Laughing matters: catching up with Fest’s king of comedy


What kind of madman puts on 30 shows in 11 days? It can only be… Rob van Vuuren. The multi-award winning comedian / megalomaniac is gracing Grahamstown’s stages with his show Life for the last time, as well as Best of Rob van Vuuren and Dangled – not to mention the several comedy performances he is also producing and directing such as Heavier and Pay Back the Curry.

Over the course of the National Arts Festival’s 43 years of existence, van Vuuren has attended 28 of them and performed in 26. So when he says that this year’s line-up of comedians may be the best yet, he is to be taken seriously.

“I think comedy in South Africa is in the throes of a revolution,” van Vuuren says. “It’s an exciting industry to be in at the moment.”

The self-acclaimed NAF ambassador can only recall seeing only one comedian, Ian Fraser, on the line-up when he first attended the festival. In the last 10 years of his comedy career, van Vuuren has strived to bring more of a comical variety to these stages and to make it more accessible for comedians from around the country to experience the festival spotlight. The Very Big Comedy Show, the one-night-only show he co-produces with the organisers of NAF, is an additional incentive for comedians to brave the trip to Grahamstown.

Read the rest of this story and watch a video interview with van Vuuren on the CueMedia site. 

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Stories by the Cue Media user on the Grocott's Mail website have been written by journalists working for Cue Media during the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Selected stories are re-published (in part) on Grocott's Online, with the full versions being available at

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