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Monday, July 11, 2016


(Hamish Kyd)

Professor Gopal and a School full of laughs. (Review by Priya Dala)

A chilly winter night out at the Sibaya Casino iZulu Theatre called for some fortification. Mine came in the form of a stand-up comedy show by seasoned stage and screen performer, Hamish Kyd headlining a list of funny characters.

Kyd, in his role as Professor Gopal as an intrepid Professor of a school full of alumni he is most proud of, came on stage in the guise that the audience think of him as a Professor who thinks the audience are his students. In that, we were asked to play along, and this had a level of interactive fun. Kyd then introduced his “Dux” students with funny introductions, telling us something about the acts to follow.

First up came Neil  Govender, a new voice to stand-up comedy. Govender switched easily from reflections about life as a boy from Umkomaas (South Coast of Durbs) and into comedic routine about the current issues of the times. He was funny. For a newbie, he certainly had no confidence issues and his timing with caricature was reasonably placed, if not at times a little cliché on the joke aspect. Nevertheless, Govender can, if he hones his routine a tad, become a funny voice to join the many others we see on Durban’s stage.

Next up, my favourite came in the form of Warrick Frank, taking on the hilarious avatar of Latrese, fashionista and gossip girl from Wenties aka Wentworth. This routine was funny as it took you into a telephone conversation that glamorous Pep Stores shopper Latrese has with her friend. In this one side of the conversation, you learn all you need to know about Latrese, and the type of girl she’s trying to portray. Frank had good comedic timing, a keen eye for his style and made his routine funny without falling into caricature.

Following act Charles Ash kept up the funny. The crowd it seems enjoyed his brand of humour as one of Professor Gopal’s protégées. The stand-up routine is not an easy feat; keeping an audience of so many types of people laughing can be exhausting. Ash kept pace, he was current in his jokes and thankfully did not fall into cliché and silliness.

And for the ladies, Prof Gopal brought us his female alumnus in the form of Shika Budhoo. I have always enjoyed Budhoo’s style of comedy. Her facial expressions sometimes say it all; she barely has to open her mouth. She has a good sense of body language as a tool to get the funny bone tickled. And she talks for us ladies ... what more can one ask for?

Professor Gopal clearly runs a good school there. Maybe he will take me on a student ... Hmmm...?

Prof. Gopal’s Stand up Comedy Show ran for four days at iZulu Theatre, Sibaya, and no doubt we will see him bringing the show back later. The age restriction is 13 but I do think this needs to be higher.  Priya Dala