The record attendance in its 13-year history resulted in the festival running at 98% capacity, indicating that Capetonians need laughter more than ever before.
The project has come of age and is respected as the country’s leading comedy festival, which showcases local stand-up comedians alongside international variety acts.
The mix of comedians ranged from icons in the business to the winner of a developmental campaign. Included were comics from Gauteng, who regularly travel the continent and bring a fresh perspective of African stand-up comedy.
The unique attribute of the Cape Town Funny Festival is that it showcases top-class, local stand-up comedians and internationally acclaimed, comedy variety performers. It is best described as a gala showcase, where local stand-up comics meet five-star, international, variety performers.
“The variety acts allow the audience to relax, before being required to concentrate, once again, as a stand-up bombards their senses," says festival producer Eddy Cassar. "It's very much like planning a multi-course diner: the variety performers act like a palette cleanser to the senses before the next course.”
The energy of the show, which differs from performance to performance, is determined by the audience. This is what makes live performance so exciting.
The festival showcased three outstanding, variety international acts from around the world: Freddie Mercury look-alike and alter-ego Mario, Queen of the Circus; the world’s leading comedy contortionist, Captain Frodo; and London’s leading comic magician, Paul Dabek. All thrilled audiences with their acts, bringing an element of surprise to the show.
Painting the South African scenario were Marc Lottering, Mel Jones, Dalin Oliver, Daniel Mpilo Richards, Loyiso Madinga and Ndumiso Lindi.
Johannesburg comics Madinga and Lindi are regulars in Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania.
Emcee Alan Committie had the difficult task of holding the show together, harnessing the energy and preparing the audience for each act. The confidence and rapport that he created night after night laid the foundation for the success of the performances.
Presented in a world-class theatre, with a great set, lighting and sound, and you have the recipe for a great night out, showcasing the best comedy the country has to offer. Roll on next year!
* The 2018 Jive Cape Town Funny Festival is scheduled for July 9 to August 5 at the Baxter Theatre.