Conrad Koch and Chester Missing promise great fun and a ‘lekker laugh’ with ‘Baggage’

Conrad Koch and Chester Missing. Picture: Sarah Isaacs

Conrad Koch and Chester Missing. Picture: Sarah Isaacs

Published Sep 14, 2023


Conrad Koch’s latest satirical show, “Baggage”, offers a refreshing and entertaining perspective on some of the pressing issues in South Africa.

Koch gets the audience to find humour in the difficulties South Africans are facing such as mental health, anxiety, climate change, dating and load shedding

“Baggage” is set to take place at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre from Friday, September 15, to Sunday, September 17.

It features Koch’s best friend, superstar puppet Chester Missing, Hilton the booty-shaking ostrich and Mr Dixon, a retired high school teacher.

In the show, Koch notes that he’s departing from his previous hard-hitting political content and focusing on a more light-hearted, joyful and self-reflective journey.

“​​This show is a very fun, joyful, silly, quirky version of what I do. And it’s what I’m leaning into almost entirely now. I’ve done some very hard-hitting political stuff in my time and for the most part, said: ‘What I have to say?’

“This show is about creating a very joyful space, but part of that is also a bit more of a self-reflective journey, in a very light way. So, looking at mental health, I struggle with social anxiety.

“The story is a bit about getting over your ‘stuff’ and finding some joy in life and this show is very much that it … invites the audience into a very fun, playful space.”

Conrad Koch and Chester Missing. Picture: Supplied

Koch says that in his many years of touring with his comedy shows, he discovered that South Africans “really yearn for joy”.

“Not to pretend the problems don’t exist – we know the problems are there, it’s not like we need to be reminded– but, sometimes, we do, so I find that creating a joyful, fun space is very healing for me and for the audience.”

“This show is PG 16 for the conservative people but bring the kids – if they are 12, they will love the show.

“It’s an opportunity to come and just have a lekker laugh. A lot of the material is very global. There are some load-shedding jokes, but we joke about the new Barbie movie.

“Chester has comments about everything from golf to Ramaphosa’s couch. I’ve got my ostrich puppet, his name is Hilton, and he loves the party.

“He’s all about where’s the box-wine drinkers. He’s got all sorts of relationship advice that is just outrageous.

“He tries to get me to dance but I’m a bad dancer. Mr Dixon is my high school teacher. People really love Mr Dixon.

“He has some hilarious advice on how to deal with parents and what it’s like to be a school teacher. It’s just pandemonium for the whole family.”

Conrad Koch with Hilton, the booty-shaking ostrich. Picture: Supplied

“Baggage” encapsulates the show’s overarching theme of embracing life’s challenges, with a positive and playful attitude.

It’s a reminder that, despite our issues, we can choose to approach life with a childlike curiosity and joy, finding laughter and growth along the way.

“And because Chester Missing is so famous for interviewing politicians on TV, people often think he’s all about politics, and that is not the case.

“Most of my work is very much about playfulness, it’s very much about inviting people into joyful fun. The start of the show is very much about, ‘hey, it’s let our hair down and enjoy ourselves a little bit today’. It’s crazy fun.”

Catch Conrad Koch and Chester Missing’s “Baggage” at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre from September 15 to 17.

Tickets are available at Webtickets from R150 to R220.

Thandeka Mfinyongo. Picture: Supplied


Folklore Festival 2023

Where: National School of the Arts, Braampark, Joburg

When: September 16.

Cost: R160 to R200 via Qucket.

The festival promises to be a rich and diverse celebration of pan-African culture, featuring music, literature, crafts and food for all ages. Here’s a breakdown of some of the highlights and artists on the line-up:

The main stage will host a music concert featuring a variety of musical genres, including indigenous jazz, Afrocentric rap, traditional African instruments and more.

Families can enjoy a curated kids’ stage with workshops and play areas. This offers a family-friendly atmosphere where children can engage in creative and educational activities.

A book fair featuring children’s storytellers will provide an opportunity for literary exploration and storytelling, promoting a love for reading and storytelling among young festival-goers.

Traditional dancers and drumming circles will be part of the festival, adding to the cultural richness and offering a sensorial experience that celebrates African heritage.

The line-up features Sho Madjozi, Vusi Mahlasela, Thandeka Mfinyongo and Ancient Voices among other notable South African acts.

Kenyan artist Makadem brings a fusion of traditional and modern sounds, while Zimbabwean artist Josh Meck celebrates the musical icons of his home country.

DJ Nicky B, known for advocating World Music, will provide infectious beats and melodies during a daytime set, adding a contemporary and global flavour to the festival.

Pilani Bubu’s performances, such as ‘Folklore Chapter 2’, with the NSA choir, and the experimental set, ‘Folklore Dlala – Piano,’ promises to be distinctive and culturally resonant, exploring the intersections of traditional and modern South African music.