He parodies many of life’s little quirks with hilarious results and his current stint at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre is bound to bring the house down with his comic onslaught.
“The Sound of Laughter” opens with the familiar strains from the classic Julie Andrews musical, with a smiling image of the comedian on a screen behind him parodying the famous Andrews mountain poster. After a couple of fun references to the film, as well as the recent Parliamentary debacle which he dubbed “a nation in a state,” Committie strides into well-known territory, making friends with his audience and identifying a few key members with whom he engages throughout the show.
It is a sublime exercise in Alan Committie jollity in which he cleverly uses these individuals as part of the show’s structure; a teenager Bernard, an American from Florida and a high school teacher named George – all of whom added grist to his mill.
His topics ranged from time travel to travelling on a plane and from visiting a dentist to cell phones. He passes comment on the Oscar Pistorius trial and the number of recesses the judge called for every time things got difficult.
Eskom did not escape his humour, either. He discusses Enid Blyton ‘s Noddy books, and their more sinister social implications, and describes “The Hunger Games” as a book by Tim Noakes.
He horses around with that phenomenal production, “War Horse,” and creates amusing variations on the theme, ending by dragging on stage a clothes horse.
His show flows with quick-witted banter that is grafted to a unique way of storytelling. His improvisational skills are impressive, demonstrating this by fashioning an uplifting Facebook-type message from the verb “jump”, supplied by a member of the audience. These are the ingredients that help spice up his shows and make them fun experiences as well as acute social observations.
He lampoons personalities and situations and, with his observant eye, can skilfully turn a mundane situation into a comic gem. This is his genius.
The show is not only about Committie. The comedian introduces us once again to a character we have come to love; the toothy, Johan van der Walt, who has progressed in life and now holds the unenviable position of Eskom’s part-time marketing manager trying to explain what is going on. In the end we were all still left in the dark – and his fractured English has not improved.
His finale is a gigantic risk-taker which had the audience cheering and out of their seats. Without giving too much away, it’s sufficient to say he’s taken a leaf out of the circus by performing gymnastics on a silk rope.
Alan Committie, armed with a warm charm and his infectious patter certainly helps lift the spirit. It’s a tonic to watch and has certainly come at the right time, given the chaos of daily living.
“The Sound of Laughter,” directed by Christopher Weare, is on at the Main Theatre, Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre, Fourways, until 15 March.