Posts Tagged ‘Conrad Koch’

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)

Just in case my isiXhosa middle name may have distracted you: yes, this is another column by another white guy with another original take on white privilege. Once again, another one of us would like to take up even more of your time to talk about us. Let’s put white people in the spotlight. You know, for a change.

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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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conrad

Conrad Koch is the ventriloquist behind Chester Missing, one of South Africa’s better-known political analysts. Like most comedians in this country he talks about race – a lot. Missing, his new show at the Festival, is filled with barbs about colonialism and racial profiling, mostly delivered by Chester, a racially ambiguous puppet. Koch, though, is white, and deeply aware of it. Shortly before his opening performance on Wednesday night, which also featured two additional puppets, neither as funny as Chester, he sat down with Cue to talk about trolls (the virtual ones), satire, and white audiences not quite getting what he’s about.

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Barney Simon's Born in the RSA returns to the stage (above) while Nicholas Ellenbogen (right) has another installment of the ever popular Raiders. Photos: Rodger Bosch and Cuepix/Niamh Walsh-Vorster

Gracing (disgracing?) the cover of the Festival programme this year are two fictional creations, one a comparatively recent addition to our satirical landscape, the pugnacious puppet Chester Missing, the other a flesh-and-blood institution, Evita Bezuidenhout, who has arguably eclipsed her creator in the minds of those who seldom visit the theatre.

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