FIVE Eastern Cape comedians want to show that the province has terrific homegrown comedic expertise while there is also fresh talent to be discovered. They plan to make the point at a showcase on Wednesday.
The occasions is a live stand-up show by the East Cape Comedy Collective at the Boardwalk Amphitheatre. It will be hosted by actor and comedian Roland Gaspar, with Michael “The Fly” Arthur, Joehl Ross, Rory Petzer and Chloe Harper, originally from Northamptonshire.
The talents of Petzer and Harper were identified and mentored in the last six months through local open mic shows and monthly comedy excursions to neighbouring towns.
“We are in the process of creating a comedic circuit where we identify venues which wish to host comedy evenings.
“We then partner with them to provide entertainment for their customers, while at the same time developing local talent,” Gaspar said.
The comics involved have committed to reducing the “edge”, in the form of gratuitous swearing and explicit sexual content, seen in so much South African comedy.
The collective will also be seeking out new comedic talent by means of a “one joke challenge” competition. Members of the audience will be able to sign up to tell a joke at the event.
The winner will take home a prize hamper sponsored by Coca-Cola and get the opportunity possibly to work with the collective at future events.
Said Ross: “We want PE comedy to shine! That’s not just about the five of us – it’s about identifying and growing new talent all the time.
“Where we can, we like to provide a forum for people to try out.”
The group members say their aim is to disprove the perception that professional comedy shows can only be brought from Johannesburg or Cape Town.
Petzer, a relative newcomer to stand-up, admits to having harboured dreams of trying his hand at live comedy for some time.
“I didn’t realise it could be possible for me right here in PE. At this point it feels like I’m living the dream!”
The show has a no under-10 age restriction.
The ticket price is R80 and the show starts at 8pm, with doors opening at 7pm.
Tickets are available at Computicket.