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BARRY HILTON FESTIVAL (article first published : 2006-05-18)

Stand-up comic Barry Hilton appears in the Barry Hilton Festival at the iZulu Theatre, Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom, for an all too-short and very deservedly sold-out season.

The opening night audience thoroughly enjoyed Barry Hilton's quick fire patter accompanied by amazing sound effects using the microphone and his voice only, from gunfire to an aeroplane struggling to take off - no wonder he is billed as South Africa's premiere stand-up comedian!

His repertoire flits with lightning speed from one subject to the other: for example George Bush, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Brad Pitt and Angela Joli, looting after the New Orleans hurricane disaster, the police, Brokeback Mountain, WWF wrestling, doctors, nose hairs (with some so true comments), dogs, aeroplanes, body piercing, sports, Idols, TV home shopping channels, English and the other ten official languages, and many, many more. Needless to see he is a master of taking on accents of other ethnic groups, all inoffensively. I like the way he does not resort to insult gags which tend to be cheap shots.

I enjoyed most his anecdotes of raising his sons as a single parent and the resulting comments by the boys when they were little. These were all too few, more the pity, as they were delightful and hilarious. Many of the best laughs come from his throw-away lines. There could be more of them.

Like all stand-up comedy routines, he singles out audience members for his banter, especially late comers or those who had to slip out due to the complimentary drinks served before the show. However, unlike other stand-up comedians, he is gentle and not unkind and his language is not offensive. Even his toilet routine, although below the belt, was not below the belt.

To quote the publicity blurb, with which I can only agree, the show "is a mouth-watering combination of flavoursome titbits from earlier shows, personal encounters, musical compilations and hilarious interpretations of everyday life. With a pinch of devilishness, a generous dash of humour and a hint of quirkiness, Barry skilfully blends his ingredients together for comedy that is really well done."

Unfortunately, there are only six shows from May 17 to 21 and these shows are sold out. Try for returns from the Sibaya Box Office on 031-580 5555 or any Computicket outlet. Maurice Kort




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