The Lying King - Circle of Laugh
6th January 20
Alan Committie is back at the Theatre on the Bay for a month or so of comedy, directed by Christopher Weare.
On entering, the stage showcases a handful of props. These, we discover, are all tenuously connected to the rocky hillock which takes centre stage. If you’ve never seen the film, ‘The Lion King’ (and if not, why not?), Pride Rock is where King Mufasa shows his new son Simba the lands he will inherit. Committie mounts the rock to survey his audience, and we swiftly become his subjects and – at times – play-things as he manipulates us left and right. Expect some great ad-libs which, even if partially prepared, are highly enjoyable nonetheless. Stray latecomers, an 11-year-old girl, a couple of dubious “tourists” - two South Africans living in London and Canada respectively - a former naval electrical engineer, and an 18-year-old student all received some good-natured heckling from the comedian. Committie also informed us that he had recently taught himself piano, and dangled a composition piece tantalisingly before us at repeated intervals (though I won’t express my opinion on his musical talent, as you can decide on that yourselves…).
The star of the show is excellent at carefully calculated musings, meticulously crafted to return to a theme. With his now trademark random use of the definite article before proper nouns, fake Latin conjugation, and utilisation of a white board to create ridiculous links, Committie surveys 2019 with whimsy. Anticipate clever plays on words and a variety of ludicrous reflections. Naturally Eskom, Cyril Rhamaposa, Brexit, and Cape Town’s delightful refreshing December wind all feature. In today’s world of fake news and grandiose self-obsession, it’s somehow comforting when Committie convinces us there’s a global conspiracy involving the entire cast of Winnie the Pooh.
Ultimately, Committie brings the show full circle with his dubious linguistic connections. His ramblings and infectious giggle make for a jovial seasonal atmosphere, and somehow he manages to keep it all clean, reining in swear-words and only once touching upon the delicate topic of sex. The theatre has a great location opposite Camps Bay beach, and there are ticket plus dinner deals at the restaurant upstairs. Even better, wine glasses are welcome in the theatre itself. The show is thoroughly recommended, and since tickets were a sell-out on the night I reviewed, don’t be tardy! The comedian mentioned being out of his comfort zone playing Richard III at the Maynardsville earlier this year (in which I reviewed his performance as “passable”). In my opinion the play was neither Shakespeare’s finest work, nor Alan Committie’s. It’s good to see him back where he belongs – the Lying King of comedy.
Tickets: R120 - R220
Dates: 10 December 2019 - 25 January 2020 (additional performances at 17:00 on 4, 18, 25 January)
Venue: Theatre on the Bay, Camps Bay
Get your tickets here