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DOWN WITH THE BROWN (article first published : 2007-02-12)

The preshow publicity for Sugar Sammy's Down with the Brown describes him as “blessed with natural charisma, Bollywood good looks and the gift of the gab” and he has all three in abundance.

The result is an entertaining evening of stand-up comedy which pretty well follows the usual formula. His act therefore includes dialogue with members of the audience, i.e. those in the front row, and this serves as the basis of many of his jokes and patter. To his credit, he is not malicious or vindictive and his use of their answers to his questions to weave his act is often very clever. He thinks well on his feet.

Unfortunately the stand-up comedy formula includes use of that four letter word and he does this often and needlessly. Fortunately he often forgets to use the words for long periods, which only improves his act. Indeed, as the evening progressed he seemed to settle more into his routine and it showed in his body language and movements as well as in his delivery.

As an Indian from Canada having enjoyed considerable success in his own country being voted number one stand-up comedian for the three years from 2004 to 2006 by the readers of The Montreal Mirror, he has great insight to the vagaries of life as an Indian in the Western world and draws much of his humour from the differences between Indians, Whites and Blacks, very un-PC.

Much is made of the animosity between Muslims and Jews, humorously postulating that this is because neither eats pork. Sports, deviant sex, Valentine's Day and Frenchmen are also covered in his patter, particularly good being his views on rappers, which he takes off particularly well, as well as the British song writer being interviewed. His views on the gay Olympics also deserve mention. He has catch phrases to which he continually refers, for example bunny chow which add meat to his act (no pun intended). The anti-AIDS treatments punted by our illustrious Minister of Health and Jacob Zuma, potatoes/garlic/beetroot and showers, respectively, gave rise to much appreciated laughter.

An opening act before the appearance of Sugar Sammy is performed by South African comedy talent, Loyiso Gola who is from Cape Town. The opening welcome to the theatre, the request to switch off cell phones and the introduction of Loyiso Gola by the voice-over were accompanied by background music which was far too loud and drowned out the introduction - perhaps it was done to emphasise the sponsorship by East Coast Radio?

Loyiso Gola proved to be a very worthy opener boasting a completely fresh and unique approach. His take-off of various accents - Black White and Indian - were spot on. He has a very relaxed delivery.

Down with the Brown runs at the iZulu Theatre, Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom, until March 4. Booking is at the Sibaya Box Office 031-580-5555 or at Computicket.




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