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Monday, May 12, 2014


(Jem Atkins)

 Polished and good natured material delivered with admirable comic timing. (Review by Keith Millar)

Jem Atkins has a rich source of comedy material available to him with the crazy antics of his six year old son. It is how he has used this material in his new production, Single Dad 2, that is most impressive. The show is perfectly crafted, intelligent, warm-hearted and, most of all, very funny.

Atkins’ performance of the material is polished and good natured and delivered with admirable comic timing. Also shining through is his affection and appreciation of his young son.

Atkins does not restrict the show to stories about his son, though. It seems that there is not much in his life that is not prepared pocking fun at. He offers hilarious insights into issues he has experienced, such as entering the TV show SA’s Got Talent, visiting India, divorce, dating, pregnancy, childbirth, the use of accents to pick up girls.

However, it is his interaction with his son that dominates the show as he relates stories of issues such as the youngster’s non-stop talking, children’s TV programmes, school, the five year-old’s first romance, discipline and pets.

Anyone who has had the privilege of been involved in the lives of young people will have experienced similar - if not the same - incidents and will feel a touch of nostalgia to go along with the laughter.  

Atkins has the ability to recognise the humour and sense of ridiculousness inherent in most aspects of life, and to look at it all with a twinkle in the eye. His skill in translating all this into a thoroughly entertaining and clever show is apparent from the quality of his Single Dad productions. Let’s hope we hear more of the antics of Jem Atkins and young Jayden in the future.

Single Dad 2 unfortunately only had a three day run at the Seabrooke’s Theatre at Durban High School. However, it will be traveling to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in July. So if you are going to the Festival put it on your list – you won’t be disappointed.

As a warm up to Single Dad II, we were treated to a short set by stand-up comedian Liam Johns. He kept the audience entertained while talking about education, service protests, beggars, cockroaches and living in a coloured community. Another young Durban comic to keep an eye out for. – Keith Millar