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BWW Interview: Nicola Date talks COMEDY NEAR THE LESS FLIPPEN COLD SEA at Masque Theatre


We're nearing the end of 2020 and we could all use a good laugh!

BWW Interview: Nicola Date talks COMEDY NEAR THE LESS FLIPPEN COLD SEA at Masque Theatre We are reaching the end of 2020 and we could probably all use a really good laugh! That's why we're chatting to Nicola Date, one of the comedians who will be entertaining the audience at COMEDY NEAR THE LESS FLIPPEN COLD SEA at Masque Theatre.

BWW: Firstly, I need to know who came up with the name for the show? It's such a good giggle and a point of pride for those of us who live near this "less flippen cold sea".

Nicola: I am proud to say that I did! I live near the flippen cold sea (Milnerton side) and we definitely have temperature envy. Like, let us be honest, your sea is still flippen cold but just a little less so, so do not get too big headed about this. We need to stay grounded here!

BWW: Fair enough! Now, I've known you for a while as an actor and a singer, and I believe performing stand-up comedy is fairly new for you. Tell us about how you got into doing stand-up comedy and what it was like breaking through from actor and singer into this new role.

Nicola: May I just say firstly that it is nice to be known by you. I know you too. I have always said that 'I am a Comedian, but not yet'. In January last year, a swing broke that I was sitting on and I hit my head. Hard. So hard that I literally had to learn to walk again. It was the sort of knock that told me that it is time to be brave and do what I love. Around May last year, my dear friend Saya Pierce-Jones (performing in our show) encouraged me to do an open mic night, created by Phil de Lange (also a performer in our show) and the bug bit. I continued to do the open mic thing until I stalked the incredible Chantal Jax (I feel that there might be a string of nepotism happening here as she is our host) on social media and she has since become my comedy mentor and dear friend. During lockdown, we had an online show together and it has been uphill from there.

Okay, that story is over. Let's actually discuss the transition. I think that having performance experience has helped me to transition somewhat easily. I have had to learn a lot about formulating jokes etc. etc. but having the general stage experience has helped as stage presence and improvisation is a huge 'thing' in comedy. I am still a Designer, Performer, Arts Manager and general theatre human as I find that being multi-faceted helps me pay the bills and I enjoy so many aspects of the arts - but comedy has almost set me free. It is a form of self-expression that really speaks to me as I can share my thoughts and stories through humour; the way I like it best.

BWW: You've mentioned that you have a specific brand of comedy and a particular message that you are trying to spread with it. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

Nicola: Most definitely! I am a storyteller. Growing up, I always felt like a triangle living in a world of squares. My experience on the 90s and early 2000s was that I never really fit in anywhere and it made me feel like there was something wrong with me. There were not many icons for us little arty weirdos as media promoted the 'skinny, blonde, conventional' ideal (not that there is anything wrong with being that either). I only really fully realised that 'it is okay to be me and me is more than enough' in my early 30s. While we all know that there is lots of work to be done, the world is changing and there are more queer and 'alternative' icons coming through, and let us be honest, the Gen-Zs are totes woke.

I want to be one of those people who tells other people that whether you are 10, 17 or 60, it is okay to be a triangle. Own and live your truth, enjoy your unique idiosyncrasies and be brave. You only have one life to live!

BWW: So, what can audiences expect from COMEDY NEAR THE LESS FLIPPEN COLD SEA?

Nicola: The audience can expect a night of fabulous entertainment. We have a star-studded lineup with the incredibly entertaining Mel Jones as headliner and the ridiculously funny, Chantal Jax as host. The rest of our lineup includes Kenwyn Davids, Yaseen Baker, Phil de Lange and Saya Pierce-Jones - all incredibly accomplished and hilarious comics and artists. Finally, I will be on stage and as previous manager of the Masque Theatre, it will be quite something to be back on that stage but this time, not wearing my big boss hat! There will be jokes, there will be laughter and there will probably be a lot of stories that no one under 18 should ever hear. 2020 has been rough and we are here to offer the Southern Peninsular a night to laugh. COVID-19 Protocols will be in place.

BWW: Is this the first time you and your fellow comedians are performing since lockdown? How has that been for you, staying away from the stage?

Nicola: We have had the great fortune of hitting the stage again about a month or 2 ago. I am very happy that I no longer have to talk to my cellphone or PC. It was rather depressing as the crowd brings our art to life.

BWW Interview: Nicola Date talks COMEDY NEAR THE LESS FLIPPEN COLD SEA at Masque Theatre BWW: Got any sneaky insider gossip or fun facts to spill about the other comedians who are going to be up on stage with you?

1. I am scared of Mel Jones so if I say anything about her, I do not know what will happen to me. That womxn is a powerhouse and someone I admire.

2. Chantal Jax was recently dubbed The Chantal Jax Venter so we need to call her that from now on. She is also literally the sweetest person I know, despite what her face tells you.

3. I called Kenwyn Davids, Kenwyn Williams on national television so I am now scared of him too.

4. It took me a month or so to realise that Yaseen Baker is not Yaseem Baker.

5. Phil de Lange is wonderPhil, BeautiPhil and a thoughtPhil human being.

6. Saya Pierce-Jones may or may not be my lady crush (HAVE YOU SEEN HER).

Photo credit: Supplied

Catch COMEDY NEAR THE LESS FLIPPEN COLD SEA at the Masque Theatre, Muizenberg on Saturday 21 November. Tickets are R100 on Computicket. No under 18s. COVID-19 Protocols will be in place - masks are mandatory.

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