A massive dream unfolds

I have a not-so-secret lover.

We flirt openly in front of crowds, much to their amusement… – or at least I hope.

Comedy. What a beaut.

This weekend we were entangled on stages, our relationship going one step further. I didn’t tell you this, but I’ve had a deep, secret dream for a while. Saturday’s HSS Cultural Show was the realisation of something I’ve imagined doing for over a year – to perform in a packed Guy Butler Theatre.

This is probably the largest performance space in Grahamstown and was host to the Cultural Show. The organising committee approached me as well as Jameel Fakee, Lincoln van der Westhuizen and the ever-stunning Elisha Mudly to co-host the event.

I was also asked to deliver a comedy set as part of the show line-up, which I accepted without hesitation. I’ve carried a burning urge to perform at the Guy Butler since early last year. Seeing “Viv’s Variery Show” (held there early each year) and the different acts mesmerise the crowd had me thinking one thing: I HAVE TO BE HERE!

We arrived at the venue at about 4pm to take part in the final preparations before the show’s start at about 7pm. We eventually came on to the massive stage, introducing ourselves with a comic skit.

The show proceeded smoothly and I eventually found myself backstage preparing to go on for what the programme had labelled my “monologue”.

Lights up.

I dived straight into one of my trusted openers, to a warm response. A mixture of fear and buzzing excitement blanketed me as I took in the curious gaze of around a thousand people in the packed theatre.

The set was going well.

The crowd was largely made up of out-of-towners so my chosen material was not specific to Rhodes, which made for a refreshing change, even for me.

I closed off with a joke about the South African political landscape which got big laughs and, before walking off, took a second to soak in a moment of huge significance to a lingering dream.

Tyson at the Guy Butler Theatre during the HSS Cultural Show

The show was a resounding success. Not just on a personal level, but the quality of the performers and the slickness of the organisation.

Jameel, Lincoln, Elisha and I had an absolute blast hosting the event and were grateful to have been included.

The Cultural Show capped off what was another good weekend for comedy.

Friday night ushered in an appearance at Grotto Mojito for the Big Green VIP Party. This was an appearance organised backstage at the Environmental Fashion show a few weeks ago.

Anyway, I arrived at Grotto to find the place half-full with guests chatting calmly at their tables. There was a tent mounted towards the end of the yard (Grotto is an open-air venue). Inside the tent, a small stage had Dave Knowles (a local musician) on a stool and entertaining the crowd with his guitar skills and songs.

I was a little worried about the crowd being so spaced out throughout the venue. I was going to have to work for their attention.

Lincoln, who was the MC for that show, brought me on to the stage and so it began.

The set started off shakily but gathered momentum and closed-off solidly.

Back to Saturday: Linc I appeared briefly at Monastery (a Grahamstown nightspot) for a performance organised by Drum Society. The small crowd was once again very spaced-out and the set was a bit difficult as a result.

I’m so thankful for all the opportunities and the learning I’ve been afforded.

There is more on the horizon. I’ll keep you in the loop.

Stay tuned…

-Tyson

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