BRITISH-KURDISH stand-up comedian Kae Kurd plays Leeds City Varieties Music Hall on October 27 on his Kurd Immunity tour.
Born Korang Abdulla, Kae came to Great Britain at six months old when his parents, who were part of the Kurdish resistance movement against Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi government, were forced to flee.
“At my age, my father was running at tanks”, says Kae, 33. His parents first fled to Iran, where he was born. Partly as a result of his father being injured in a poison gas attack in Iraq, his family were accepted as refugees in Britain, settling in Brixton, South London, where he still lives.
Focusing on issues of race, identity and growing up Kurdish in the UK, Kae started out on the comedy circuit in 2011. As someone from a nation without an independent state, “your whole existence is about trying to find an identity or to speak up for your identity,” he says.
Signed to Mo Gilligan & Babatunde Aleshe’s management team, Kae mounted his sell-out debut national tour, The Spoken Kurd, in 2021 and took part in Celebrity MasterChef in 2022.
He has written for Cunk On…, Death To 2020, A League Of Their Own, Have I Got News For You, Charlie Brooker’s Antiviral Wipe and Crouchy’s Year-Late Euros. He has appeared on Mock The Week and Richard Osman’s House Of Games and presented the BBC’s Live At The Apollo for the first time at the start of 2023.
In response to the world being turned on its head, Kae is trying to be the best man he can possibly be and working out what that requires in this day and age. Society now demands we should be better versions of ourselves and even more so in the future, leading to Kae “having to take a good long look at himself”.
Tickets for his 8pm gig in Leeds are on sale on 0113 243 0808 or at leedsheritagetheatres.com.