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Review: The Hilarious Mark Banks on Ice Comedy - 60 Years of Madness


Mark Banks on Ice is a one-man stand-up comedy show now playing at Pieter Toerien's Theatre on the Bay in Camps Bay, Cape Town. Legendary South African comedian, Mark Banks, has made a name for himself with his outrageous brand of comedy. While the poster and title are flamboyant and over-the-top, the show as you may have guessed is much more pared down with scenes of snowfall.

Banks has a very dry sense of humour, not afraid to poke fun at politicians, making him probably well-suited to leading a comedy roast. While the show is "on ice", there isn't really a theme holding everything together as Banks allows his repertoire to cover flights, sharks, school and a range of popular go-to stand up topics.

Wheezing at some of his own jokes, his facial expressions are quite priceless, able to say so much with the roll of his eyes or a grimace. Teasing out some of the local Cape Town news of the day and things you'll notice, he takes a few potshots with the click of his heels.

Comfortable on stage, freewheeling through his set and maintaining good patter with the audience, he managed to keep the laughs coming through regularly with some clever wordplay, repetition, stereotyping, accents and great inflection. While some bits of his show have been played before, there is enough fresh material to keep things upbeat and funny.

While his audience front row picks were unfortunately a little bit bland with Judy and a Calitzdorpian, he still managed to add some spice, admittedly returning to pick up some of the pieces later on in the act. Planning his standing ovation early into the show, after the 82 minute run time, he did get a semi-ovation which probably summed up the night. While Banks is sharp-witted, he managed to operate without profanity, refraining from going there possibly playing into the show poster's satirical Disney edge. This didn't stop him from being lewd and lascivious from time to time, but it probably wouldn't be a Mark Banks show without some depravity.

Being one of the best BS artists in the game, his outlandish tall stories constantly verged on the point of becoming hysterical with some tipping over. Picking on soft targets such as the disabled, aged and homeless, his bold brand of comedy was adventurous and he managed to be risqué, flirting with shock value as if he was fishing for gasps. All in all, it was a great night out with Banks injecting energy and sizzle the whole way through.