LAUGHING MATTERS. Written and performed by Alan Committie, directed by Christopher Weare
He’s an ace at alliteration and the loony linguistic lord of laughs and lampooning. He’s Alan Committie and he’s about to remind you how truly awful 2016 was. The most successful comedy routines don’t invent outlandish lost dog stories, but rather comment on the banality of everyday life – and the past 12 months have provided comedians all over the world with a wealth of material. Pieter-Dirk Uys has often said that he should pay the government royalties and in this show, royalties are due to several governments and one or two multinationals. More than ever the phrase, “You can’t make this stuff up” springs to mind. With such a glut of material the comedian is spoilt for choice as to what he does include, and Committie has the perfect balance of the personal and the political to ensure that the audience laughs at themselves with as much fervour as they do at him.
From Doom to doom, Committie nails it
The entire stage is set up as a padded cell and if that isn’t an indication of how crazy the year has been then I don’t know what is. From Doom-spraying prophets to the internet prophets of doom, Committie leaves no stone unturned and he does so at breakneck speed, not allowing any time for those who aren’t paying attention to catch up. His trademark, “We just don’t know” is perhaps more relevant than ever in this show as we really do not know, and what we do know is terrifying. I would suggest that branded t-shirts embossed with that slogan may just be the perfect gift to end 2016.
Committie is in particularly fine form when he takes on the very particular and often peculiar traits of Capetonians, although he is as bold when he focuses his laser sharp wit on foreign shores. Predictably, Trump makes a cameo appearance as does Hilary Clinton, and both the USA elections and the Brexit fiasco are featured in some scathingly funny sketches. One of Committie’s strengths is his ability to read the audience and moderate his performance accordingly. Including the foreign members of the audience seamlessly into his routine, he doesn’t fall into the trap of alienating people for the benefit of a few laughs but rather incorporates them in to the narrative.
Perfect antidote to year-end stress
Laughing Matters is the perfect antidote to the stress of the year-end. If you can navigate the holiday hordes, the ill-timed roadworks and the open trenches awaiting fibre installation on the precarious pavements then make your way to the Theatre on the Bay where Committie will remind you of all the bullets you dodged and remind you of the pain of those that hit.
The closing scenes of the show involve Alan in his red unitard (yes, it’s back) as well as a straitjacket. How it ends, I will leave to you to discover. If his MacGyver routine doesn’t have you in stitches, the year may have exacted a heavy toll and I would suggest that you watch the show twice to remedy that.
Where and When: Theatre on the Bay until 14 January 2017