Theatre review: Kurt Schoonraad

Posted: November 13, 2009 in Theatre & Event Reviews and Interviews
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kurt press 1 (4)Kurt 2Review:  Kurt Schoonraad Live

Review:  Astrid Stark
First published in The Cape Times 9 November 2009

The accidental comedian.

It’s official. Coloureds are taking over the world.  Resistance is futile. The rest of us are being assimilated and anal probes are on sale at Cash Crusaders for R400 a pop. That is if you believe a word that stand-up comedian Kurt Schoonraad says. Well he might actually have a point. The instantly likeable Schoonraad is working on new material for his show at On Broadway and he is more than a little smug about coloured being the new black; citing Barack Obama, Tiger Woods and Lewis Hamilton as prime examples. 

Schoonraad made his stand-up debut at the Smirnoff International Comedy Festival in 1999 as a part of a dare by his friends. He then joined the Comedy Collective; which was a launching pad for many of our great comedians such as Riaad Moosa and Kagiso Lediga.   Clearly a devout Mitchell’s Plain ‘boykie’, Schoonraad’s humour focuses mostly on growing up as a coloured in a marginalised community. He does not play on the many cringe-worthy wrong doings of the past but rather gives a hilarious, exaggerated – one hopes – insight into what life is like growing up on the ‘Plain’.  The coloured community is tired of hearing about only trailer trash whites that are being abducted by aliens.  “What’s wrong with us coloureds?” cries Schoonraad as spokesperson of his people. Finally a coloured person is abducted, perhaps in a moment of racial equality, and the aliens note that the being is full of hieroglyphs (tattoos) and therefore must be quite ancient and revered.  Not long after the abduction, the probes mysteriously disappear from the examination room; ending up at a bargain basement store on earth.   However he doesn’t just make fun of his own people, the whiteys and blackies also get a thorough tongue lashing, as Schoonraad thanks them furthering the coloured population by their interracial procreation. 

Schoonraad has a delightful rubber-like face and an uncanny talent for impersonating stereotypes in society.  In a skit about Mitchell’s Plain Airways Schoonraad is an air-hostess that announces the lunch being served is a Gatsby, which will be cut in three pieces, “Take a bite and pass to the back”, says the hostess.

The show is delightfully un-PC and there’s a lot of swearing.  However, he also comes across as really sincere and deeply proud of his heritage. He pokes fun at South African stereotypes and highlights our cultural differences which ultimately reveal that we are more similar than we would like to admit. 

Many people will know him as the part time traveller on the quirky television series, Going Nowhere Slowly.  He is also a big advocate of his profession and created Jou Ma se Comedy Club to develop the skills of new and upcoming stand-up comedians by giving them an opportunity to work with veterans such as Tracy Klass, Marc lottering and Stuart Taylor. 

Schoonraad Live runs at On Broadway every Sunday and Monday until 23 November.  Tickets are R65 per person. You can also book for pre-dinner but be sure to arrive early.  For bookings call 021 424 1194, or visit their website www.onbroadway.co.za.

The End

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