Category: Comedy

Chris Forrest performs in the one man comedy, Who’s Your Daddy? At Scout’s Hall, Grahamstown, 03 July 2015, at the 2015 National Arts Festival. Forrest relates his experience becoming a father for the first time. Photo: CuePix /  Jane Berg.

Chris Forrest stumbles onto the stage, laden with every child-care contraption imaginable. He places a wicker crib on its stand and then dramatically throws brightly coloured toys, a Disney-themed backpack, and other contraptions to the floor, before turning to address the crowd. A baby carrier is strapped to his chest, fake baby included.

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Lebogang Mogashoa performs in a one man comedy, When We Were Nearly Young, at Dicks in Grahamstown on 7 July 2015, at the 2015 National Arts Festival. When We Were Nearly Young is based on Lebogang Mogashoa's personal experiences. (Photo: CuePix/Hlumela Mkabile)

Lebogang Mogashoa has comedy in his blood. In his hilarious and quirky When We Were Nearly Young, he takes us through a comic retelling of the “stories that come after four glasses of wine”.

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Stand Up 4 Comedy is stand-up ensemble featuring Gavin Kelly, Mo Mothebe, Virgil Prins and Ebenheazer Dibakwane.

It was at last year’s Festival that the group first performed together. Since Prins’ last appearance, he has worked on his set and added new material. Embedded in Prins’ set are the day-to-day challenges that a young person faces. The up-and-coming comic jokes about leaving his call-centre job to do stand-up, his new relationship, and being broke.

Gavin Kelly also addresses financial difficulties. “People get upset when the price of petrol goes up – I get upset when the price of Oros goes up!” he says.

On this particular day, the show’s audience comprises of an older crowd, which poses a challenge. “Have you ever been broke, sir?” Prins asks a balding man in the front row. “No? Never? Well, I’m going to tell you this story anyways.” Prins chuckles.

It’s easy to be an audience member: the expectation is that the comedians make you laugh, catering to your sense of humour. For the comedian, the audience’s expectations can weigh heavily and as funny as you may be, there will always be some hits and misses.

What is admirable about these four is how honestly they handle the misses. When Ebenheazer Dibakwane’s Superman joke isn’t immediately understood, he says, “I’ll work on that joke until you’re laughing”. He continues to take a sip of water and garners a better reaction for his next joke about his friend, Javas.

Mo Mothebe, who also featured in The Very Big Comedy Show 3 on Thursday 9 July, brings to the crew his sharp wit. His area of expertise is making you see the funny in everyday things. His joke about the inappropriateness of naming a baby “John” had me laughing so hard I almost missed the follow one.

Guest comedian’s Tshekedi Monyemore’s hit is his joke about Nigerian Jesus, while George Kuda pokes fun at race-relations: “Apartheid was there but there was no load shedding.”

It is evident when I hear the sound technicians chuckling from the back of the Bowling Club, that these comedians have a knack for jokes their age-mates can relate to.

As a fan of stand-up comedy, I think this group are worth a watch. As they climb the comedy ladder, they’re bound to attract bigger audiences. And with the amount of work they put in, they deserve them.

Gorata Chengeta, Cue reporter

Many could be dissuaded from watching Belgian actor-director Gaëtan Schmid’s Body Language II: The Mating Game, purely because of the unfortunate name. But Schmid’s production is much better than
its regrettable title.

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Conrad Koch performs as Chester Missing in Missing at the National Arts Festival, in Grahamstown, 08 July 2015. The puppet performed to a full house. (Photo: CuePix/Tamani Chithambo)

“Cue are you here?” Chester bellowed from the stage, “You must give this a shit review,” he continued unapologetically. Cue the audience continuing the chorus of laughs they sang all night, and Conrad Koch urging his friends to calm down – as he had done all night.

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Rob van Vuuren performs in The Very Big Comedy Show on 9 July 2015 at the National Arts Festival.  Van Vuuren performed alongside other well-known South African comedians.  (Photo: CuePix/ Amanda Horsfield)

You know you’re in the right place when Rob van Vuuren is the safest comedian in the house.

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Daniel Friedman performs in Deep Fried Man Kills in Scout Hall in Grahamstown on 3 July 2015 at the 2015 National Arts Festival. Deep Fried Man Kills is a one man show musical comedy. (Photo: CUEPIX/Kate Janse van Rensburg)

Analysing stand-up comedy can feel a bit like describing dance steps to someone over the telephone. It’s unavoidably pedantic, and comedy criticism that doesn’t just transpose the jokes like reusing a teabag, is difficult to do.

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She sings, she acts, and she’s funny. Is there anything that solo performer Luella Holland can’t do? That’s What She Said Too is a musical comedy that uses a series of skits to poke fun at social media and technology users’ obsessive habits.

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I don’t think I stopped laughing once during The Box Comedy. The quips aimed at audience members are hilarious and the improvisation is sharp and witty.

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Two time Emmy nominee, Loyiso Goyo performs his State of the Nation show during the 2015 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, 6 July 2015. Photo:CuePix/Ruan Scheepers

It’s hard to imagine the host of Late Night News nervous, but Loyiso Gola was visibly so when he began his talk at Think!Fest.

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