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Friday, 29 June 2012 15:03

Chilli Boy: 10 years on and still a hot topic

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Emily Corke: This year marks the first decade since the debut of the Gelradine Naidoo directed one-man comedy show, Chilli Boy. In fact it had been exactly 10 years to the second yesterday since Mathew Ribnick had first donned the multitude of characters he plays in the show since he had first gone on stage as the Chilli Boy.


It is not difficult to see why the show is still in ‘hot’ demand. Ribnick kept the audience gripped and rolling with laughter the whole way through.

Ribnick plays several completely different characters ranging from an elderly Indian woman to a bad boy Boksburg gangster. One character was what one might call a “misguided jock sweetheart”, who the audience fell in love with. The swift character changes only require him changing one piece of clothing and his accent and the he embodied a whole new person. Ribnick pulled them off flawlessly.

Even more impressive was what the audience found out later in the show. Ribnick kept taking breaks in the energy intensive scenes to blow his nose and take a huge gulp of water. At first it seemed strange and at times distracting but at the end of the performance Ribnick explained that he had woken up really ill that morning. This did not stop him from pulling off the hour long intense performance where he danced, frolicked around stage, rapped and sung. Ribnick even managed to do a perfect rendition of the “Bollywood rap”, the climactic ending to the piece.

The accents were quite confusing in the beginning in the beginning of the production due to the pace he talked at but later Ribnick slowed down and the audience was in hysterics. Even an American group of girls laughed out loud at the jokes and jargon which are usually understandable only to South Africans.

Ribnick displayed his extensive onstage experience by not only dealing with the few technical glitches in the show but by also incorporating them as jokes in the piece.

It is one thing to pull off a one man comedy show, but it is another to deal with so many serious issues in our country including race, religion, culture and homosexuality with such a light tone and have the audience laugh uncontrollably. Chilli Boy kept to its high standard of years past and is a must-see show at fest.


Chilli Boy will be showing at the Glennie Hall:

29 June @ 16:00

30 June @ 14:00 and 20:00

1 July @ 16:00

2 July @ 14:00

3 July @ 22:00

4 July @ 10:00

6 July @ 20:00

7 July @ 10:00

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