British stand-up Jamali Maddix headlines the unique Brew Cruise

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Brew Cruise combines a sunset river cruise, craft ale on tap, live stand-up comedy and DJ dance party. supplied

PHNOM Penh’s most unique live entertainment event chugs its way back to the banks of the Tonle Sap on Saturday 23 March.

The Brew Cruise combines a sunset river cruise, craft ale on tap, live stand-up comedy and DJ dance party, all aboard one big boat. The event is so unique, in fact, even the headline act doesn’t believe it.

“I didn’t know I was doing a show on a boat,” says British comic Jamali Maddix. “Now I do, I’m confused why there’s a show on a boat . . .”

Rest assured, it will all make sense to Mr Maddix soon. Besides, he is used to playing a variety of comedy rooms from cramped spaces above pubs to vast theatre halls. “I’ll be honest, I prefer smaller rooms as I think that’s where comedy should be performed,” he notes.

In his first two years of performing, Jamali won the Comedy Café New Act of the Year Competition and the Chortle Student Comedy Award – making it look effortless.

He now is a regular feature at the renowned Comedy Store in London’s Leicester Square and has toured with them in the Middle East. He supported Jim Jefferies before a 3,500-strong Hyde Park audience, and has done a plethora of top UK television shows including The John Bishop Show, Live at the Apollo and 8 out of 10 Cats.

Jamali’s debut hour at the Edinburgh Fringe was a total sell out and received rave reviews. He has also became one of the faces for Viceland TV channel with his own critically-acclaimed documentary series Hate Thy Neighbor.

His March 2019 whistle-stop tour of Southeast Asia takes in gigs in Jakarta, Bangkok, Singapore, Saigon, Hanoi, Siem Reap and finally Phnom Penh.

“It’s my first time anywhere near there,” says Maddix, who has toured Europe and the US extensively in recent months and heads straight to Australia and New Zealand for festival runs afterwards.

With an assured stage presence and considered material that comes from a fresh perspective, he already has the aura of a successful comic well beyond his years. His natural confidence and charm allow him to tread gracefully across more sensitive topics leaving many of his contemporaries behind.

Indeed nothing is off limits for this top-rated comedian, who has “something to offend everyone”, according to the Sunday Times.

“I think funny is funny,” he says. “If I find it funny, I say it. If not, I won’t.”

What was the funniest thing he’d seen recently? “I’ve been mostly in my house working, doing stand-up, paying bills. I saw a dude poo in a bin when I was going to buy cigarettes . . . That count?”

Jamali will be supported by returning Phnom Penh comedy favourite Stevo Joslin, as well as special guest Kevin Williams and MC Roddy Fraser. Immediately following the comedy will be a live set from DJ Moodydann, transforming the deck into a dancefloor.

The Brew Cruise is presented by Comedy in Cambodia and Riel Brewing & Distilling with sponsors Rambutan Resort Phnom Penh, Giant Ibis buses and Buffalo Sister restaurant. The boat departs the Riverside (behind Hotel Cambodiana) at 5pm sharp and returns at 8pm on Saturday 23 March.

Tickets are $20 each and include 1 free Riel beer, which is locally brewed and will be available in a variety of styles on tap including the hugely popular IPA and Citra Pale.

Advance tickets at the discount rate of $15 can be booked via email to [email protected]. Food and soft drinks are also available for purchase on board.

Jay B Jones