Soli Philander has a way with words, real people inspired heartbeat words. In Nice Coat (Lekker Jas), which he penned himself, he brings to stage a piece of his own heart, his Cape Town.
At first when he walks onto the stage – a space scattered with distinctively Mother City inspired props against a Table Mountain backdrop – your ear picks up a rhyme, and soon you realise that Philander wrote his whole one man comedy in that fashion. It is a poem, an ode to Cape Town.
Your ear adjusts as our modern Shakespeare with Capetonian flair starts sharing the passion, the personal and even the shady side of the city he calls home. Just like that, the poetic nature merges with the sentiment the words carry and you find yourself mesmerised by Philanders tellings as it unfolds.
With rhythm and rhyme, he walks his audience from Blouberg to Parliament, while taking a turn in Mitchells Plain too. As he sketches Cape Town in technicolour with but his words, he reveals the city warts and all in a unique and captivating manner. A one-man comedy show of this laughter-with-a-tear style one rarely comes across.
It is undeniable that this show is deeply personal. A “sense of self is manifest” in the way Philander celebrates Cape Town’s diversity with a realness that isn’t mainstream. The show does not fall into the trap of standard Cape Town inspired plays: It steers clear of political satire and the typical touristy, by embracing the everyday narrative. It rings of truth, honesty and, most importantly, hope.
Sitting in the Baxter’s Golden Arrow Theatre, immersed in the beauty, laughter and sometimes sadness of Philanders words (artistically delivered with great precision and consideration), you can’t deny that Cape Town has a way of getting under your skin, and you simply would not want it any other way.
Philanders ‘character’ reminds of Shakespeare’s Puck. His words ring of a Cape Town inspired version of the sentiment, “Give me your hands if we be friends”, inviting Capetonians to stand together. Ultimately, his words and performance, nicely coated in comedy, are inspiring. With it, he encourages his audience to celebrate the beautiful, while looking for workable solutions for the not so much, and always doing so with a smile.
Go stroll with Philander through his Cape Town in this Alistair Izobell Productions presented one-man comedy, Nice Coat (Lekker Jas). The run ends 29 July 2017 and tickets are available at Computicket.