 14.

All shows will adhere to strict social-distancing measures, with tables set two metres apart seating a maximum of four people.

Tickets are available from The Laughter Factory’s website.

Updated: August 4, 2020 11:18 AM

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