Loyiso Gola: Tall Tales
Star rating: ****
Soho Theatre – Upstairs
Review date: Saturday 21st November 2015
Tall tales was the title of one of South Africa’s biggest, make that tallest, comedy star’s, Loyiso Gola’s, first show here in England. Performing in London’s Soho Theatre’s ‘Upstairs’, there’s a height theme building , Gola delivered a little bit of everything for his British audience.
There were tales of the ordinary involving hot cakes as well as the educational – apparently giraffes have no vocal chords, so make no noise and can’t communicate with one another using sound! I enjoyed his comparison between a woman in the audience giving birth (no, not during the show), but the general principle of how women do versus giraffe’s. More tall tales!
The cakes joke was original, funny and well told, reminiscent of the sort of joke you could imagine Michael McIntyre or his fellow countryman Trevor Noah telling. There was much in the show reminiscent of their brilliant ability to turn the ordinary into something funny.
We were treated to some musings on Nelson Mandela’s accent and the Oscar Pistorious case and the unfortunate date (Valentine’s Day 2014) he decided to murder her. Murder? Sorry, commit culpable homicide (manslaughter). Though a serious subject, he managed to mine some mildly amusing material from it.
The humour found in him losing a fight, then winning it thanks to the intervention of the adhan, the Muslim call to prayer, was very funny. Again, a little more education about Islam that many were probably unaware of.
Whilst Loyiso is not well known here, the 32 year old is very popular in South Africa. He has 737,000 twitter followers and is a twice Emmy nominated comedian no less. He joked about how he was invited to appear in Celebrity Master Chef (that’s how famous he is) but declined when someone realised he wasn’t that good a cook!
His 60 minutes went by in a flash which is testimony to how much I was enjoying the show. In fact, I enjoyed a little less than an hour, thanks to New Yorker Penny Arcade in Soho Downstairs overrunning by 30 minutes, cutting into the start of this show!
Gola is a very amiable guy and if his goal, if you pardon the pun, was to make London laugh and warm to him he definitely hit the back of the net.
Review © Tiemo Talk of the Town
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