Dr Ahmed’s new comedy navigates the path of a same-sex Greek Pakistani wedding

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By Martina Simos

Everyone loves a happy ending to a love story. But the path to true love can sometimes be a blend of both comedy and drama. 

Enter 39-year-old comedian Dr Ahmed – a medically-trained dermatologist for most of the year, but performs his comedy show Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched to Australian audiences at different festivals.

This year, Dr Ahmed will be performing 14 shows at the Adelaide Fringe festival starting from February 17.

Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched.
Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched.
Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched.
Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched.

Dr Ahmed, who is from a Pakistani background, was born in Canada, raised in the United Kingdom, but has been living in Australia for a decade. Through his show, he shares his ups and downs of finding true love with a Greek man called Maximos, who was born in Athens, Greece.

The story begins in Perth, Western Australia where Dr Ahmed’s search to find true love was hindered, so he moved to London and met his now-husband within six months.

Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched.
Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched.
Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched.
Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched.

The Adelaide Fringe show is about their first wedding held in the UK that incorporated parts of Greek traditions – including Greek music, Greek food and potted olive trees at the wedding venue. 

After all, what could go wrong in a same-sex, inter-faith, cross-cultural Greek-Pakistani wedding?

 “The show is about the journey of navigating dating apps, online dating and then finally meeting someone and all the cultural mishaps, family problems and drama that ensued when a Pakistani man and a Greek man decide to have a wedding,” Dr Ahmed tells The Greek Herald.

“You can imagine they are both colourful and conservative, vocal cultures so putting them together in that context is very drama worthy.

“My whole family boycotted the wedding so it’s also a show about shades of happy and sad, and although I have turned it into a comedy, a lot of the elements resonate with people who have had familial rejection.” 

Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched.
Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched.

The comedy act first made its debut at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and was performed primarily for a Greek audience. Dr Ahmed recollects that it was a ‘wonderful experience’ with an audience that was accepting of the show’s content.

“They really engaged with the jokes and story on a deeper level and were so expressive in the reaction,” he recalls.

Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched.
Dr Ahmed Gets Hitched.

“I had a yiayia blowing me kiss when I sang a song by Marinella!”

But the show is not all sad. There are parts that are heartwarming and uplifting and while the title of the show may be a ‘little niche,’ the themes and the journey are universal, Dr Ahmed says.

“It’s a bitter-sweet comedy,” he adds.

“I took that negative life experience and turned it into something funny and healing.

“That’s why, at the end, I love talking to people… they will tell me about their cross cultural or interfaith relationships and the nuances of that… or why their family chose to reject them or they will tell me the dramas at their wedding.”

Dr Ahmed will be performing 14 shows at this year’s Adelaide Fringe starting February 17- March 2 at the Arts Theatre, 53 Angas Street, Adelaide. Audiences are encouraged to dress up for the 85-minute show and the winner in the best outfit wins a prize.

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