A-Z of Backpacking - Free

Jody Kamali is a comedian, a clown and based on his YouTube repertoire, an impressive character actor. His stand-up show, The A to Z of Backpacking was a simple, observational look at the culture of travelling, complete with accompanying slideshow.

As is to be expected from a traveler, Kamali is a genuine, friendly and open guy, which helped the audience to warm to him and feel very much relaxed. He begins by (again in true traveler style) getting to know almost all of the audience, using his ‘Where you from? Where you from?’ song, which was fun and relevant to the theme, rather than the usual lukewarm comedian warm-up routine. Kamali then takes you through a typical time spent away: from the packing right through to the journey home.

His comments were accurate and extremely relatable to the audience, all of whom had been backpacking. I particularly enjoyed his ‘sounds of the dorm room’ bit, with long overly loud whispered conversations and overly zipping bags. His racial stereotype jokes were tastefully handled and based on the reaction of the Canadian girl in the first room, very accurate.

Whilst charming and light-hearted, some of Kamali’s jokes were a little overdone, obvious and silly, such as the over-enthusiastic Aussie tour bus leader. Kamali tried very hard and was a little under-confident at times. He also laughed at his own jokes and I couldn’t help but wonder how exaggerated some of his traveler stories were. The show definitely contained more ‘in jokes’ than jokes as well, which were understood well by a traveler audience, but probably wouldn’t be understood by others. If you are in on the joke however, The A to Z of Backpacking is fun and enjoyable.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

The Blurb

Aussies, long bumpy bus journeys, Germans, hostels, Americans, Lonely Planet, backpacks, hippies, tours, gap year, Israelis, TripAdvisor. It’s all here and more in this acutely observed guide to backpacking by avid traveller Jody Kamali.

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