Back by popular demand, Joe Barber VI – Life is perfect festive season fun at the Baxter as it celebrates 15 years of entertaining and delighting audiences. Following their sold-out national tour to Port Elizabeth, East London and Johannesburg, the inimitable Joe Barber boys are back by popular demand, with Joe Barber VI - Life, celebrating the show’s 15th birthday at the Baxter Theatre from 3 December to 10 January at 8pm nightly.
Since its inaugural season in 1999, Joe Barber has become a Cape Town institution and is widely regarded as one of the Mother City’s most successful and longest-running local comedy shows, turning Oscar Petersen and David Isaacs, directed by Heinrich Reisenhofer, into overnight sensations, delighting local audiences with their charming and hilarious brand of Cape Flats characters and humour.
The three first met while studying at UCT’s drama department and this is where the concept was first birthed. They were immediately drawn to each other because they all had the same mission which was to tell local stories that made a difference in the communities. So they started creating work together and tis collaboration resulted in the first hit production Suip! While having fun and sharing stories and jokes with each other is really how Joe Barber began.
“For us it is not just about the comedy or showmanship, it is a true celebration of our community and a way of life and how we can all laugh together,” explains the multi-award-winning director Reisenhofer. “With this return season we would like to invite audiences to be part of our 15th birthday celebrations and share their memories with us, as we give away lots of great prizes (including DVDs) and throwing in a couple of surprises.”
He continues, “We have made some exciting changes and updates to the show and we really want to use this season as our way of thanking audiences for their loyalty and support over the years. Being part of a Joe Barber audience is the biggest expression of being a proud Capetonian, and everyone that has been a part of our journey has been a part of history in the making. There is a sense that we have all grown up together and that is something truly important to celebrate.”
This mockumentary-styled episode is a humorous look at Cape Flats community life and its progress in the light of South Africa’s 20 years of democracy. All the favourite characters are there to show that it is business as usual with non-stop laughter as they celebrate Cape Town’s unique culture, its people and life. As usual, all the gossip and complaints end up in the barbershop for Boeta Joe to deal with, and all the well-loved characters are present to mix things round a little.
At the heart of the story, the new head of the neighbourhood watch, Boeta Gamat experiences the ups and downs of trying to be a leader in his community and finds that even good intentions can easily lead to disaster.
To make matters worse, in a bid to expand her catering business Washiela is finally learning to drive, which means that the streets are no longer safe. Outjie is also in the mix and up to his own special mischief alongside some brand-new characters that add to this colourful tapestry in the world of Joe’s barbershop.
“It’s hard to believe that it was 15 years ago when we first performed Joe Barber in a tiny 20-seater theatre,” says Oscar Petersen. “There were only two people in the audience and we took in a mere R30 that night. In fact, we kept the three R10 notes we earned and decided to sign our names and the date on the back of the notes, knowing that one day it would mean something really special. Who would have thought?”
He continues, “A year after that first season in 1999 we finally made a breakthrough when we performed the show at the Warehouse Theatre in Green Point and suddenly we got to experience our first full house of a really responsive and generous audience who laughed uncontrollably and were cheering throughout.”
David Isaacs agrees. “From then onwards it has been a rollercoaster ride of laughter and fun as we created six episodes of sold-out shows locally, nationally and abroad. There is still no better moment for us than meeting our audience after each show and hearing their stories and how they relate to the characters as if they were real. Joe Barber is ultimately about laughter, community and family. It is truly a privilege for us to have the warmest, loudest, most loyal audiences that any show can have. It’s an honour that children have grown up relating to the characters and identifying these characters in their own families.”
Tickets cost R95 (Tuesdays to Thursdays) and R130 on Fridays and Saturdays, and performances are at 8pm nightly with an age restriction of 13 years. Joe Barber DVDs will be on sale. Tickets for the special New Year’s Eve performance and party are R180 (includes a complimentary glass of bubbly or orange juice, a spectacular balloon drop and a live band to party the night away) and the show will start at 9.15pm.
Booking is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at www.computicket.com or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet. For discounted corporate, schools or block-bookings, charities or fundraisers, contact Sharon on 021 680 3962, email email@example.com or Carmen on 021 680 3993, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Press release provided by Fahiem Stellenboom.
Photo by Heinrich Reisenhofer.