Comedy review: Enough is Enough says Rob van Vuuren at NAF 2021

 Enough is Enough – Rob van Vuuren presents an anti-motivational comedy intervention

What: Comedy- ish Where: Online at The National Arts Festival, South Africa – until July 31, 2021 Tickets: R40 Direct booking link:  

Rob van Vuuren’s Enough is Enough premiered live, online at The National Arts Festival on the weekend – July 9. The recording is available as VOD – video-on-demand – until July 31. The thrust of the show is Rob van Vuuren taking the mickey out of motivational coaches and speakers with the tag line #YouAreEnough.  That is why it is billed as “anti-motivational comedy intervention”. It is the anti-dote to all the rah-rah; always look on the bright side, trumped up by motivational speakers because that is their business model. #YouAreEnough is the target for all of us to aspire towards. Beyond the mantra of motivational chit-chat, sadly, right now; enough is enough. In Hindi, Rona means “crying”; “to cry”. In year two of the pandemic, it is enough.

We may laugh at those who are ranting that we are enough and charging loads of moolah but many of us take succour from the aphorisms and affirmations – because they do give us a boost. We chuckle and smile and that is cool. Four slow breaths and yes, we feel a little easier as we chant that we are enough. And yup, after his pithy anti-motivational rant, van Vuuren agrees that we are enough – each of us is enough. We only have ourselves and we alone can chart our way through to surviving and rising above this mess. In his anti-motivational spiel, van Vuuren regales us with tales of Makhanda, right now in the pandemic. He drove all the way to Makhanda, to re-visit the potholes and to experience the biting cold and yes to suffer but oh what a ‘suffering’ that is. There is pleasure in that suffering and here comes the narrative spoiler alert, so skip this paragraph if you don’t want to know the plot-line of Enough is Enough.

Van Vuuren faces off our “suffering” now in the pandemic, to the water crisis in the Cape. We were desperate then as we approached Day Zero, with the threat of taps being switched off, but hey, the rain came and we were fine. The drought made us face our fears. Here we are in the pandemic and? Well, hopefully it will pass and we will be fine and able to be back, physically present in Makhanda in the potholes (which the town has pledged to fix) and freezing cold (can’t help that) and overpriced accommodation (I said that- not van Vuuren). The brilliance of enough is Enough is- context. In this horrible pandemic, we don’t have context. We went from uncertain to unpredictable, with the appearance of the Delta Variant. Just when we thought it couldn’t get worse; it got worse; plus all the other stuff going on at the moment.

Writing this tonight, July 12, 2021, as the country is being swept by violent protests, with hot spots in KZN, I think that #EnoughIsEnough is the hashtag that describes the sense of disbelief, fear, frustration, anxiety in our nation. Where will it go from here and when will it be enough? Are we ourselves “enough” to stay afloat in the grief and quagmire of kak? The show went out live on the NAF site and one of the comments was that “Rob is full of kak” but that he is loved and that he is better and cheaper than therapy- or words to that effect. I agree – Enough is Enough is cheaper than therapy and way cheaper than going on a retreat with a motivational speaker. Well, I must say that the thought of going on a motivational retreat with yoga and sunsets and sunrise does sound great but a comedy gig is a lot cheaper – and as they say in the classics- laughter is the best therapy. The Fleur du Cap winning van Vuuren brings comedic drama to de-constructing Enough is Enough – and at the end of it, we don’t know when enough will be enough but laughing makes us feel a lot better.