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Theatre Review: Laughing Matters in this lunatic asylym that is 2017

By Lesley Stones 6 November 2017

Alan Committie dances and jigs around with such infectious verve in Laughing Matters that you couldn’t have a bad time if you tried. By LESLEY STONES.

Intelligent stand-up comedy is a brilliant gift. The ability to lose yourself in laughter and feel a camaraderie of all colours forming in the audience can be magical. And if you’re being slightly educated by the comedian’s nudges to expand your way of thinking, even better.

In other words, Laughing Matters, as comedian Alan Committie cleverly calls his latest one man show.

It’s an absolute gem. Committie is on fire, full of vim and confidence that engages the audience from the first moment he strides on stage.

There’s no particular theme to the show, except that 2017 is such an appalling annum that all you can do is laugh about it. The set is a padded cell, because we’re living in a lunatic asylum, he quips.

His skill lies in observing our perfectly ordinary daily actions and stretching them into ridiculously silly yet somehow plausible scenarios. Something as simple as the skinny jeans he’s wearing comes with an eye-wateringly funny explanation to match their eye-watering tightness. This man is really prepared to suffer for his art.

He’s highly topical too, throwing in a quick and searing reference to the latest bid to have the Oscar Pistorius sentence increased, and jibes about the newly undone Kevin Spacey.

There’s plenty of audience involvement, with the people he teases usually laughing even more than those around him. This free-flowing ad lib cements his professionalism, as he goes off at a tangent then returns right back to where he was in the script, with a few more laughs notched up along the way.

Committie is in complete control, picking up on the audience reactions and chuckling himself if something goes awry or misfires. He’s blessed with comedy heaven when he teases a boykie from Boksburg, then laughs at himself when another interaction leads him up a comedy cul-de-sac.

He romps through his Latin declensions, now a standard and always delightful feature of his shows, then gives us another of his ludicrously complex equations. All the while he dances and jigs around with such infectious verve that you couldn’t have a bad time if you tried.

I’m never a big fan of his alter ego Johan van der Walt, a security guard character, mostly because I don’t speak Afrikaans, but you still get the gist as he urges real men to shed a few tears to ease the water shortage.

The problem with stand-up comedy is that it’s all so transient. You come out laughing and uplifted, but can’t remember any of the endless jokes that got you to that blissful state. Oh, except for his excellent skit about pretentious menus, which will make roulades and jus reductions funny for the next few months.

Laughing Matters lasts about 80 minutes, and it doesn’t flag for any of them. DM

Laughing Matters runs at Montecasino Theatre until November 18.. Tickets from Computicket.

Photo: Alan Committie has a new one-man show, Laughing Matters.



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