Down at Scout Hall, you take your place at the dinner table. Comedy ensembles are difficult to pin down when it comes to what you’ll be digging into tonight, so what creations has this particular kitchen in mind to serve you?
After you are seated, you are first introduced to your waiter, Tyson Ngubeni. He’s a veteran of the Grahamstown comedy cafe, and the best way to describe his act is climactic. The momentary pauses and phrasing give rise to the grand punchline at the end while still being able to hold your attention. Ngubeni’s very pleasant mannerisms (and facial expressions that could have their own show) make you feel relaxed and ready to dive into some delicious delights.
With mouths fully watered, Ngubeni presents you with a fine wine served with a side of Mpumelelo Malumo. Lelo (a name he puts out for the benefit of the white patrons at the table) presents you with a story that you can sip your wine to. It begins with the man reminiscing about how even his mother had trouble with pronouncing his name, and it ends with him taking ownership of a beach house in Jeffreys Bay. He satisfies the palate well, rounding off his comedy in the style of a complete narrative.
Moving on with the main course, you find yourself looking at a slab of white meat drenched in peri-peri sauce – otherwise known as Brad Lang. His time on your plate is spent catching you off-guard, his quips being the hiding place for the jokes that really hit home. The act of making you laugh at stereotypes is made into an interesting experience in the offbeat timing of the punchline.
The three-course schedule is topped off with a slice of cream cake, Kate Pinchuck (this writer’s favourite dish of the evening). She provides a mouthful with an excellent topping of icing that complements the overarching subject matter. Not too bland to seem as a add-on, and not too rich to overpower the body – just the right amount. The cake doubles up as comfort food, with Pinchuck providing insightful relationship advice to both the couples and us singles at the table.
This restaurant serves an after-dinner special unique to each sitting. In this case, we were treated to Angel Campey. Campey seems like she’s there to cleanse the palate, but then proceeds to mercilessly drag a jalapeño across your tongue. Her offering is direct and in-your-face, the punchline presented for all to see and enjoy.
An hour later, dinner is over, and you are given a doggy bag to take home with you. Inside, you have the trimmings of what was presented to you, over which you can reminisce. These include pieces of masculinity, privilege, feminism, racism and the shavings of stereotypes. Lambs to the Laughter serves you with comedy that hits home for very good reasons, reminding you of what our daily diets consist of, and then confronting them with their own individual offerings.
Catch the last two performances of Lambs to the Laughter on 3 and 4 July at 10:30pm at Scout Hall.
By Samuel Spiller