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NO, SERIOUSLY? Directed by Christopher Weare. Written and performed by Alan Committie. At Theatre on the Bay until January 5 at 8.15pm. TERRI DUNBAR- CURRAN reviews.
IF THERE’S one thing everyone needs at the end of a very busy year it’s a jolly good laugh – and Alan Committie delivers in his latest one-man show No, Seriously?
Committie is back in fine form as he leaps straight in with a deconstruction of the weather at this time of year and how we continually forget about the wind. From those red tour buses that have invaded and multiplied on the city streets to the tourists that flock to them, he has the audience chuckling from the start.
His offerings aren’t simply stand-up. He pours a wealth of acting experience into his productions, making for well-rounded shows that are both witty and incredibly clever.
He’s always looping around to slip references to earlier gags into his later routines. So while his rambling may at times seem incoherent you come to realise that it’s all very carefully plotted and crafted.
This show sees the return of a couple of Committie’s alter egos. First up is Johan van der Walt with his insert Fillem Wurm in which the audience gets the rundown on a couple of the latest blockbusters to hit the big screen. Complete with buck teeth and bad hair, Van der Walt got his fair share of laughs. As did the energetic “medium at large” Trevor Tahor who, once again, tried to find love for a couple of his audience members.
A brilliant and hilarious new addition to the show were a couple of cleverly placed video clips which allow Committie to transform into the two characters and back again. One is So You Think You Can Dance auditions that you never got to see, in which the comedian dons a leotard and even gives Gangnam Style his best attempt.
Playing off his ability to ad lib with ease, the audience is invited to text or send tweets to Committie with comments, questions or their favourite jokes, allowing him to engage with them after the interval. It’s a technique being used more often these days and gives a little reprieve to those in the front row.
Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the night is his revelation that all the South African education system needs is to rework its textbooks using Fifty Shades of Grey as a framework. It had the comedian flustered and the audience in stitches.
And then in a sneaky promo for another of Pieter Toerien’s upcoming shows, Committie enlists the help of an audience member to recreate scenes from the cult film Dirty Dancing.
Complete with watermelon and passionate gazes, it’s a quirky little refresher before the play opens at Artscape in January.
Throw in an impromptu Latin lesson, some sharp political observations and a heap of puns, and Committie is at his side-splitting best. And in the very few moments things don’t go quite according to plan, he ably seizes back control with a sparkle in his eye and a grin.
It’s obvious he’s having just as much fun on stage as his audience is in the auditorium.
No, Seriously? is a riot and just the thing to perk you up as Christmas and New Year approach. It may also cause you to smile the next time you get stuck behind a red tour bus, and serve as a reminder to keep an eye on your blood pressure.
l There is a parental guidance recommendation of 13. Tickets are R100 to R160. To book, call Computicket at 0861 915 8000, or 021 438 3300.