Bay comedian Gino Fabbri is leaping from 2017 to 2018 with a new show, Laugh Lines, described as ‘comedy craziness, loopy characters, one-liner zingers and preposterous jokes’. My Weekend chatted to the rubber-faced comic ahead of his next performance in St Francis Bay on January 2 and more shows in February
TELL us about who Gino is in Laugh Lines.
The show is all new so the main characters haven’t been seen before at all. It’s taken a lot of work and a long time to be able to present something brand new and I wanted the show to be fresh – I am very happy with the way it’s come together.
I have brought in some of my characters used in my trips around the country doing corporate functions. They have been given a shot in the arm with new material and crazy antics, borne out of off-the-cuff, impromptu experiences I’ve had over the last two years.
I am most happy with my two latest additions, Poefter van Zyl, the Transnet worker who dons a ’70s style safari suit (haven’t seen those in a while, eh?) and brings sexy back, and Lavender Dos Santos, my Portuguese lady, who is full of advice on life, children and ex-husbands.
Then there is Winifred Rump, the drunken airline pilot who assists with MC duties and war stories, while Rancid Punjabi from Chatsworth does a free course on social media and Clyde Smithers, the failed entertainer, gets to play the drums to a selection of popular classical music. Does the audience need to be afraid to sit in the front row (that is, is there audience participation)?
If you do sit in the front row, you get to experience my blinding good looks first, before the rest of the audience.
Don’t be afraid though . . . it just means you get to see the action up close! Does it have music in it, as you also play the drums?
Absolutely, I have followed up on my last show with a new drum extravaganza and this time, I add to that the rock guitar mash-up! Plus obviously the mix of comedy songs and foot-tapping, hand-clapping, jump-around-ing, exploding, ADHD dementio-tunes!
For this show I wanted to use my musical skills again as it brings some variety to the production, thus I have dusted off my electric guitar and put together a fun medley of guitar intros. It’s such a blast, I love that crunchy, warm sound of the electric guitar!
While I was a student I worked at the old Strand Music House in Westbourne Road and it was there that I learnt to play, a skill that I’ve not really explored properly until now.
I’m a rocker at heart! If you are kept busy making music and creating comedy, when do you and your family get a holiday?
We have a place out at St Francis Bay, a stone’s throw from the beach, and the family goes down whenever I have a gap. I can really relax there with Philippa and the boys. Why do we need to laugh?
I think no matter where you are in the world, you cannot get too wrapped up in serious issues. Humour sometimes clears the complexities of these issues and lays bare the true story.
I find myself getting so engrossed in the news, politics and, especially these days, social media. You have to find escapes, whether it be music or comedy, exercise or some hobby, to just lose yourself in something.
That’s the secret to de-stressing! What do you think the funniest moments of this year were?
2017 was certainly interesting and very frustrating. With the internet and social media it’s becoming easier to see the real story without political smokescreens.
Politicians talk and say one thing, but we know what they’re trying to do.
My favourite bit was the “festival of chairs” chirp. Looking ahead at South Africa in 2018: what do you think we have to look forward to laughing at?
I am sure the ever-bubbling [Julius] Malema will be giving us lots to laugh about, he certainly enjoys himself. Why should we come and see Laugh Lines?
Let’s be honest, you pay your therapist upward of 800 bucks a week to help you feel happier and I can do that for a fraction of the price.
You can even try to claim your ticket price from the medical aid. I’ll give you a letter of motivation if you need it. Any other comments?
Last night’s show at Old Grey and next week at the Links are a preview for my official (and first of its kind) Laugh Lines “tour of the town” in February where I will be playing to intimate venues for a longer run.
For tickets or more information, contact Wendy at Centrestage, 082-661-6921.