The 25th Jive Cape Town Funny Festival 2024

When and where: June 10 to July 7, 2024 at the Baxter, Cape Town
Bookings: Webtickets
MC/host: Alan Committie
Line-up: various – see    

It was exciting to attend the Jive Cape Town Funny Festival, last night. Tuesday July 2, 2024 at the Baxter. It is the 25th anniversary edition of the festival and the season has been solidly sold out- for good reason. The festival has consistently delivered first class entertainment, which is family appropriate. The ethos of the festival is to make everyone feel welcome and included. This sense of inclusivity was very much evidenced last night, underscored by the headliners Emo and Loukmaan Adams who spoke about the importance of speaking to everyone. I loved that. Emo headlined last year [2023] at the Funny Festival 2023 and it was terrific to see him accompanied by his brother Loukmaan – his first appearance at the Funny Festival.  The Adams brothers are a uniquely Cape Town talent. At the Funny Festival, they infuse their highly polished set with fine vocals, sensational knockout dance and humour.

Alan Committie is again Funny Festival host – doing his own shtick and introducing the acts. He brings on his signature flip chart. Last night, he did a number with rugby and cricket which made me laugh so much that I had a pain in my side. As always Committie works the audience and is whipper fast with his answers and rebuttals. An award winning actor, Committie brings his deep intellect and gravitas to his comedy which is always considered and edged with topicality and his inspired insights language such as snot en trane translated as hope and inspiration. Brilliant Committie.

The line-up for the festival is here In addition to Committie [SA] and the Adams brothers [SA] we saw Kev Orkian [UK]; Mario: Queen of the Circus [USA], Yaaseen Barnes [SA], Kagiso KG Mokgadi [SA] and Khanyisile Ngwenya [SA]. Ngwenya is the runner up in the Jive Funny Championships 2024- the developmental arm of the Jive Cape Town Funny Festival. The Championships are held in May at Canal Walk shopping centre. The winner of the Jive Funny Championships was Jaryd Pillay. He is in the Funny Festival programme but had another gig last night.

Comic pianist Kev Orkian – British – of Armenian descent is a favourite of the Funny Festival and is fabulous to seem him back on stage. The classically trained pianist is a whizz at the piano and is a maestro in arrangement in how he presents music. He captivated us with a happy birthday medley by different composers and an extraordinary impression of Elton John doing I am still Standing – from a scratched CD.

Mario: Queen of the Circus is another Funny Festival fave and the crowd went mad for his screwball antics of comedy and circus artistry (such as juggling). Mario (real name Clarke McFarlane) born in New Jersey loves the music of Queen and in channelling Freddy Mecury, he involves the audience in his act and immerses himself in the audience. He is famous for crowd surfing. He did not crowd surf last night but he did a squat on seats near us- seat surfing? – seeking volunteers for the stage. With one of the volunteers. Mario engaged in a banana spitting duel, reminiscent of last year’s Daredevil Chicken (Anne Goldmann and Jonathan Taylor) from Las Vegas. Mario’s act is delicious in every way – funny and uplifting.

The funny Festival is on until Sunday, July 7 and because the houses are sold out, another slot has been added – Sunday at 7pm, so you have a chance to score tickets. Bravo to Funny Festival producer Eddy Cassar for putting this international festival on the comedy boards for a quarter of a century. The format – a mix between stand up and speciality act – is a winner. I look forward to the 26th edition.

Queening it: The fabulous Mario: Queen of the Circus [USA] is performing at the The 25th Jive Cape Town Funny Festival, June 10 to July 7, 2024 at the Baxter, Cape Town. Lineup here
Pic: RobynCohen/TheCapeRobyn.

✳ Emo and Loukmaan Adams are performing at the The 25th Jive Cape Town Funny Festival, June 10 to July 7, 2024 at the Baxter, Cape Town.Pic: RobynCohen/TheCapeRobyn.