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SCENE IT: Clowning gone wild and a lava lamp cameo

Barbara Loots


Aïo, currently onstage at Kaapstad Toneelhuis, is tailor-made for the festival circuit and will be a hit for sure. 

It’s best described as clowning meets burlesque, hinting at the risqué with a subtle touch of social commentary. It’s a great show if you want to destress and forget the madness of the world by embracing the zaniness of Aïo.

But if you’re not keen on audience participation, then perhaps this isn’t the show for you. However, if you are that person who always wants the front row seat at a comedy show, then Aïo will entertain you endlessly, as Sophie Joans takes you through an array of clowning skits.

The show should perhaps come with a lactose intolerance warning, as Joans very effectively uses the reward of cheese to train her audience. Aïo is perhaps one part entertainment and one part case study for positive reinforcement techniques. So, if you can resists the “mmm cheese” reward system  that is integral to the production then lactose intolerance be damned and hop onboard the clowning gone wild train.

As the show winds to an end with a mime instrumental rendition of The Great Pretender, you realise that what Aïo actually offers you is an opportunity to feel real in a moment of make believe. 

If naughty clowning is your thing, then best you book your tickets through Quicket to see Aïo on 24 February 2024, at Kaapstad Toneelhuis.

Oh, and for those who saw Joans’ previous show, Île,the lava lamp makes a cameo appearance!


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