The Soweto Theatre erupted in applause on Tuesday night as 21 new comedians delivered their best performances for South Africa’s comedy industry in an exciting new event launched in the run up to The 3rd Annual South African Comic’s Choice Awards (CCA’s).
The first event of its kind ever, the inaugural Savanna Newcomer’s Showcase surprised everyone with its calibre of raw talent and fresh material and the theatre echoed with wild applause and standing ovations.
As the CCA’s is an industry event, the nominees in the Newcomer category are voted for by their peers and not the public, which gave rise to the question “how does the industry know who to vote for if they’ve never seen these Newcomers perform?” Inspired by this insight, Savanna and the CCA team created this developmental initiative to give SA’s budding talent a platform to strut their stuff in front of SA’s finest, in a bid to be selected as one of the four nominees in their category.
An event for beginners, no one knew quite how it would turn out, so it takes a brave brand to see the potential in something and back it on the feeling that its simply going to be great! Instead of just sponsoring the awards, Savanna reached out to all registered Newcomers, flew in the out-of-towners and proved that they really are in the trenches with comedy by giving each comedian a five minute slot in one momentous evening hosted by the hilarious Kagiso Lediga. “It was a true sign that SA comedy has come of age, is extremely diverse and world class”, stated a proud Lediga after the show.
Garnering massive support from the industry, previous award winners and the country’s iconic talent cheered and jeered with endorsements from the likes of Alyn Adams, Ndumiso Lindi, Lazola Gola, Skhumba Hlophe and Goliath and Goliath.
“The crew and the acts all worked out into a fantastic mix. Our gut tells us that we have started something very important in Soweto. Thanks Savanna, you're building comedy history with us and we are most grateful”, comments John Vlismas, founder of the CCA.
Career-defining moments were captured by numerous tweets from Newcomers throughout the night, such as Eureka Nkese’s "The Showcase was amazing. Performing at the beautiful Soweto Theatre alongside Kagiso Lediga will be an unforgettable experience for me. I felt like a real comedian", and Newcomer Liam Bento’s "Easily one of the biggest highlights of my comedy career, meeting other comics, getting advice from seasoned comics, amazing venue... Priceless!!!" Newcomer Nicholas Goliath: "Comedy is the future and the Savanna Newcomer’s Showcase proves that the industry is growing in leaps and bounds"
Watch the press for the nominee announcement, which takes place on 17 July 2013.
Luckily there is one category that’s open for public vote, the Savanna Audience Choice Award. Visit www.comicschoice.co.za for details.
The award ceremony takes place at The Teatro at Montecasino on 24 August 2013, and is in association with The Times, Mzansi Magic and Kaya FM. Tickets: Computicket (www.computicket.co.za) from R230 to R270.