Robby Collins is “Keeping it real”

Catch Robby Collins live today! Photo credit: Kyle Prinsloo

Comedy will always be one of the National Arts Festival’s biggest and most successful genres. Every year both up-and-coming young comics and the big shot funny guys grace the stages of various venues around town. And audiences are left in stitches every single time.

Robby Collins performs his one-man acts at the Bowling Club during this year’s #NAF18 comedy series. Photo credit: Kyle Prinsloo.

We’re only five days into Festival and I think it’s safe to say that the comics are selling close to full-house shows everyday.

One such comic who has kept his crowds thoroughly entertained is Durban-born Robby Collins. This towering 31-year-old comedian is presenting his one-man act titled Robby Collins Live this year.

On the afternoon I went to see him the audience was mostly filled with teenagers, from a touring high school group from Eshowe. Although catering to a younger crowd, Collins did not fail to deliver a razor sharp set – tailor-made to his school-going fans.

He talks about everything so earnestly: from his least favourite nephew to his trip to New York, from his humble upbringing to awkward relationships – and then some.

What makes Collins brilliant is his ability to work with absolutely everything the audience gives him. His timing is perfect; while his improvisational skills are flawless. There has to be something extra special – and in this case extra funny – about him if he is able to reach people of different ages, ‘races’ and religious backgrounds in such an endearing and still relatable manner.

Collins worked closely with and opened for Trevor Noah for seven years before Noah left for America to host The Daily Show. Photo credit: Kyle Prinsloo.


For the particular set I watched, Collins worked beautifully with the Eshowe group and their agreeably unfortunate choice of hometown. Being from Kwazulu Natal himself, and knowing the area very well, he was able use all sorts of personal material to tease the young excursionists. And they absolutely loved it!


In many parts Cue Photographer Kyle Prinsloo and I were crouched over, holding our stomachs, and finding it hard to contain the uncontrollable bursts of laughter that were plaguing both of us throughout the set.

The man is a class act, and no comedy lover can leave #NAF18 without seeing the very funny and incredibly charming Robby Collins Live.

Watch Robby Collins Live today at 18:00; 3 July at 20:00; 6 July at 16:00 at Bowling Club.

By Anima McBrown