A marvellous theatrical smorgasbord of local and international talent awaits at the Baxter Theatre until 6 August 2017, as part of the 13th annual Jive Cape Town Funny Festival. The festival is a highlight on many a theatre-lover’s entertainment calendar. As per the signature feel of the festival, the line-up brings together a diverse group of entertainers and in true Eddy Cassar production fashion the different acts complement each other impeccably to form a cohesive show.
Set against a colourful stage backdrop, you are transported to a big top comedy carnival as soon as the curtain goes up… alluring to both comic and audience alike. Greeted by the ever-entertaining, Latin-ish speaking Alan Committie as master of comedy, the night kicks off on a giggling energy-high, with audience amusement kept at that level of delight throughout the show.
Caption Frodo (full festival) from Normay, is a sensational world-travelling contortionist with ‘tennis’ skills that will leave the competitors at Wimbledon green with envy. As a dreamer of the ‘impossible’ and a breaker of moulds, he will have you applauding in wonderment when you are not gasping in surprise or laughing with abandonment at his fabulous fumbling.
Marc Lottering (full festival) is as always a mirthful crowd favourite, with his “South Africa will keep you awake” antics, and the delightful Mel Jones (10 – 22 July) adds her witty, twerking sass to the onstage jesting shenanigans too.
Loyiso Madinga (10 – 22 July) brings his own fresh style of stand-up to the festival. Still relatively new to the comedy scene in performance years, he exudes a natural ease when he steps onstage. He quickly draws an audience in, bringing the funny by turning everyday questions into relatable laughs. Not only is Madinga a true creative when it comes to setting up a joke, he also leaves his audience swooning with his Marvin Gaye-type vocal stylings.
Back by popular demand is the Freddy Mercury-obsessed, juggler extraordinaire, Mario Queen of the Circus (full festival). A US performer with a rollicking Italian or even Spanish-sounding 'accent', his hilarious rock concert fusion performance leaves you crying with laughter. He ups the ante with his comedic set, proving that all is fair in love and rock n roll when you take an unconventional approach to a banana ‘split’.
Right about now, you are probably wondering if something is amiss though… What is a Funny Festival without some magic? Magic there is indeed, courtesy of UK magician Paul Dabek (10 July – 1 August). The witty Dabek and his ‘bag of mystery’, leaves everyone from the magical connoisseurs to the everyday muggles amazed. His enchanting set is equally matched by his great comedic timing. Add to that his shadow puppetry adaption of ‘The Circle of Life’ and you will see yourself rushing to join his magical fan cult.
A surprise addition to the Funny Festival line-up is the recent winner of the Cape Town Comedy Club hosted Savannah Show Us Your Apples competition, Lindy Johnson. Following in a long line of successful Funny Festival comic newcomers, she looks comfortable onstage as she shares jokes inspired by the single life. Someone to keep an eye on to see how she settles into her own comedic style.
With such a diverse mix of style, age and experience onstage, 2017 Funny Festival audience experiences and opinions may differ as to who is the stand-out performer on any given night. You can however be assured that there will be a creative that leaves you screaming with laughter. And if in doubt that the Funny Festival will keep mixing it up, just make a note that Ndumiso Lindi (25 July – 6 August), Dalin Oliver (25 July – 6 August) and Daniel Mpilo Richards (2 – 6 August) will be taking to the stage soon too. With such line-up switches throughout the Funny Festival, there is even more reason to come see this entertaining show more than once.
Book your tickets at Computicket and go get your Jive Cape Town Funny Festival laughs at the Baxter Theatre by 6 August 2017. Don’t forget to lounge around in the foyer a few minutes before the show starts to also experience the busking talent of the Zip Zap Circus performers. They will definitely ready your mind for the comedy carnival that awaits.