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GAY, BLACK AND IMMORTAL (article first published : 2007-05-13)

Rapid-fire comedian John Vlismas returns to Durban in Gay, Black and Immortal for a short season of dark and dangerous, hard-hitting, adults-only comedy in the Heritage Theatre in Hillcrest for one week only from May 22.

John Vlismas makes a welcome return to the Durban stage - back, on-form and as acerbic, articulate, astute, abrasive and angry as ever! While this is his first Durban solo show in years, he did perform here last April as part of the Durban Poison one night only reunion gig at the Playhouse in memory of Durban Poison founder member, Shaun Griggs.

There will be no punches pulled, no prisoners taken, and plenty of belly laughs as he tackles a myriad of hot topics - the current, the political, the delicate and the topical. No soft-centres and no charming anecdotes here. John is undeniably hard-core. This season comes with a loud warning - it is not for the faint-hearted. It is edgy and far from gentle!

Someone really ought to say something ... With so much death, fear, horror and suffering in the world, it's not the best place to be right now, unless, of course, you're a comedian. Then it's a goldmine!

"The show is bound to be a success, with contributions from government ministers, captains of industry, fat people with piggy feet, and careless Australian wildlife enthusiasts," says Vlismas. "I keep telling everyone, I didn't choose comedy. I was going to be a serious actor, a craftsmen, like the guys on Egoli … but then these lesbians arrived at my parents' home at midnight, they were wearing Spar T-shirts and they dragged me off in a black mariah to the headquarters of the Brotherhood of the YUK. While I mewled and puked in terror, they clamped me down and stapled a steel wool goatee beard to my chin. Then it was too late, I was given the blood of a Barry Manilow fan, shunned by society, and the rest is history…"

And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything!

Vlismas is the only South African to be invited back twice to perform at the biggest and most prestigious comedy festival in the world, Juste Pour Rire (That's French for "Just for laughs") in Montreal, Canada. He has also represented South Africa at the Melbourne International Comedy festival and Berlin's erstwhile Mauldhlden comedy festival.

He has produced four one man shows: Mr Ballistic, Man In Black, Whacked and Aggravated Assault, and his successful two hander with Bevan Cullinan, Grinder. All ran to full houses and rave reviews. His annual one-man shows in London are a hit with South African ex-pats and Londoners alike.

John Vlismas in Gay, Black and Immortal runs at the Heritage Theatre in Hillcrest for one week only from May 22 to 27. Tickets R175 for Wednesday to Saturday evenings (R150 Tuesday evenings and Sunday lunch) for a two-course meal and show. Show times are from Tuesday to Saturday 19h00 (meal) for 20h30 (show), and Sunday lunchtime specials at 12h30 (lunch) for 14h00 (show). For more information and to book phone 031 765 4197.

NB: This season is classified as Strictly Adults Only – absolutely no under 18’s)




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