Schalk Bezuidenhout: South African White Boy
- Brian Donaldson
- 26 August 2019
Decent debut from a distinctive voice of the developing world
Circumstances outside his control seemed to hijack this night of Schalk Bezuidenhout's fine Fringe debut run. Before the show starts, a charity message is played in what seems to be the only Pleasance Courtyard room which organisers have deemed appropriate for its airing, with the comic getting a good three or four minutes of fun straight off the bat. That involves this South African comic saying the words 'AIDS announcement' many times, while being mock-insulted that they would choose the show of an act from a developing country to play it.
Later, the room will go completely dark through a technical hitch (again, the evidence seems to be that tis bunker has been the chosen one) with the torches on several front-row phones allowing him to carry on until light was restored. But through all this, Bezuidenhout maintains excellent humour and uses the obstacles to keep the laughs coming.
His main stories (all told in a broad Afrikaans accent, which Western ears are more accustomed to having heard from racists on horses than comedians at festivals) revolve around his romantic misadventures and being born (in 1992) into a society that was slowly trying to change after decades of apartheid: the story of how his school choir tried to prove its multicultural attributes while making matters worse is a particular delight. A fine debut from a distinctive voice that we should hopefully be hearing more from.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 26 Aug, 9.30pm, £8.50 (£7.50).