Review: ROUND OF APPLAUSE – SOUTH AFRICA STILL STANDING at the Baxter Theatre Centre Should Be Required Viewing for All South Africans

Marianne Thamm’s new show boasts new content with even more laughs.

By: Apr. 25, 2024
Review: ROUND OF APPLAUSE – SOUTH AFRICA STILL STANDING at the Baxter Theatre Centre Should Be Required Viewing for All South Africans
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Just because you saw ROUND OF APPLAUSE in 2023 does not mean that you’re exempted from seeing Round 2.0. On the contrary, the follow-up to Marianne Thamm’s performative journalism is an absolute must – especially for those who attended last year’s show. It’s one of those rare occasions when the sequel is somehow even better than the original – I can’t rave enough.

Thamm is back with more of her astute observations, razor-sharp wit, and limitless insight into South African current events and those of the world at large. While turning on the news these days is often a high-risk activity (will our psyches survive?), Thamm manages to impart precious knowledge to her audience (I learnt so much!) while giving them a workout (my non-existent abs were aching) from laughter.

Indeed, my notes are a mess of awe-filled comments, which speak for themselves:

“Laughter therapy”;

“A Constitution-lover like me – a woman after my own heart”;

‘Absolute hysterics;”

“This show is therapy;” and

“This is nation building in between Rugby World Cup wins.”

Indeed, Thamm has clearly found her rhythm in this run and the show is tight and slick. This focused production is even more empowering than the last – Thamm speaks at a rapid pace and it’s clearly because she wants to impart as much knowledge as possible during the seventy-minute running time; the audience laps it up.

Her forty years as a journalist give her the credibility and the lived experience to comment meaningfully on the state of the nation: what Thamm says matters, and her optimism about the country really means something.  One feels privilege to observe the cogs of her mind working as she delivers her stand-up-social-commentary (the official term?).

I’m not going to give any of the jokes away nor am I going to transcribe all the gorgeous quotations that I gleaned from her show but suffice to say: I went into the show overwhelmed, exhausted and a little low. I came out inspired, relaxed, and buzzed (and not from any substances).

One gem (of many) that I will share: Thamm reminds us that “South Africa is not a poor country but an unequal one”. There’s a difference – and we need to remember that.

You only have a few more days to catch ROUND OF APPLAUSE – SOUTH AFRICA STILL STANDING and I would run.

ROUND OF APPLAUSE – SOUTH AFRICA STILL STANDING runs at the Baxter Theatre Centre from 10 April until 27 April 2024. Tickets are R150 and are available via Webtickets.


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