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NAF FUN (article first published : 2004-06-24)

Hilarious, outrageous, ridiculous, wacky, or just plain old funny - call it what you will, but don't miss the 2004 Fringe comedy line-up in Grahamstown (July 1 to 10).

Justin Wilkinson delves into the murky waters of international espionage in Slick 'n Sleeve's latest Festival offering - a side-splitting spoof on the classic spy story - Agent Koekemoer is ‘a man ahead of his time in gadgets, but sorely lacking in the intelligence department!' Guaranteeing to leave his audiences thirsty for more, Gaetan Schmid serves up a wildly imaginative investigation into the facts and fallacies surrounding the infamous amber liquid - The Beer Show (or the history of mankind seen through a beer glass), directed by Chris Weare.

Dhaveshan Govender and Kaseran Pillay team up to present the outrageously funny My Big Fat Chatsworth Wedding. Billed as being more like "Indian Men with Breyani" than White Men with Weapons, this two-hander is guaranteed to be sari-splitting fun! Also from Durban, Peter Court directs Puss in Boots and Sinderella Comes Again. Two bawdy, over-the-top pantos for adults ‘with a capital A', filled with raunchy repartee; plenty of buttocks and busts, a nibble or two of nuance, a whole host of irreverent songs, glittering costumes, and the odd cod-piece or two! Also from Durban comes Brutal Tunes which offers a hilarious mix of highly enjoyable songs with particularly brutal lyrics.

‘The thinking man's comic' Cokey Falkow, will be in town with his ‘raunchily hilarious' brand of biting social commentary and political satire, directed by Colin Moss; Stuart Taylor (of Going Nowhere Slowly fame) dissects the strange and perplexing world of dating in a show that combines a little magic and a lot of laughter - Dating for Dummies; and Makgano Mamabolo, ‘black by popular demand', is funnier and deadlier than ever before in Miss Kwa Kwa: Traditional Weapon.

Dracula Unclotted promises to tell you all you'll ever need to know about vampires - ‘the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth!' Physical comedians Alan Committie and Gaetan Scmid use dead pan humour, biting satire, and a multi-functional coffin to re-tell Bram Stoker's tale of Harker, Von Helsing and Dracula.

More physical fun can be had in <>Fly - an off-the-wall comedic journey into the heart of the insect world where dung-beetle pimps rule and a champagne glass becomes a bubble-jet jacuzzi. Luke Rous and Meren Reddy will have you in stitches as two larger-than-life flies on a mission to protect their way of life.

In Short Hair, Flat Nose there are no sacred cows! Martin Koboekae's hilarious spoof on parliamentary shenanigans, political faux pas', and the ‘new' elitists is an explosive, eye-opening, and hysterically funny look at South Africa ‘ten years on'. Shirley Kirchmann bases her theories for Train your Man on the Barbara Woodhouse dog-training methods. Her unconventional (and top-secret) methods for keeping her man on his leash will have you in fits of laughter - and you may also learn a trick or two!

Andre the Hilarious Hypnotist, Corné & Twakkie in The Most Amazing Show, Thunderdog's Green Mamba, Ja Boet… from Boet 'n Swaer, Theatre for Africa's The Raiders, Stef Juncker's Thigh-slapping Hypnosis, The Chilli Boy with Matthew Ribnick … with more than 40 comedies at the 2004 Fringe in Grahamstown, this is just the tip of the iceberg - Standard Bank branches and Computicket have Booking Kits with the full run-down - or surf the web at www.nafest.co.za

The National Arts Festival is sponsored by the Eastern Cape Government, Standard Bank, the SABC, The Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and the National Arts Council. Further information on 046 603 1103.




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