The Jive Cape Town Funny Festival will open at the Baxter Theatre from 1-28 July for its fifteenth year. Some acts include Emo Adams, Sifiso Nene, Lindy Johnson and Kev Orkian. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town -  Cape Town’s Winter comedic tonic, the Jive Cape Town Funny Festival, opens at the Baxter Theatre from 1-28 July for its fifteenth year. The Festival’s unique characteristic is that it presents international speciality acts alongside local stand-up comics.

Regarded as one of the top comedy projects in the country and certainly the longest running, the Funny Festival presents South African comics in various forms. This year the bill includes Emo Adams, Sifiso Nene, Carvin H Goldstone, Lindy Johnson, The Big Boys and the master of ceremonies, Alan Committie.

The local contingent is joined by Australian magician and mentalist, Matt Tarrant and comedic pianist, Kev Orkian from London.

Matt Tarrant boasts a string of awards from all of Australia’s top festivals in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. He is regarded as the foremost magician Down Under presenting his skills in a novel manner.

He steals the limelight on every show line-up and leaves his audiences mesmerised and confounded at his ability. He is destined for international recognition.

Kev Orkian is no stranger to Cape Town, having performed on the Funny Festival on numerous occasions. He brings new elements to his Cape Town show after a hugely successful year, which saw him play to a sold out world tour, visiting the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and countries across Europe. He is a hit wherever he performs and is regarded as Armenia’s global entertainment ambassador, playing to its diaspora across the globe.

Sean Burton, marketing head of Jive says: “All of us at Jive HQ are excited as usual for this year’s Funny Festival. Not everyone looks forward to Cape Town’s Winter, but if you have been to any of the last 14 Festivals, you will know why this is such an exciting time of year for all of us and our customers.”

The Funny Festival serves as a platform for young proponents of the comedy industry to showcase their skills on a prestigious stage.

Past winners include Oliver Booth, Irshaad Mohamed, Stuart Cairns, Yaaseen Barnes, Lindy Johnson and Reagen Allen.

This year the competition spreads its wings into the city’s townships, with a competition aimed at aspirant township comedians. Aptly titled, the Kasi World Comedy Showdown, the competition includes prize money and an exclusive performance on the Funny Festival stage at the Baxter Theatre.

Dan Plato, Executive Mayor of Cape Town said: “I think it is wonderful that the Jive Cape Town Funny Festival is giving our communities a chance to see both local stand-up comics as well as international acts.

“It is important to provide young comics with a platform to showcase their talents on the well-known and prestigious Baxter Theatre stage. It is festivals like this, that keep reinforcing why Cape Town was awarded the title of “World's Leading Festival and Events Destination" at the 2018 World Travel Awards”.


Operation Smile is the Funny Festival’s beneficiary for the year. 

“It was a no brainer that a charity whose major aim is to make people smile, becomes our charity of choice this year, say Festival Director, Eddy Cassar. “I challenge all patrons to embrace the charity and donate generously,” added Cassar.

“We are all SMILES to be a beneficiary for the 15th Jive Cape Town Funny Festival this year,” says Lauren Bright of Operation Smile.

Operation Smile South Africa is a non-profit medical charity dedicated to providing safe, effective and timeous surgery to those born with cleft lip or cleft palate.

OSSA strives to ‘Make South Africa Smile’ through a multi-pronged approach which includes set surgeries, continuous education and training, the promotion of student programs and youth leadership, engagement with volunteers and donors and outreach to Southern Africa. 

As one of the largest medical volunteer-based non-profits, Operation Smile believes that access to complete essential surgical care is a basic human right, and we believe all children deserve to be treated as if they were our own.

Prices for tickets to the Jive Cape Town Funny Festival at the Baxter Theatre remain unchanged at R190 each and offer generous discounts for group discounts of more than ten. Bookings can be made through Webtickets at www.webtickets.co.za.

Cape Argus