Review: Alan Committie’s Live and Let Laugh is 90 minutes of sheer fun- love, love, loved it- escapist, clever and deliciously immersive  

Live and Let Laugh-No time to cry- comedy
Featuring: Alan Committie, cameo by Johan van der Walt and special guests: The Audience
When: December 13, 2022 to January 21, 2023
Bookings: Computicket
Director: Chris Weare
Set designer: Niall Griffin
Duration: 90 minutes (with interval)
Age advisory: PG 10

We watched Alan Committie’s Live and Let Laugh, last night, December 28, 2022. We didn’t want to leave. People lingered in the theatre, wanting to hold onto the experience.  It was a flawless performance- with Committie creaming it, with a dream audience. Live and Let Laugh is a tribute and homage to James Bond films. There have been 25 films released in 70 years. The year, 2022 heralds 70 years of the franchise. The year 2022 also marks Committie’s 25 solo comedy shows. He loves James Bond films and in his tribute to the franchise- its escapism- madcap plots and situations, dashing heroes and heroines, he also celebrates his own career as a comic. Plot spoiler alert (yeah, there is a plot). Committie’s origin story as a comic goes back to 1998 when as a 24 year old, he presented his first stand up solo show at what was then the Grahamstown Festival (now the National Arts Festival, Makhanda, although most people persist in calling it The Grahamstown Festival, we know). Live and Let Laugh is Committie’s homage, celebration to Bond films, tribute to the lunacy of the Bond film plots (lol, what plots), stock characters, theme songs, actors who have played Bond over the years and loads of Bond insights (fascinating to learn about- including a South African connection to Ian Fleming – did not know that)

Committie’s comedy shows are scripted and he leaves space for interaction with the audience. He improvises and weaves in comments from the audience as prompts which he then loops into his material. This means that every show will be different. As I say, we had a dream audience (did that man actually say he that is profession is a medical device!? Uhhm, yes, he did). However, even if you get a less than vibrant crowd, Live and Let Laugh is a cooker of a show. It is brilliantly scripted and impeccably researched. Committie’s comedy is one aspect of his skill set. The multi-talented Committie is a celebrated and award winning actor. He dazzled audiences in Cape Town and Joburg, this year [2022], with his performance as George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and he brings that into this show- with a mention – a smidgen of a reference.

The brilliance of Live and Let Laugh is the restraint that Committie brings to this show in pacing the narrative arc with observational comedy. Yes, he brings in a quickie loadshedding set (brilliant display of calculus). He tosses in a sound bite to the pandemic (no banana bread jokes, thank goodness). There is a poignant set about Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine which is beautifully and tenderly positioned. Committie says that when he first did this show in Johannesburg, March [2022], the invasion was new and here we are and the war is still on the go. The observational stuff, current state of Eskom-itis, brings in context and yes we need that to frame where we are but the nexus of this show is the James Bond franchise and the hilarity that Committie sparks off as he regales the audience with delicious impressions and insights. The set design by Niall Griffins – neon hoolah hoops – double ‘ohs’ -is fabulous. The razzle dazzle spacey flick lighting is a spacey and oohlah -very Bond. Committie brings in his beloved flip chart and does his signature word games (but not too much – in some past shows- he has done too much word play). There is a guest appearance by one of his alter egos, Johan van der Walt (this is all I will say- just go and watch).

‘It is a pleasure’ is one of Committie’s iconic tag lines, Live and Let Laugh -no time to die is a pleasure. It is funny, clever, immensely entertaining and immersive. He nails the escapist absorption of the Bond films and how we are blown away by the special effects and dhingus that Bond uses, stock plot lines, glorious locations (oh, we want a Bond film in Cape Town, yes please) and the suits and cars that Bond adores. The audience is as he tells us, another character and is integral to the show. He applauds and thanks us for being there, for the ride, over 25 years.

Bravo to Alan Committie for his 25th solo comic show: Live and Let Laugh. It is ‘no time to cry’. Laughter is the way to go. Mention must be made that there is a performance of Live and Let Laugh at Theatre on the Bay, on New Year’s Eve, this Saturday, December 31, 2022 (yes, it is almost January, lol). The show will start at 9pm and the curtain will come down around 11pm. There will be a glass of bubbly and good vibes in the foyer. There are a handful of tickets left. If you are looking at a way of laughing in 2023, nab these tickets. I loved, loved Live and Let Laugh. Go and see it.

The spy who delivers the laughs: Alan Committie in Live and Let Laugh. Pic- supplied.

✳ Pics supplied.