Monday 28 August at 8pm
Rescheduled to Monday 4 September
Comedian Sami Shah and his wife, psychologist Ishma Alvi, left Pakistan in 2012 in search of a life of freedom for their young daughter Anya.
But when the family were obliged to move to the small West Australian town of Northam to fulfil their visa requirement, their dreams of an idyllic life were turned upside down.
Sami was jobless and Ishma was working in a detention centre, coming face to face with Pakistani refugees every day.
“It was just a stroke of luck, luck of birth, that they were sitting in the chair across from me and not the other way around,” says Ishma.
During their difficult three years in Northam, Sami’s comedy career took off. He made a name for himself poking fun at his adopted town at the biggest international comedy festivals in Australia.
“People have called him acerbic and subversive and I think all those things are true about him,” says BBC Radio presenter Jon Holmes.
Sami and Ishma’s long-awaited move to Melbourne in 2015 was bittersweet: they gained Australian citizenship but their relationship had reached breaking point.
By the time we ended up actually getting here, just the tension between us, just the relationship between us, I think it had taken too many blows,” explains Sami.
As they create new lives in Melbourne, Sami and Ishma are fighting to keep their shared dream alive in ways that might seem unconventional to others. The pair still live together even though they’ve separated.
“Through it all, they both had the same goal in mind,” says their mutual friend Mic Brooke, “and that was a better life for them and for Anya.”