How do you measure a good comedic play? For me, it’s by the number of tummy muscle aches you walk away with and man, what a huge number of aches I had after watching Let’s Mix It: The Best of & More at the Artscape Arena on Tuesday 3 November, 2015.
A GANARAMA Production show, sketch comedy Let’s Mix It’s hilarious duo Gary Naidoo and Liandé Valentyn returns for a round of their characters’ adventures on Hadji Fatgiyah Bardien (played by Valentyn) ‘s TV show, which is broadcast “live” from her living room in Walmer Estate.
Valentyn is a delight to watch as Hadji Fatgiyah. As my mom, who was my plus for the evening said “For a non-Muslim girl to get the nuances of a typical tietie (aunt) so right is just impressive.”
Indeed, watching Valentyn slip into Malay and Islamic slang at such ease and seeing how comfortable she is in jibaab (traditional Muslim gear that covers the wearer head to toe) makes her performance utterly believable and relatable.
Naaido’s menagerie of characters ranges from the grumpy janitor to the over-enthusiastic game ranger and uber fabulous gay reporter to the dwarf Asian chef with varying degrees of comedic success. There were instances where it felt like I was watching a Joe Barber repeat, though.
That being said, watching Valentyn’s Hadji Fatgiyah play off these multitude of characters was extremely enjoyable and the source of my mirth for the evening. Pair that with the brilliantly created special “ads” that play in the scheduled breaks for the TV show ( my favourite, in particular, was the Daltjie and Cabana ad, for a fragrance made of the popular Malay fritter treat and orange juice renowned on the Cape Flats – too good!) and you’ll be laughing for days.
Comedian Wayne McKay makes a guest appearance between scenes for a short 10 minute stand-up routine, much to the delight of audiences more familiar with his material. He’s great for a few laughs here and there but when he veers into your typical weather, coloureds at the beach and their hair issue jokes, you’ll feel like you’ve seen and heard it all before.
Be fair warned that Let’s Mix It’s humour is of the general, baseline slapstick kind, so if you prefer your comedy with a bit of intelligence, best try Johnny Boskak is Feeling Funny at Kalk Bay Theatre or An Audience with Pieter-Dirk Eish at Theatre on the Bay.
Let’s Mix It runs at the Artscape Arena until Saturday 7 November, 2015. Tickets are R90 each and are available at Computicket.