Schalk Bezuidenhout: Feeling Good

MICF-Feeling-Good-Schalk-BezuidenhoutAustralians know of some South African comedians from Johannesburg, like Trevor Noah. However, 30-year-old Schalk Bezuidenhout is from Kempton Park, about an hour away, so he has that playfield to himself. His MICF debut show Feeling Good seems to match his upbeat stage persona.

With his toothy grin, unruly hair, dodgy moustache, and slightly gangly, nerdy posture, Bezuidenhout might seem to be a South African version of Guy Montgomery, but he’s not quite as inclined towards nuttiness as the Kiwi.

This only child had a middle-class upbringing, a sporty dad, and a Mum who doesn’t appear at all in the routine… No matter, Bezuidenhout’s breezy set had amusing tales recalling his school days, including troubled efforts in organised sports, and on teenagers taking themselves far too seriously.

Fortunately, he doesn’t do this as an adult, maintaining a laid-back attitude even as late-comers kept drifting in up to the thirty-minute mark of his set. We don’t often get to see a South African comic live, especially a youngish one. Bezuidenhout may have overestimated how much a Melbourne audience knows about his country.

He could do more to setup the differences between the “English” and “Afrikaners” for the benefit of some stories about these groups. There’s a lot of stand-up on offer at MICF 2023, and Bezuidenhout could do more to exploit his particular point of difference.

This 6.00pm show is almost family friendly, except for one C bomb and a sex story that isn’t even Bezuidenhout’s own. It might be good to hear more of his own original thoughts, such as why an upgrade to the Bridal Suite might not be such a good thing.

For those of us having to run to another show, it was unfortunate that this one started quite late and ran over time. For the benefit of a festival audience, hopefully this is sorted out soon.

A decent sized crowd were rewarded with a number of good laughs across Feeling Good. Bezuidenhout is a confident performer, and his show was a solid start to a night out at MICF 2023.

Schalk Bezuidenhout: Feeling Good
One – Greek Centre, 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Performance: Friday 31 March 2023 – 6.00pm
Season continues to 23 April 2023
Information and Bookings:

Image: Schalk Bezuidenhout (supplied)

Review: Jason Whyte