The mix was noticeable. Old old. A few young and hip. Some dweebs. Establishment (from a theatre point of view). Friends and family. It was the opening of Another Friggin’ Tribute Show on THE SAME night as Coldplay! So the seventy odd people that weren’t at the gig were at Pierre Malherbe’s new one man show, directed by VIncent Meyburgh at The Intimate. I was glad. I’m not into Coldplay (although I like their greatest hit I Will Fix You).
This one man show is a non-musical tribute to music (in general and in particular) and how it moves you. Pierre is quite a bit younger than me but a lot of the influences, and the ‘how’ of listening to music, and taping, and how Pink Floyd altered our musical DNA and how we became music lovers are very similar. It was often like he was speaking my childhood, adolescence and youth into memory.
The show is very funny. Very. It is a unique blend of stand-up, sketch, personal take and musical nostalgia. I love Pierre on stage. He is wacky, cute, crazy, physically gawky, and quite demented, but all in a very engaging way. He develops a vibe with the audience, and, even though he is quite clear at the beginning that he will be doing all of the talking, it does actually feel like one of those ‘remember when’ conversations.
This is the show’s first airing, and I am sure some of the stuff will tighten up as it goes along. My favourite bits were the pre-show sketch, the taping sequence, the anti ‘one particular band’ (I won’t spoil it for you by saying which one) hysteria and the very Cape Town references. Actually, my all time favourite bit was the totally ridiculous comparison with being as upset as if someone had stabbed a labrador in the face. But you had to be there.
Pierre has managed to create a delightful, weird, accessible, friggin’ funny show that is slapped with nostalgia, musical mayhem, and delicious attachments to (musical) people and things. A bit like a South African Nick Hornby, brought to stage in Cape Town. It’s on until the 15th October.