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LUCKY PLEBEIAN (article first published : 2008-03-24)

Prolific, articulate, intelligent, razor-sharp comedian John Vlismas returns to Durban in Lucky Plebeian for a short six-show season of innovative, hard-hitting, adults-only comedy at the Heritage Theatre in Hillcrest.

This time, Vlismas examines the incessant media focus on arbitrary instant celebrities – a sausage factory of one-hit wonders from Pop Idols, to wannabe supermodels, to million-dollar smiling bachelors – our fascination with a myriad of nobodies who find a moment of fame with more media-savvy than real skill and the longevity of a loaf of bread (hence the Lucky Plebeian of the show’s title).

Vlismas, who did a short sell out solo season at the Heritage Theatre last year unusually titled Gay, Black and Immortal, won Best Stand Up of the Year against tough competition at the inaugural SA Comedy Awards last year.

John Vlismas returns once more to his Durban stomping ground. He is best known in KZN for his part in the iconic Durban Poison collective. He performed here in April 2006 when he was part of the Durban Poison one night only re-union gig at the Playhouse in memory of Durban Poison founder member, Shaun Griggs.

He is back, on-form and as acerbic, articulate, astute, abrasive and angry as ever! 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!” he enthuses!

John 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. 2007 saw him take to the stage of London’s Hammersmith Apollo in Shady Okes, a show which he produced. He also appeared as part of the Bulmer’s comedy festival in Dublin.

He has worked very hard to put South Africa on the global stage and garnered exceptional reviews from Australia to Germany. As one of South Africa’s most prolific comedians, John is well known for his versatility and punishing schedule. Whether he’s writing material in a hotel suite with Jerry Springer, representing his country on stage, hosting a prime-time talk show or entertaining business leaders at their function, he’ll deliver the goods in his signature high-octane style. John covers the entire entertainment spectrum, and is able to work to any brief. One of John’s signature abilities is his success rate in crossover between race, gender, class and income group: he is equally able to work to 40,000 young urban music fans in Newtown, and to CEO’s at the Sandton Convention Centre.

He has produced five one man shows: Mr Ballistic, Man In Black, Whacked, Aggravated Assault and Gay Black and Immortal, 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 appears in Lucky Plebeian comes to the Heritage Theatre in Hillcrest for one week only from April 8 to 13. Tickets include a two-course meal. For more information and to book phone 031 765 4197.

NB: This season is strictly adults only – absolutely no under 18s.




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