Following their sold-out national tour to Port Elizabeth, East London and Johannesburg, the Joe Barber boys are back by popular demand, with ‘Joe Barber VI – Life’ celebrating the show’s 15th birthday at the Baxter Theatre from December 3 to January 10.
Since its inaugural season in 1999, Joe Barber has become a Cape Town institution and is regarded as one of the Mother City’s most successful and longest-running local comedy shows, turning Oscar Petersen and David Isaacs, directed by Heinrich Reisenhofer, into bonafide local stars.
The three first met while studying at UCT’s drama department and this is where the concept was first birthed. They were immediately drawn to each other because they all had the same mission, which was to tell local stories that were reflective of what was happening in local communities. So they started creating work together and this collaborative effort resulted in the first hit production ‘Suip!’ Having fun and sharing stories and jokes with each other is how ‘Joe Barber’ ultimately began.
“For us it is not just about the comedy or showmanship, it is a true celebration of our community and a way of life and how we can all laugh together,” explains multi-award-winner Reisenhofer. “With this return season we would like to invite audiences to be part of our 15th birthday celebrations and share their memories with us, as we give away lots of great prizes (including DVDs) and throwing in a couple of surprises.”
This mockumentary-styled episode is a humorous look at Cape Flats community life and its progress in the light of South Africa’s 20 years of democracy. All the favourite characters are present and accounted for, and as usual, all their gossip and complaints end up in the barbershop for Boeta Joe to deal with. “It’s hard to believe that it was 15 years ago when we first performed Joe Barber in a tiny 20-seater theatre,” says Oscar Petersen. “There were only two people in the audience and we took in a mere R30 that night. In fact, we kept the three R10 notes we earned and decided to sign our names and the date on the back of the notes, knowing that one day it would mean something really special. Who would have thought?”
He continues, “A year after that first season in 1999 we finally made a breakthrough when we performed the show at the Warehouse Theatre in Green Point and suddenly we got to experience our first full house of a really responsive and generous audience who laughed uncontrollably and were cheering throughout.”
David Isaacs agrees. “From then onwards it has been a rollercoaster ride of laughter and fun as we created six episodes of sold-out shows locally, nationally and abroad. There is still no better moment for us than meeting our audience after each show and hearing their stories and how they relate to the characters as if they were real.”
* Tickets cost R95 (Tuesdays to Thursdays) and R130 on Fridays and Saturdays, and performances are at 8pm nightly with an age restriction of 13 years.
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