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Riaad Moosa back live in action

Riaad Moosa

Riaad Moosa

Published May 13, 2022

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ONE of South Afriac’s most beloved comedians Riaad Moosa will be back to perform live this month in Durban, after his initial show staged on May 6, sold out fast. This prompted a second show for May 28.

Moosa had kept his comedy-following going with virtual performances since the hard lockdown at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. He was also busy with his big-screen film, New Material, which released earlier this year. He said he felt it was time to come back to the live stand-up stage after the recent relaxations on restrictions at venues.

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“I’ve been cooped up doing virtual shows for two years and I can’t wait to perform to real people instead of emojis on my screen and to hear some real laughter instead of LOLs in the comment section. I’m excited to get back on the big stage,” Moosa said in a press release.

In an interview with POST, he said: “Essentially, comedy is a conversation. So if I am just doing a one-sided thing, it's almost feels like I’m swimming, but with no water. And this is how I felt doing my virtual shows during the hard lockdown. You feel really odd. I have the best equipment in my home studio. But it still felt like I am a swimmer with the best goggles, swimming Speedo, all oiled up, but in an empty studio you feel like an idiot.

“So it’s important because laughter is a social interaction. You don't realise how much laughter is contagious. It is important in bumping up the dynamic in stand-up comedy. You can talk through the comments section, but it is definitely not the same.”

Relaunching his live performances at this specific time was a matter of the infection rate and venue restrictions, he said.

“I was actually quite disappointed that we still have a 50% venue capacity restriction. From a medical perspective, I understand that maybe they (the government) are waiting for two successive low hospitalisation waves and relatively few deaths from Covid-19.

“But comedy is part of my life. You have no idea how not being able to perform live actually impacted my mood. I got much sadder when I couldn't perform. Just writing and performing comedy live is a huge antidepressant for me. So I am excited to go out there and perform the stand-up comedy experience to people again.”

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Moosa said he was not one to anticipate anything in his entertainment career, so the first sold-out run in Durban in the first week of May came as a welcome surprise.

“I don’t anticipate anything. I’m very insecure at this point in time. And I would like to take the show elsewhere. If everything was open, I would be performing like a crazy person. We are just waiting for the opportunity for things to open up properly for us to tour. But if the restrictions are going to be indefinite then we will just continue based on the environment that we have. But if I can, I will take my shows wherever I can.”

He believes there is still room for virtual performances but as a hybrid experience.

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“But it has to have a live experience as the foundation. So I would like to perform smaller live shows and then stream that performance to various locations around the world. There is still a possibility that this is something I will do. But it is all happening concurrently.”

Moosa’s live show will provide a snapshot into his life as a 40-something, father, husband, comedian and actor with personal stories of his family and life experiences and trying to make sense of it all.

The show will stage at The Globe at Suncoast on May 28 at 8pm. Tickets from R200 are available through TicketPro.

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