Friday, May 3, 2013

The Chester Missing Road Show: Review

Ventriloquist: “A performer who projects the voice into a wooden dummy”.

Chester and Conrad are a bag of jokes a minute! Thanks to Market Theatre for the pic 
Oh what a lovely show Conrad Koch, the man behind ChesterMissing, delivered. I was in stitches most of the night. The only other South African comedian who has a similar effect on me is Kagiso Lediga.

For about an hour or so, Conrad kept us fully engaged with his three puppets and began with a bit of a stand up without a puppet. We live in a world where engaging with the audience is key and highly appreciated; Conrad did this well, without it seeming forced. 

South African politics are tricky. At any given moment you can be counter-revolutionary if you are a black person or racist if you are white. Comedians are a special breed because they get away with saying the craziest, most insulting things about politicians or celebrities, and that person might end up laughing. 

But I guess that’s the beauty rooted in comedy; for a split second we stop being angry and laugh our hearts out.

Although layered in wit the comments this puppet makes are uncomfortable truths. Before I get ahead of myself and continue referring to Chester as though he has a mind of his own, let’s remember he is a puppet with a puppet master; Conrad.  

I started this blog post with the definition of a ventriloquist. That’s simply because ventriloquism is not something I am used to.

When I think ventriloquism I think of the number of horror movies that I watched as a kid that involved murderous puppets; think Chucky! Never in my young life did I ever think that a ventriloquist would appeal to my sense of humour.

But Conrad has managed to make something so foreign to me, tangible and appealing in the form of Chester Missing, a loud mouth “political analyst”.

This puppet has so much of a life of its own one would actually start believing that it could actually walk away from Conrad and do a solo.

If you are clueless about current affairs, don’t bother attending this show; you will get bored. The whole show is a jab at politicians, and everybody that has been making headlines lately; all things CURRENT AFFAIRS.

No one was safe; Kenny Kunene’s whoring ways, Julius Malema’s weight, the Gupta’s and City Press Editor, Ferial Haffejee, who had opted to sit front row (never sit in front at a comedy show….NEVER).

Chester shares the stage with Hillary (the alcoholic diva ostrich) and Ronnie (the green monster). Conrad carries these different roles so well, not only depending on oral presentation for laughter but giving the puppets such amazing personalities.

Hillary swooned and flirted, Ronnie behaved like a needy toddler and Chester was egotistical and dismissing (laughing at his own jokes). I thought I’d find the whole thing weird but I actually had a lot of fun.

The show is on at the Market Theatre until 2 June 2013.


  1. Brilliant article I will go out and watch this show lol! - Sizwe CSAY

    1. Thanks for reading! Please share with your people Sizwe. And after watching it, I'd like your thoughts on it :-).