Comedian Alan Committie is at it again, playing around with the successful formula of his one-man shows to keep them fresh and to keep them coming. His latest creation, “Happily Ever Laughter!!”, is still technically a one-man show, except there’s a woman in it too, so he can extend the range of gags and sketches. By LESLEY STONES.
The thing is, Committie is easily at his best when he’s just being Alan Committie, interacting and ad libbing with the audience, or shooting off on a manic train of thought that looks spontaneous even if it’s been carefully scripted. So in “Happily Ever Laughter!!” he instantly has you chuckling as he roars on stage and runs rampant through a range of subjects. He takes the mickey out of the theatre’s expensive and colourful renovation, harangues some late-comers and chats to a couple of audience members in a wonderfully condescending way. His intonation and delivery are superb, and a line that would be vaguely amusing from someone else has you creased in mirth.
Then the patchiness begins, because the script of the show is loosely hung around fairly tales and the weird lessons they can teach us. Some of it works, some of it doesn’t, and there are moments when the show is mildly funny rather than all-out hilarious. Stand-up comedy, of course, is a subjective affair. So other people laughed when Committie transformed into the socially inept security guard Johan van der Walt, who leaves me cold.
His on-stage partner, actress Jo Galloway, hasn’t yet developed the trick of making scripted words look spontaneous, so the interactions between them in the first half felt a fraction stilted. Their joint repertoire includes a few videos of reworked movie moments, and again they’re entertaining, but not of the calibre that sets Committie apart.
He’s back on track when he sends up the Harry Potter movies by imagining what will happen when the eternal teenagers hit a mid-life crisis. One of the best scenes is Committie doing what he does best – simply standing in front of the audience fooling around by drawing ideas out of the air and turning them into brilliantly quick-witted repartee. Playing a clairvoyant, he throws out a couple of questions and moulds the answers into a daft sketch that really illustrates the calibre of his comedy.
The rest is peripheral fluff that allows him to stage a two-hour show when, perhaps, less would be more. DM
“Happily Ever Laughter!!” runs at Montecasino Theatre until 23 October.
Pics: Suzy Bernstein
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