The Jive Cape Town Funny Festival

I expected a regular comedy show: a few men, standing in front of me, looking relatively uncomfortable and talking quickly, pausing only for the laughter to subside.

That’s not what happened here.

Okay, so it was only men. I am told that I missed Mel Jones, who I have seen before and she is FUNNY, but perhaps, don’t sit next your parents when she’s performing. I also missed Lindy Johnson, who I am yet to see, but I know she’ll be great, because her tweets have me in stitches.

Okay, so back to the men, yes, it was only men, but they all brought their A game and I am here for it.

Please note that photos were not allowed once the show had started, so none of these images belong to me.

Alan Committie, a popular and well-loved South African comedian was the MC for the evening and very quickly lifted our spirits and reminded us that we were at a comedy show by picking out a few unlucky strangers in the crowd. Pro tip: Don’t be late!

Making an appearance after each act to introduce the next, he was quick on his feet and kept us laughing through his joke-filled stories and anecdotes.

Captain Frodo took the stage wearing short short white shorts, white takkies and a white headband with crazy eyes and crazy hair. Captain Frodo, known as the “Incredible Rubberman”, is a Norwegian contortionist with slapstick humour. Anyone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously will absolutely love him.

You cringe and imagine pain as he twists his body into something that resembles a pretzel, except, not in an appetizing way. Mid-twist he’ll make a joke, and to make sure we know when to be impressed, toss some confetti out of his pocket, which really was just the best quirk ever.

Plus, his ‘About’ page on Facebook states “With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams – it’s still a beautiful world”, which is an excerpt from one of my favourite poems, Desiderata.

Switching between international and local, Dalin Oliver took the stage, a familiar face to everyone that is interested in stand-up comedy in South Africa. His comedy is witty, fast-paced and drenched in nostalgia which thankfully, I could relate to. He brought back memories for a majority of the crowd, and for the older or younger generations, he expressively told his stories, so even if you couldn’t relate, you just knew it was funny. His interaction with the crowd was great, without picking out any individuals; he managed to get everyone to participate.

Back to international, we saw Paul Dabek from the UK. Instead of only making us laugh, he also amazed us. Paul is a magician and illusionist, and a brilliant one, I might add. With an awkward, but endearing personality, he started the show off with a card trick. I was already amazed by the card trick… what next?! It only got better and then finally, without giving anything away, we were lucky enough to see the best version of the Circle of Life that I could ever have imagined. The level of skill was phenomenal, I pretty much wish that I could watch him present the entire Lion King.

Ndumiso Lindi took the stage and immediately had us laughing. If he was nervous, he didn’t show it at all. He told his jokes at a normal pace, as if chatting to a few friends, he would even throw in some singing and dancing. Once again, being a local comedian, he made references that other South Africans would be able to relate to. Because of that accurate representation of (a light-hearted) reality, I found myself nodding over and over, agreeing with everything he said, because I have experienced it too.

Marc Lottering took the stage just before the final act and I wouldn’t be surprised if every person living in Cape Town, who has seen a comedy act, has seen Marc Lottering. I think I have been to more than five of his shows (my mother is his biggest fan). Each time it’s funny. This time, it was just him, Merle and Shmiley did not join, but it was still hilarious. There was something different this time, he was preaching positivity, which is always a pleasure to hear.

Finally, at the end of it all, we were introduced to Mario, Queen of the Circus, and my new favourite person with whom I would like to have a cup of tea with and discuss, in depth, why Freddie Mercury is the greatest performer to have lived.

Mario waltzed on stage wearing a midriff leather jacket with a big studded M on the back. Immediately, he introduced himself as a fan of Freddie Mercury and after that, well, how could I not love him. All the way from America, Mario, or Clarke McFarlane, managed to blow us away with each circus-themed act, using a different Queen song as a backtrack.

I would love to describe his piece in more detail, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. So go, book tickets, all of these acts were amazing and afterwards, even though you have to go home and work on assignments over the weekend, you will be happy.

I feel it necessary to add that as an engineer, I often think about how difficult my work is, I often glamorise the idea of working in the arts. Watching these performers, one thing is clear, it must take an enormous amount of hard work, skill and confidence to put together a good show that lasts just ten minutes. I can’t imagine the work that goes into anything longer.



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