25 years later, Jive Funny Festival is funnier than ever

By STAFF REPORTER

27 May 2024 – A stellar cast of South Africa’s seasoned stand-up comics, singers, and entertainers, accompanied by international acts, is lining up to perform in the 25th-anniversary edition of South Africa’s premier comedy variety show, the Jive Cape Town Funny Festival.

A Cape Town institution which has consistently played to capacity houses in its month-long run, the festival takes place at the Baxter Theatre Centre from 10 June 2024 to 7 July 2024.

Producer Eddy Cassar, who founded the festival in 1997, says audiences can once again look forward to an evening of high-quality entertainment at what Capetonians have fondly come to call ‘Jive’. 

This year’s quarter-century celebratory show sees hugely popular international entertainers, American circus artist/comedian Mario Queen of the Circus and British-Armenian comedic pianist Kev Orkian, return to Cape Town to join the likes of award-winning local performers Emo and Loukmaan Adams and comedy supremo Alan Committie for the full run of the festival. 

Completing the line-up will be some of South Africa’s great comedic talents including Dalin Oliver, Khanyisa Bunu, Dillan Oliphant, Sifiso Nene, Kagiso KG Mokgadi and Yaseen Barnes.

Says Cassar: “We’ve got an excellent line-up this year as we turn 25, which is a very special milestone.”

The annual Jive Funny Championship – the city’s biggest stand-up comedy talent search which gives the winner a covetable slot on the festival stage – is also in the celebratory mix and open-mic sessions have already begun.

Sharief Parker, Jive Cooldrinks CEO and founder says the festival has “brought a lot to the Jive brand” and vice versa; the relationship is one of “camaraderie, negotiation, and give-and-take, which is very rare”.

Says Parker, “The common denominator between Eddy and Jive Cooldrinks is that the festival is engineered to speak to our community, which resonated with us and our company culture. Jive is entrenched in the community and has an emotional link to it.

“Over the years, Eddy has stated that the festival would not have been a success without Jive Cooldrinks.”

The successful partnership is set to continue for at least four more years, with Jive recently contracting Cassar to produce four more funny festivals.

Well-known actor and singer Emo Adams, who returned to the show in 2023 after first performing in 2019, says “In no world would you ever get a line-up of that calibre together in one show, performing on one stage … so to be part of it all, is a ‘wow’ moment!”

• Tickets for the 25th Jive Cape Town Funny Festival are on sale via Webtickets and there are discounts for group and block bookings of more than 10 people.

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