Skhumba Hlophe. Picture: Supplied

What started out as an intimate showcase to give up-and-coming comedians five minutes in the spotlight, has evolved into an extraordinary nugget of something quite unique, something magical, something unmistakably South African.

Now in its 6th year, this special little get together at The Soweto Theatre has exploded into an unmissable afternoon of mingling with the who’s who on the social scene whilst grooving to Sunday afternoon tunes.  

Add chilled Savanna ciders, Kaya FM DJ’s and the aroma of a delicious shisa nyama and you’ll start to get a feel for just how vibey the afternoon really is.

This all takes place in the theatre’s outdoor precinct before the showcase at 2:30pm and is included in your ticket. The real entertainment starts at 4.30pm when 24 newcomers from across the country get their first experience performing in an actual theatre instead of at their local comedy club.

As the first of a series of events produced by The Annual South African Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards, The Savanna Newcomer Showcase is attended by many in the comedy industry who come out to see who they should vote for in the newcomer category for the awards, taking place later on this year. 

Expect to be astounded, astonished, surprised; 90% hilarious and 10% cringe-worthy, every year brings new, raw talent to this exciting stage.

Anchoring this year’s show is Skhumba Hlophe, the 2017 winner of the Savanna Comic of the Year Award and the winner of the Flying Solo Award for two years running.  Also known as ‘The Big Banger’, Skhumba’s not only a hugely popular DJ on Kaya FM (which is a result of him performing at the awards a few years back), but he’s also the one and only ‘Dlamini’ from the feature film Taxi Ride and its spin-off series of the same name.

Skhumba will give each of the comedians five minutes to show the packed theatre what they’re made of before buzzing them off and bringing the next newcomer on. 

“Whilst predominantly attended by the entertainment industry and the comedy loving public, if you’re a casting agent, an ad agency creative or just someone who wants to know who’s going to be the next big thing, you need to get yourself a ticket!” says Diego Jacobs, Savanna RSA Brand Activation Manager.  “Savanna created this event to give our country’s talented newcomers a platform to shine and we’ve seen standing ovations annually for new comics that come out of nowhere and blow us away.”

Previous Savanna newcomer winners include Daniel Friedman (Deep Fried Man), Dillan Oliphant, Schalk Bezuidenhout, Loyiso Madinga, Ebenhaezer Dibakwane, Thabiso Mhlongo and Yaaseen Barnes.

The Savanna Newcomer Showcase takes place on Sunday May 20 at The Soweto Theatre.

Tickets are R150 and include a Savanna Premium Cider and a meal. Dress to impress, as the show’s filmed and broadcast on 1Magic a month after the event.

* No under 18’s. Alcohol not for sale to persons under the age of 18.

Visit www.comicschoice.com for more information and to buy tickets to the 8th Annual South African Comics’ Choice Awards on Saturday, September 8, at The Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City.

IOL/Supplied