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Friday, November 15, 2013


(Mark Banks)

Very funny show and Mark Banks is on top form. (Review by Keith Millar)

Veteran funny man Mark Banks is back in town and taking audiences at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on an outrageous and wild journey of mirth and mayhem.

In his latest one-man show, Banks is his usual irreverent self. There is no person or issue that he is not prepared to poke fun at. He takes no prisoners and has no sacred cows. Everything from political figures to supermarkets to the non-existent Durban Point waterfront, as well as several members of the audience are targets of his blatant humour.

The title of the show, Banksrupt, refers to where we are as a nation. Financially, morally and mentally bankrupt. The villains behind this sorry state of affairs are also on the receiving end of Bank’s satirical style.

His explanation, with the assistance of a projected cash flow chart, of how a bankrupt nation, or city, can move non-existent money around to create wealth is a master piece of comedy. It is so convoluted that one can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a grain of truth in it.

The stand-up segment of his show is hilarious but it is when the sketches, supported by video projections, are introduced that the fun really starts. Banks presents a stream of side-splitting and crazy characters who are as extreme as they are garrulous.

There is the straight-faced SABC TV news anchor who reads the most bizarre news items without blinking, a the priest who can’t work out the beginning from the end, an Israeli shopping centre sales person selling grooming products, and a car guard/beggar with quite the longest and most complex sob story you will ever hear.

We also meet a Durban tour agent on the phone explaining a tourist how many wonderful tours she has available. They range from a visit to a ghost town (Durban’s Point Waterfront), to the mugging experience, the hi-jack experience and a mini bus taxi trip. Hilarious!

The infomercial of a clumsy chef demonstrating how to use a chopping knife and the domestic showing how to destroy home appliances are also uproarious.

Banksrupt is a very funny show and Mark Banks is on top form. So if you like your comedy sharp-witted, biting and waspish, this is the show for you.

Banksrupt runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre until November 24 with shows Wednesday to Friday at 19h30; Saturday at 14h30 and 19h30 and Sunday at 18h00. Tickets R100 booked through Computicket. The show carries an age restriction of no under-13s. – Keith Millar