Comedy will be among the main areas of focus at this year’s 25th Hilton Arts Festival that takes place over the weekend of 15-17 September.
Making a welcome return to the festival, top comedian John Vlismas brings along some fresh voices in his three shows. Vlismas is one of South Africa’s most creative, prolific and well-known comics who has performed internationally. Oftentimes outspoken, extreme and controversial, and always very very funny, he is a firm favourite on the SA comedy scene.
The first, Crazy Funny – Show #1 features Durban’s Jem Atkins alongside funny-man Vlismas. The mover-and-shaker behind On Fire Comedy, the proactive Atkins is working hard to ignite the Durban comedy circuit. Atkins has been hosting and headlining shows all over the city for several years now, and comes to Hilton fresh off the success of his sold-out one-man comedy show – Single Dad II, he is instantly likeable and very entertaining! Joining the two is Glen Biderman-Pam, a well-known face in Johannesburg and Cape Town, he has been nominated for prestigious Savanna Comics Choice awards and has performed international at the Perth Fringe Festival. He opened for Barry Hilton for his run of The Way I See It at the Lyric Theatre. Both Atkins and Biderman-Pam will be performing for the first time in Hilton. (Sat 10:00)
The second, Crazy Funny – Show #2 Vlismas takes to the stage with Annalakshmi and Neil Green. Annalakshmi is an Indian National and loves to tell stories giving her candid commentary and her parodies are witty, funny and hit home. Since one of her videos went viral earlier this year, she has fast become one of the most recognised entertainers in the industry. Green is easily one of Durban’s funniest and most respected comedians. A rising start in the SA comedy industry, he literally has jokes for days. His sharp wit, commanding stage presence and his hilariously honest take on life have won him legions of fans throughout the country. (Sun 12:30)
Vlismas will be joined by a trio of funny guys in Whose Line?, similar to the popular TV Show. This hilarious comedy improv sees Vlismas, Atkins, Biderman-Pam and Masood Boomgaard make everything up on stage. It is 80 minutes of complete off-the-cuff hilarity. (Sat 15.30)
After a successful tour around South Africa, the comedy duo of John van de Ruit and Ben Voss return to the Hilton stage with their latest offering, Mamba Republic. Delighting audiences with their third production in the Mamba comedy trilogy, Mamba Republic is a rapid-paced satirical sketch-comedy soon to hit theatres countrywide. Reuniting the talents of Ben Voss (Beauty Ramapelepele) and John van de Ruit (Spud), Mamba Republic takes a savagely funny look at all that is wrong and very wrong in the Rainbow Nation. Directed by Mervyn McMurtry. (Fri 17.45; Sat 18.00; Sun 17.45)
The festival would not be possible without the generous support of Hilton College, Tiso Blackstar Group, Grindrod Bank, Black Coffee, DWR, PWC, Bidvest Car Rental, Indwe Risk Services, Assitej South Africa, Loud Crowd, Sappi, Redlands Hotel, Zultrans, KZN Dept of Arts & Culture, BASA, Castle Lite, Maritzburg Sun, Caxton