I have seen quite a few Alan Committie shows and even before watching Love Factually, currently at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town, I knew I was going to love his latest work. This is not because I am swept up in a magical spell that forces me to praise every word coming out of Committie’s mouth, but simply because he is a professional who gets well-deserved standing ovations time after time.
Indeed, this time was no different. Committie tackles all aspects of love: from fighting with your partner to the secrets to long and happy relationships.
The set is quite simple, but effective. He uses a few seats from a movie theatre and a projector screen to take you to the place where all the magic happens: Hollywood. Through the (often unrealistic) plots of romantic comedies Committie shows us that life is often stranger than fiction. Real love can’t be condensed into a recipe. Real love is messy and beautiful at the same time. It takes work and there’s often humour in the simplest of moments.
Committie has a flair for thinking on his feet and turning something quite ordinary into a hysterical situation. His puns are crowd pleasers and it’s remarkable how quickly he turns interactions with the audience into funny moments. Above all, the show will make you feel good about life and forget all that is going on in the world of news, current affairs, finances, chores, school, work, etc.
Having said that, I do feel he fell prey to clichés in this performance. The age-old battle of the sexes takes centre stage and even though he acknowledges that love and relationships are not “conventional” anymore, he does little to explore the comedy situated beyond a conventional, heteronormative relationship.
Committie clearly wants you to walk out of the theatre with a warm, fuzzy feeling. Despite all the problems and differences between the sexes, love is still an amazing experience. But just think how that feeling would have been amplified if he was more inclusive in his interpretation. What about gay couples? How do they navigate the turbulent waters we call a relationship? What about women who says “screw it” to convention and proposes instead? There’s a so much potential left untapped it’s probably a good idea for a follow-up show.
Should you go see Love Factually? Absolutely. It is indeed the perfect date night comedy. As usual he ended up getting a standing ovation. Was it as well-deserved as his previous ones? Perhaps not, but it doesn’t take anything away from this comic genius.
29 MAY – 16 JUN
STARTS: 8:00 PM
2 Jun – 5:00 pm
9 Jun – 5:00 pm
16 Jun – 5:00 pm