Stressed to Kill My Life | My Reviews 10 JAN 2008

Stressed to KillLast night marked the seventh month that I’ve been in a relationship with Chantelle, and what better way to mark this romantic event than with flowers (our new stricter dietary and exercise plan doesn’t allow for Lindt chocolate showers anymore) and an injection of culture, more specifically a trip to the theatre (albeit for a one man comedy show).

The venue in question was Theatre on the Bay, a cosy little intimate theatre situated in the heart of Camps Bay, the one man comedian was none other than the self-proclaimed One Man Committee of Comedy, Mr Alan Committie and the show was his hilarious Stressed to Kill, formerly known as Return to Send Up.

Theatre on the Bay advertises Stressed to Kill as:

In a compassionate move specifically designed to help all Capetonians and visitors to the Mother City stay sane this Festive Season, ALAN COMMITTIE presents his hysterical one man comedy show at Theatre on the Bay from the beginning of December. In this, his 7th personally-penned one-man show, ALAN takes a look at how we cope in the modern world, with – and without – cellphones, computers, e-mail, golf, movies, television, flying, Enid Blyton and security! You know, …my cellphone’s smaller than your cellphone’ and that kind of thing …

Culture is put under the spotlight in a daring expos’ of why opera, ballet and contemporary dance are so meaningful that nobody actually understands them, while a dear old favourite, Johan van der Walt, star of the MNET series LAUGH OUT LOUD, makes a welcome return with his masterclass in self-defence!

Knowing that he is currently responsible for handling the highly successful and long, long running South African comedic show, Defending the Caveman (previously Tim Pluman’s baby), I kind of expected Stressed to Kill to pretty much play out in a similar way, a kind of story driven show with elements of comedy in it. However, much to my surprise (and utter enjoyment), Stressed to Kill is nothing more than a laugh a minute stand-up comedy routine that examines various aspects of daily life and looks at the hilarity inherit in each situation.

Alan interacts continuously with the crowd and in doing so feeds off them much to their detriment. Beware if you are from out of town, an international guest or even worse’ from Tableview. Also, sitting in the front couple of rows probably isn’t the best idea either, particularly if you don’t want to become an impromptu part of the show.

This two hour long show covers a lot of ground. We are taken through a host of daily activities which Alan masterfully dissects and points out the humour to us, being sure to throw in copious amounts of gags and puns along the way. He then examines a lot of past activities that we as an older audience appreciates, like looking at Enid Blyton’s works, the days before the cellphone and the pleasure of going to drive-ins. As a treat, we even get to experience an authentic Dinner for One reproduction, complete with inconveniently placed animal skin rug!

The show gets interrupted with a special guest appearance of Johan van der Walt (Alan Committie), most recently seen on MNET’s Laugh Out Loud show. A highly officious, disturbingly pedantic and rude man, Van Der Walt is a part-time Sheriff of the Court and full-time bumbling. Alan’s character is a riot to watch as he extracts humour not thought possible out of a wonderful mixing of Afrikaans and English – and his self defence course is guaranteed to have you in stitches! Karate!

We get a wonderful rendition of a one man jazz band and then when you think it is all over, Alan surprises you with a hilarious look at why in the world contemporary dance and ballet is so deep and meaningful – even if no one understands it!

As a comedian, Alan is the whole package. Charmingly funny, impeccable ability to pull puns and gags out of almost any situation (Noddy having aural sex with Big Ears?) and a commanding voice and stage presence that draws and holds your attention for the entire duration of this laugh out loud session, Alan is just one of those top drawer comedians that shouldn’t be missed.

And if you don’t laugh at the stressful life of a triangle player in the philharmonic orchestra, then there is most definitely something wrong with your funny bone!

For more information on Alan Committie – comedian, stand-up comic, actor, director, writer, producer, Master of Ceremonies, facilitator and – hide your children – fully qualified school teacher – go to his website Definitely one of those thousand-gags a-minute comedian and actor to watch out for in the future. Highly, highly recommended!

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.