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Premium Comedy in Mitchells Plain
The skinny on the first stand-up club to hit the Cape Flats district
Many of Mzansi’s most famed funnymen once called the Cape Flats home (think Kurt Schoonraad, Riaad Moosa and Marc Lottering, to name a few), but for years, fans haven’t had the option of catching them spin witty one-liners on the same grounds where they learned to walk and talk. Now, thanks to pioneering local Kenwyn Davids, these top South African comics are returning to their birthplace to perform.
In October 2012, this promising stand-up and visionary took it on himself to launch Premium Comedy, the area’s very first professional comedy club, in the smart and spacious Premium Sports Bar in the Westridge sub-section of Mitchells Plain.
“I saw a need because previously comedy was only found in places like the city centre and Observatory,” explains the young founder and funnyman. “But there was nothing in Mitchells Plain, and considering what comedy does for people, how it brings joy, I thought we should try it here.”
So, for a solid year now, Kenwyn has been bringing an array of big names, both those originally from the region and those from much farther afield, to this windswept side of the city and putting on a world-class show every second Tuesday of the month at a super affordable rate.
And really, it’s about time such a cultural centre of laughs was opened in a place like Mitchells Plain, seeing as there’s no community better acquainted with humour than the Cape coloureds.
“I don’t know if it’s in our genetic code or something, but coloured people just seem to know how to turn the negatives into the positives,” says Kenwyn, who started to develop a love for making others giggle back in his primary school years. “Maybe it’s just the way we’re brought up, to see the funny side of situations.”
Basically, this is a group of individuals who certainly know how to smile, chuckle and chortle despite adversity, and now the Premium Comedy club is giving locals another reliable and consistent way to momentarily escape from life’s serious stresses and concerns.
“It’s an uplifting couple of hours for the community,” Kenwyn asserts, highlighting just how electric and upbeat the energy of the crowd is on performance nights. “There’s definitely something positive happening here.”
Aside from the regular comedy evenings being very therapeutic and offering a much-needed mental retreat, they are also going some way to connect those from the surrounding neighbourhoods and break down dividing barriers. As the animated organiser of the biweekly gigs emphasises, when people laugh, they tend to let their guard down, to chat and joke easily with others and to feel like they’re part of a bigger whole.
But it’s not only the audience members at the hysterical Tuesday shows that benefit. Because Premium Comedy was also established as a platform for wannabe comics, the club does what many other more well-established venues fail to do: it gives inexperienced unknowns from the area a welcomed leg-up. Thanks to a regular open-mic slot and the founder’s willingness to consider any hopeful jester that approaches him, anyone wanting to give stand-up a go has the opportunity to take to the stage alongside the top dogs and fire forth one-liners in front of a large crowd – the bar holds up to 250 people – that’s all too eager to offer up what Kenwyn calls “the big laughs”.
So, in this way, the entertaining event is also about showcasing the great talent that the Cape Flats has to offer and reminding residents that they can be proud of where they come from. In fact, one of the club’s main aims is to change people’s perceptions of the area, particularly those from outside who just don’t view it as a visit-worthy place.
In the near future then, Kenwyn hopes to have many more people from other Cape Town suburbs venturing out to take in the show and to see for themselves that, rather than being dominated by doom and gloom, there’s a very bright and promising side to Mitchells Plain.
The Bill: Entrance to the Premium Comedy show costs a mere R30, and tickets can be bought at the door on the night or beforehand by contacting Kenwyn on +27 (0) 72 399 3338 or at email@example.com. Food and drinks, which are priced very affordably, are at an extra cost.
Operating Hours: The show runs every second Tuesday of the month from 8:30pm to 10:30pm (all details can be found on the Premium Comedy at Premium Sports Bar Facebook page).
Corner of Dagbreek Avenue and Avocado Street | Westridge | Mitchells Plain | Cape Town | +27 (0) 72 399 3338.
Looking for other places in the Mother City to get a good lag? Take a peek at our overview of top stand-up comedy venues in Cape Town.
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