ICC laughter convention

2010-07-20 00:00

TUCK into some tasty comedy at the Nando’s Durbs Comedy Festival at the International Convention Centre from July 23 to 25, when South African comic Loyisa Gola will be joined on stage by Pablo Francisco, Bobby Lee, Kira Soltano­vich, Dean Edwards and Jonathan Arons.

Gola, a laid-back, giant of a man, who measures six foot five inches in old money, has been touring the ­country with fellow ­comedians Barry Hilton, John ­Vlismas and Mark Banks, in Bafunny Bafunny and starring on the big screen in the stand-up comedy film, Outrageous.

The Cape Town-born ­come­dian started doing stand-up comedy shows while in Grade 11. “I did it for fun mainly,” he said.

“I had been think-ing that I might make a bit of money, you know, to buy shoes, buy airtime, but I wasn’t trying to make a living.”

And even today, a household name thanks to his critically ­acclaimed one-man show Loyiso Gola for President, he will turn down gigs he thinks he won’t enjoy. “You have to love it, first and foremost. You don’t do it for the money,” Gola stresses.

With a style he describes as “opinionated rather than witty”, the Johannesburg-based comedian doesn’t pull any punches when on stage.

Francisco is known for his animated, off-the-wall ability to morph into movie stars, ­celebrities and even family. His narration of the action-movie preview with Arnold Schwarze­negger as a tortilla vendor is ­unmissable.

MADtv’s Lee gained momentum ­after being spotted by the legendary Pauly Shore in 1995. He quickly ­became a favourite on the show and is known for his unique brand of pain-inducing, physical humour.

Born in the former Soviet Union and raised by immigrant parents in San Francisco, Soltanovich has plenty to laugh about. “Like most kids, my parents took me to Disneyland … not for the rides, for the lines. They assumed there’d be food at the end of them,” she quips.

Whether it’s stand-up comedy, sketch, hidden camera or improv, Soltanovich keeps nightclub and television audiences laughing. She has ­also performed in a myriad of comedy competitions and festivals, including Girls Behaving Badly, Last Comic Standing and Comedy Central’s Laugh Riots.

Edwards, a stand-up comedian and actor from the cast of Saturday Night Live, will bring his hilarious impressions to stage. These include Michael Jackson, Wayne Brady, Chris Tucker, Don Cheadle, Colin Powell, Serena Williams, Grace Jones, Randy Jackson, Denzel Washington, and Billy Ocean.

Completing the festival line-up is the hottest musical act on the comedy circuit, Arons. This Grammy-winning New York City trombonist, dancer and writer has backed R&B artists such as Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys and Mariah Carey.


• The Nando’s Durbs Comedy ­Festival runs from July 23 to 25. Doors open at 6 pm and the shows start at 7 pm. Tickets, priced from R130 to R180, can be bought at Computicket.

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