Stuart Taylor.Picture: Supplied

The ‘Big 5’ comedy show is set to hit Johannesburg for two nights later this month, at Montecasino’s Teatro theatre. The show, which was founded in 2016 at Artscape in Cape Town, has grown in leaps and bounds and with this edition, will bring on a new member to its line-up - comedian Nik Rabinowitz. 

Founder and comedian Stuart Taylor, explains a little about the comedy's show concept and lets us in on his comedy journey.

What is the ‘Big 5’ comedy show about?

The Big 5 Comedy Show is an ensemble comedy lineup made up of the biggest names in SA Comedy. Seeing this lineup of comics performing together is as rare as a spotting of the Big 5 itself. Each of the acts on the bill are trailblazers in the comedy industry with CV’s that stretch on for miles. The Big 5 lineups are also made up of comics with diverse performance styles, ensuring that there is truly something for everyone.

What inspired the idea of coming up with the Big 5 Comedy show?

Whenever I perform outside of SA, audiences always comment that South African comics tend to have a unique perspective on the world. If American comedy is 1 genre & British humour is another genre, it would seem as though the rest of the world seems to see SA comedy as a new, interesting alternative option. 

I started thinking that maybe there is the option of showcasing this comedy style in the rest of the world but, I would need to trial the concept here in SA. I gave lots of thought to what the show would feel like & DJ Ready D stood out as the person who could give the show a uniquely South African hip-hop flavour. 

Once I started thinking about the comics I’d want to work with, the Name ‘Big 5’ popped up as a uniquely South African concept that is known around the world & has very positive connotations. The rest, as they say, is history.

Jason Goliath, John Vlismas, Joey Rasdien and Nik Rabinowitz. Picture: Supplied

With laughter at the helm of comedy shows, but what more can people expect when they attend this show?

You don’t only get 5 big names on 1 big stage, we create an experience second to none. A beautiful set, an award-winning lighting designer and an award-winning DJ all work together to create a show that world class & uniquely South African.

Rabinowitz replaces comedian Tumi Morake - how did that decision come about?

Tumi had an amazing opportunity to come up on an international platform. something which she couldn’t shift. We decided that we would replace her with someone that is already a part of the Big 5 brand. 

Nik hasn’t performed at Montecasino in ages & we felt that Jo’burg audiences would love seeing him. Thankfully he was available that weekend & we know that he will bring great energy to the show.

Is there a central message that you are aiming to relay?

The Big 5 Comedy show is quite simply a celebration of SA comedy. Each comic gets to do 20 minutes sets and the audience really gets to experience more than just a glimmer into the comic’s insights & style. 

We want our audiences to believe that when they see a ‘Taylor Made Production ’ specifically, ‘The Big 5 Comedy Show’, they experience a world-class quality production created in South Africa.

As Stuart Taylor, tell us about your years in comedy. Highs, lows, what you have learnt and where you are now in comedy?

It’s been quite a journey. I started in 1999 when there was hardly a comedy scene to speak of. Those pioneering years meant I needed to learn every aspect of this business from writing & performing to doing sound, lighting and marketing. 

Those lessons have stood me in a good stead as my production company ‘Taylor Made Productions’ is a full-service entity from conceptualising of content to creating of products & experiences for both corporates & the public.

I’m proud of the 11 solo shows I’ve toured around SA, the awards I’ve won as well as my work behind the scenes as a director & producer. South Africa has some of the most unique voices in comedy. I look forward to helping showcase those voices both locally & abroad, as well as being one of those voices.

Joining Stuart on stage are fellow comedians Jason Goliath, John Vlismas, Joey Rasdien and Nik Rabinowitz.

The show takes place on July 27 and 28 at Teatro in Montecasino, Johannesburg.

* Tickets range from R150 to R300 at Computicket.