Theatre review: Allie Pad Funny Worchester

Posted: January 18, 2011 in Theatre & Event Reviews and Interviews

Allie Pad Funny Worcester, review by ASTRID STARK.  Directed by Rob van Vuuren.  At the Baxter Theatre until 21 January. at 8:15pm.

A very famous man once said, “If you are going to tell the truth, you’d better make them laugh or they will kill you”.  There are many truths hidden between the hilarious layers of comedian, actress and writer, Shimmy Isaacs’ latest performance piece.  Some of them are wickedly funny as she flips the mirror onto us and we chortle as we recognise some of our own character traits. Some of the truths she exposes make us squirm in our seats.    

Isaacs takes her audience on an autobiographical journey through growing up in Worcester, to exploring her acting career, first in Cape Town, and then The Big Apple.  Along the way she tackles the delicate issues bubbling up from the hearts of the various cultures in the Western Cape and later in New York.  She gives us an insight into the world of an Afrikaans speaking, coloured girl growing up in a small community, through engaging story-telling, stand-up comedy sketches, and a dashes of miming and clowning.   Lara Foot provides additional direction to piece.


The 29- year-old Isaacs, who won the Best of Ikhwezi Theatre Festival accolade in 2009 for her musical comedy Dens Wit Me, as well as the Last Man Standing Comedy Competition, is just so easy to watch. It must have something to do with her unbridled passion for her craft, her obvious natural talent, and wallops of hard work paying off.


Isaacs captures the essence of the various characters that influenced her personal journey as a young coloured woman.   And she does this unashamedly as she takes ownership of her culture and race; including all its flaws, ambiguities and secrets.  Isaacs reminds us what is was like during those days of growing up in a small town and going to the now infamous Model C schools; of having great aspirations and a sceptical community surrounding you.  It is a funny and delicate coming-of-age story that not only highlights the difference between the cultures in our so-called Rainbow Nation, but also accentuates the many similarities between us. Having been raised in a strict Dutch Reformed, white, Afrikaans, family and community I had to laugh out loud in relief on being reminded that it was not only some white kids that had a hard time under conservative, totalitarian parents and communities.  Though Apartheid did its best to remind us of our differences, this young coloured girl and I experienced some of the same challenges, difficulties, and beauty, of young girls growing up in South Africa, and these are just some of the interesting ties that bind us. Through Isaacs’ piece we are reminded that theatre can cultivate empathy, and tolerance, through dealing with the truths that makes us South Africans.  And if it can be done with sensitivity and humour; then perhaps the message will linger on.


The play is mostly in Afrikaans with some English, which might make it a bit challenging if you don’t have a fundamental understanding of ‘Die Taal’.    Isaacs is a regular performer at  Jou Ma Se Comedy Club in Observatory.  She was last seen as one of the ‘crackettes’ in the women only comic performance of Cracks and the City which will be back in theatres from 28 January.


Tickets are from R65-R85.  Bookings through Computicket on 083 915 8000, or online at Or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet. For discounted block, corporate or school bookings, charities or fundraisers, contact Sharon on 021 680 3962 or Carmen on 021 680 3993 during office hours.


Shimmy Isaacs in Allie Pad Funny Worcester Pic 2 by Michelle Bester (3

  1. jaqueline isaacs says:

    Also from worcester,might be related do u perhaps know magdalena isaacs?


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