Scene It: Jive Funny Festival, a celebration of laughter and fun at Baxter Theatre

The Cape Town Jive Funny Festival is back at the Baxter Theatre this winter and it’s bigger, better and funnier than ever before! So if comedy be elixir for the soul, laugh on! (Sorry Mr Shakespeare, we tweaked it a little.)

 

As a celebration of laughter and fun, the #FunnyFest2015 is soul feeding, top notch comedy indeed. This marks the 11th edition of this popular annual variety showcase and gives local audiences a taste of what the world has to offer in terms of comedy, music and circus acts. With a great mix of full festival and rotating performers, you’re given a wide berth of fantastic acts and no two shows are sure to the same.

 

We attended a media preview on Wednesday 22 July, 2015 at a packed Baxter Theatre with the excited and buzzing crowd. After a bit of an ordeal of a day, we did wonder why the media were placed front row at a comedy show … “Did we do something wrong Mr Eddy Cassar?” we all echoed as we took our seats. There was a real risk that at least one of us would run away crying if a comedian picked on us. So deep breaths were taken and with slight panic we prepared to stare our audience participation fear in the face. With our tension manifesting as nervous twitching, the fabulous Carl Wastie minced out in to-die-for heels asking all the twittering paparazzi why phones were still out minutes before the show … cue nervous laughter … “uhm, promo selfies with you?”

 

This threat of public humiliation was however just a brilliant way of getting us and the rest of the audience to take our seats in a fresh and fun way. And boy are we ever so thankful that we got front row seats to this showcase of world class comedy. Thank you Mr Cassar! Sorry for our initial doubting and hesitant comedy scaredy cat ways.

 

So, what did we think about the acts?

 

Alistair Isobel, SA performer and MC

The self-proclaimed Mr Cape Town plays host to this year’s festival and bring his unique flamboyant personality to a stellar line-up. Reminiscent of his days performing at the Luxurama, Alistair’s over-the-top introductions for the forthcoming acts are sure to tickle your funny bones and his closing performance will have you dancing in your seats!

 

Mike Raffone, UK act

Every top class production needs a world class conductor. Mike Raffone kicks off your nightly Funny Fest entertainment on the highest of high (as well as the lowest of low) notes … yes, actual notes! You may always have doubted if you have the stuff to be part of an awesome orchestra. Well, with the help of the talented Mr Raffone, you will see how he uses his comedic skills and your hidden musical talents to make the whole audience embrace with great pleasure, impressive undertones of bass-baritone comedy. When we say we have never seen anything like this act before, we truly mean it. Every laugh was a refreshing and unexpected surprise.  

 

 

Dylan Skews, SA comedian

Dylan Skews, remember that name! Or better yet, go catch this new kid on the block at the festival and you will never forget his name. Dashing, devilishly good looking and blessed with fast paced wit, he had the crowd in the palm of his hands. His relatable and proudly South African approach to comedy left the audience in stitches. We can’t wait to catch him again on the comedy circuit.

 

Bruce Airhead, UK act

As close to a contortionist act as you are going to get at this year’s Festival, Bruce Airhead is. A quick-paced and nerve-wrecking thrilling act, Bruce, originally from Spain, had us hot under the collar wondering if he would make it out of his airtight balloon cocoon in time. His spectacular costume change finale proved we needn’t have worried and had us begging for more! What a treat it was too, to entertain him as our Theatre Scene plus one for the second half of the show. Yes ladies, he is as cute and charming up-close as he is on stage ;)

 

 

 

Shimmy Isaacs, SA comedienne

One of the best funny women on the local circuit, Shimmy once again delights with her hilarious tales of drunken family, motherly insults, television performances and more. Engaging and likeable, Shimmy makes you feel as if you’ve just had a really comical conversation with a friend, something most comedians seem to lack these days.

 

The Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue, UK act

We love music and we love comedy. Give us both in one act and we are theatrically smitten! The musical puns of this uncle and nephew duo had us crying with laughter. They were definitely a favourite of the night. We wish we could have seen more of them. They had the audience singing along in between gasps, squeals and squawks of surprise and delight. The whole of the media row were keeling over with laughter and anyone who now says different will only be lying in an attempt to hide the fact that the Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue had even the straightest of straight faced critics ugly laughing.

 

 

Tracy Klass, SA comedienne

This local dame of comedy does her tried and tested kugel mom routine which manages to elicit a few laughs here and there. The Sea Point cougar hitting on an Afrikaans boytjie and Helen Zille mix-ups skits kill as usual but it may be time for new material… Perhaps not always everyone’s cup of tea, her take on comedy adds a nice mix to the festival line-up. So you can be sure that there is an act to feed into everyone’s specific comedy pallet. One person’s amuse bouche is another person’s entrée.

 

Earl Okin, UK comedy musician

The Austin Powerseque singer had us in stitches and blushing profusely for his cavalier wanna-be sex symbol musical act. As charismatic as he is talented, Earl has quite the way with words and facial expressions during his two song guitar based set. Frankly, we wish this UK Don Juan could have stayed and strummed our strings a little bit longer!

 

                                                                         

Tumi Morake, SA comedienne

Much like Tarcy, Tumi’s act and comedic take on life, love and children in the new South Africa may need a fresh twist, as we have heard it before. Her comedic timing is as always spot on and she has a way of owning a stage that makes her talent an unquestionable reality. Perhaps a 'softer' way of ending off the show than anticipated, her act was definitely still enjoyable.

 

Two other sure to please performers who join the must-see line-up in August at the Jive Festival is the always charming and dangerously funny local comedian Siv Ngesi, along with another international act all the way from Italy in the form of Baccala Clown.

 

For those of you who love your comedy with a side of tasty treats, Jive has set up a delicious boerewors food truck out in the garden of the Baxter Theatre. Don’t forget to pair that with a bottle of your favourite flavour of Jive cool drink while you’re at it.

 

The Cape Town Jive Funny Festival runs at the Baxter Theatre until Sunday 16 August, 2015. Tickets are R150 and are available at Computicket. Get yours before they’re all sold out!

 

 

 

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