There’s this wonderful place called Chakazoolu, in Bahrain. Found at the top-level in Dana Mall, it’s Bahrain’s one and only indoor theme park. Yes, theme park. In a mall. Complete with a 7D cinema (Someone tell me what all the D’s are.) roller coaster, bumper boats and some sort of river rapids.
Can you spot anything missing from this photo?
The OH bought a bunch of voucher style ticket things that you can redeem for credits to pay for the ‘coaster, rides and arcade games. We’ve been saying for weeks we’ll go. On a Sunday though. Preferably before schools break for the day. Last weekend we finally managed to get out there. On the Sunday. Before the schools broke for the day. We were the biggest kids there. We were the only kids there. Well, we were the only people there.
Before the heat really sets in, it feels like all of Bahrain is trying to get in as much outdoor activity as possible. A few weeks ago there was the Redbull X-Fighters Jams and just last weekend it was the pretty damn epic Formula 1.
I hold my hands up. I’m not what you’d call an F1 fan. I enjoy watching some motor sports. Especially anything to do with rally driving. I watch(ed) Top Gear. And not for the stars in the reasonably priced cars – that’s usually the bit I’m most likely to fast forward through. So even though I’m not an F1 follower it’d be stupid of me not to go to the Bahrain GP right here in Bahrain.
Too many times I’ve caught myself saying, there’s never anything to do in Bahrain. There’s never anything on. In my defence, coming from London, that’s sort of true. But, feels like things are changing in Bahrain.
Take this for example – for the first time ever, the Red Bull X-Fighters came to Bahrain for a couple of nights. Now we almost didn’t make this, due to an epic dust storm that took over the entire island. Though, thankfully due to said dust storm, the night these guys were performing was pushed back, and we could make it!
Never have I seen any of this sort of stuff live. Casually perused events if they’re on TV or watched a few YouTube videos, so I’m not what you’d call a fan. Though I think it’s fucking amazing what these guys do. And when’s the next time I’m going to be able to see some guy do a superman in the air while riding a bike?
Can I just tell you something extraordinarily exciting right now? One of the most exciting and unexpected things I have experienced here in Bahrain, so far.
Going to the cinema.
Stay with me here. Back in England I was beginning to, not hate, but not quite enjoy my cinema experience. Extortionate ticket prices. Combined with having to sit with a bunch of people who are clearly more interested in what was happening on WhatsApp or Facebook than watching the film they had paid to see.
Yesterday evening I was ever so slightly terrified. Why? Well, I was going out with some friends to see some live comedy. No, I haven’t got some weird and random fear about going to see live comedy with my friends. It was who we were going to see. Adam Riches.
I’ll explain. Adam Riches is hilarious. I was introduced to him at last year’s Laughter in the Park. Me and my friends sat far away from the stage and laughed hysterically at Adam Riches comedy sketch which involved a few members of the audience. Yep… he’s all about audience participation.
See, I don’t do audience participation. I hate it. Well most people probably do. The last time I was called up to do anything on stage was when I was on a family holiday to St. Lucia, when I was 12 years old. There was an evening of limbo which, we as a family, were quite happy watching. Until there was a call for some volunteers to take part in a little competition. Well, I say volunteers. But … I did not volunteer. It wasn’t all that bad if I’m fair. I think I came third in the competition. But doing a limbo in front of a bunch of strangers on holiday when I was 12 left an impact on me.
I digress. So yes. Adam Riches. Soho Theatre. Audience participation. Hell no. Along with the general fear of audience participation my lovely friends were really good at doing research into other sorts of sketches he might do which call for audience members. Thanks guys!
Needless to say the fear was unwarranted. Yes, the theatre was small. Soho Theatre – seated about 150 people. But thankfully I didn’t get called up. As each sketch came and went I got more and more relieved about not being an unwilling participant.
But the evening wasn’t all about fear. It was about laughing so much you can’t breathe. Adam Riches is one of the funniest comedians I have ever seen. TV, live, wherever. He is, hands down, hilarious. He’s slightly unpredictable. His characters are exceptionally unique. I have a little bit of soft spot for his Daniel Day-Lewis character:
You won’t see anyone like him.