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June 21, 2011

Vodacom Funny Festival: Classic comedy in Cape Town

Vodacom funn festival full house

Photo courtesy Eddy Cassar PR

For an evening of laughter and magical entertainment, don’t miss the Vodacom Funny Festival at the Baxter Theatre Centre this chilly season.

It’s tempting to snuggle under the covers and not want to brave the cold weather for an evening out, but the festival is worth making the sacrifice. If the performance on Saturday, June 18, was anything to go by, the show is drawing plenty of people to the theatre and will continue to do so.

From magic to juggling and comedy to excellent musical talents, the festival showcases a variety of acts to keep you entertained. The performers hail from all over the world, as well as South Africa.

Full House, the Swiss husband and wife piano and acrobatic duo are a brilliant opening act. With seamless juggling that boggles your mind (besides the standard juggling pins, there are some interesting pieces of furniture flying around), a treasure trove of magic tricks and acrobatic moves that will amaze you, this act gives audiences high hopes for the rest of the festival.

Then it’s the turn of local comedienne Shimmy Isaacs who keeps the crowd going with her special brand of Worcester humour. Whether she’s lamenting about her first awkward teenage slow dance or poking fun at the way Capetonians give directions, she’s a scream-a-minute.

I must confess, I’m a huge fan of magic acts. Since childhood, the illusion and mystery of it all has fascinated me. Imagine then, my disappointment that Miss Ro, Korea’s top magician, is neither fascinating nor mysterious. Charming, though the act may be, with its bridal theme and Miss Ro’s sweet onstage presence, it’s formulaic and the final costume change (done with the magician’s back facing the audience so you’re totally aware of what’s happening) is a complete let-down.

Equally unimpressive is Johannesburg funny man Eugene Khoza. He manages to raise a few chuckles with his political jokes, but that’s about it. As for the Hula Girl from Australia… while her hula skills are certainly something to behold, the drunken foolery that accompanies it leaves much to be desired.
Reclaiming the entertainment value of the show is UK comic pianist, actor and singer Kev Orkian. Although many of his intercontinental jokes are quite offensive to minority groups, his excellent piano playing and humorous impersonations of pop artists are great crowd pleasers. Keep an eye and ear out for his funky Beethoven revival.

For me, the star of the show is the hilarious MC, Alan Committie. This son of Cape Town is ridiculously funny and will have you in stitches with his daredevil climbing stunts, superhero rip-offs and other side-splitting antics.

Local radio station, Good Hope FM provides a groovy backtrack to the show which will have you dancing in the aisles throughout.

The Vodacom Funny Festival runs at the Baxter Theatre Centre until July 10. Tickets are available at Computicket.

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