Review: Pants on Fire (Cape Town Fringe)

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Pants_on_Fire_03_largeRob van Vuuren and Martin Evans are sitting on a vrot old couch on the stage in City Hall 4. In between adjusting and readjusting their head mics, they tell us how they carried that couch down Darling Street, past all the homeless buddies, ‘borrowed’ from Martin’s brother. They spot the brother in the audience and he becomes part of the banter for a sec. As do a few other buddies in the middle. And then the Afrikaans couple on the other side. And the older American omie.

For this ongoing show, van Vuuren and Evans have no script, only their naughty-boy view on life which keeps them permanently on the verge of giggles. In the first ten minutes of this evening’s show, they ran around getting high-fives from the scattered audience and handing out beers – complimentary from one of their sponsors, Devil’s Peak Brewery. It felt like I was sitting in a familiar living room with a particularly funny group of friends. A constant dialogue passes back and forth between the two hosts and they continually include the audience. There are no pretences, no expectations – just the feeling of community and fun.

Pants on Fire is not your average stand-up comedy show. It’s a bit like a live 3D TV show in your front room. Van Vuuren explained that they often source their guests on the day, adding to the fluidity of the show. You never know what to expect, and neither do they. Opening night featured a charmingly sharp Angel Blythe Campey who had even the other comedians in the audience blasting with raucous laughter. She joked that, with a name like hers, bestowed on her by a hippy mom, her options were pretty much limited to being a stripper or a stand-up comedian.

Comic’s Choice Award Winner Kagiso KG Mokgadi was introduced as a solo spot, and rocked the stage, being politically incorrect and on the nail. Sho, South Africans are funny, even more so when they don’t have to revert to swearing to carry their sense of humour. Well done, guys and gal. The 90 minute entertainment block ended on a high note with the extremely talented Albert Frost, all humble genius behind his guitar and sideswept fringe.

If you are a night owl and looking for some casually cool late-night entertainment, pop over to one of the 10pm slot shows and grab a seat. This show is all-inclusive and the performers are as accessible as the guy sitting next to you in the audience. Some of the other comedians that are due to join the party are Nik Rabinowitz, Marcel Lucont (UK), Kagiso Lediga and Conrad Koch. Musical entertainment is to be provided by headliners Francois van Coke, Gary Thomas and Stuart Lightbody will provide mind-blowing magic tricks. Choose your night, or go for a few. The show will never be the same.

Marilu Snyders

Pants on Fire is one of the late night shows at City Hall 4 until 2 October as part of the Cape Town Fringe Festival which runs until 5 October 2014.

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