“Racism is alive and well during lockdown – if not more so. Because as soon as peoples’ privilege gets threatened, we tend to bunker down and go into little laagers and protect our own interests. Race is ALWAYS a conversation in South Africa.” Conrad Koch, talking about the lockdown version of his show, How to End Racism by Chester Missing.
STREAMED LIVE COMEDY SHOW: Chester Missing How to End Racism
✔ Date: Friday May 29, 2020
✔ Time: 8.30pm
✔ Duration: One hour
✔ Tickets: R75
✔ Number of tickets for sale: 5 000. For this streaming event, the platform, WebinairJam is enabled to accommodate five thousand viewers, comfortably. There is therefore a limit of 5 000 tickets for this event – to make sure that you don’t get flashed by the dreaded ‘death by streaming’ sign: buffering
✔ Booking: https://www.quicket.co.za/
✔ Direct booking link: https://www.quicket.co.za/events/105058-how-to-end-racism-by-chester-missing/
✔ How it works: After purchasing your ticket, you will receive an e-mail with a link, which grants access to the show
✔ Devices: Link will work on Windows/Apple/Android
✔ Access: Purchase your ticket and watch from 8.30-9.30pm on May 29, 2020. The show will be streamed live, in real time. This is not a pre-recorded gig which is going out on a live stream. You cannot rewind the show. You cannot hit the pause button and resume play. It is like being at the theatre for an hour of comedy. Once you are in, you are in. But you can watch, dressed in pyjamas. No one will know
✔ Internet speed advisory: If you have high speed internet, you should be sorted, unless the internet crashes– which can happen. It is the viewer’s responsibility to check on bandwidth. If necessary, use your smart phone as a hot spot and connect from there
✔ Comments bar: Yes! This will be a vital component of the lockdown version of How to End Racism by Chester Missing. Get ready to engage.
About the show, How to End Racism by Chester Missing and how the lockdown version has been set up
Conrad Koch’s How to End Racism by Chester Missing, directed by Chris Weare, premiered in January 2020, in Cape Town at the opening season of The Courtyard Playhouse (formerly Alexander Upstairs Theatre and Bar). I was privileged to be there in the beautifully kitted out theatre which was extensively renovated by Tiffany Schultz and Kemsley Dickinson who operate The Courtyard Playhouse in Dubai. They transformed the space into a jewel like space, bedecked in red.
After The Courtyard season, Chester and Conrad Koch were embarking on a nationwide tour. They were scheduled to perform at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Besides from performing at POPart Theatre in Johannesburg, with the onslaught of Coid-19 and the closure of theatres in the lockdown, everything has been cancelled.
Edinburgh https://www.edfringe.com/ has been cancelled. Live performance has been shuttered and slammed; closed up. The international version of the show, White Noise, is hopefully headed for international shores, after the pandemic makes travel possible again- whenever that may be.
At the nub of How to End Racism by Chester Missing is the fact that hat people are generally reluctant to engage with racism. Yeah, yeah, no one supported Apartheid. We know. In the show, Chester prods his audience to enter into a dialogue around uncomfortable issues and to actively deconstruct and rip through bias. It was kind of scary, sitting at that show at The Courtyard, hearing some of the comments from the mostly white audience, on a hot summer night – in Cape Town. Okay- you had to be there. As Koch says, “race is ALWAYS a conversation in South Africa” and more so during lockdown.
Seamless integration between ventriloquism, theatre, satire
Read the review from The Courtyard season on TheCapeRobyn. I wrote: “In How to End Racism, we have the seamless integration between ventriloquism, theatre, satire and an audience in the grip of catching their racism on the edge of a joke.”
Audience interaction stream- comments bar
Audience interaction and engagement is pivotal to in How to End Racism, and each gig will be different because each audience brings its own material to the show which Chester snaps at with relish. In the theatre setting, pieces of paper and pens were placed on the chairs. The audience was asked for suggestions on how to combat racism. [Imagine doing that in the post lockdown period and having to sanitize each pen and piece of paper.] Questionnaires were handed in and during the show, Chester dealt with some of those suggestions/answers. In the lockdown version, the comments bar on the screen will provide the platform for the suggestions.
With theatre venues locked down, Koch has teamed up with Stuart Taylor to set up Web Theatre, a platform for streaming live performance, on the internet. The platform is set up to accommodate 5 000 viewers on a live stream. Taylor’s recent lockdown comedy show (Money’s 2 Tight 2 Mention: The Corona Edition) made fine use of the comments bar. The bar provided potent comedic shtick which Taylor played off beautifully. People were saying that they hadn’t had such fun, since lockdown started. Viewers can expect the comment zone to be very much integral to the lockdown edition of How to End Racism by Chester Missing. Koch: “We will have someone choosing and highlighting comments for us which stand out – so that we can react to interesting comments. Chester has great fun responding to comments. He goes bananas.”
Image credit: supplied.