Review: Schalk Bezuidenhout

A comic increasingly at ease with himself and maturing as a storyteller

comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Schalk Bezuidenhout
Photo by Marguerite van Eeden
Published 18 Aug 2023

Sometimes a stand-up can wear a walkout as a badge of honour. And that's surely the case for the graphic but entertaining account of how Schalk Bezuidenhout came to be circumcised. Though a fan of horror films, it was the relatability of the South African's story that prompted one young man to quit the room on the night I caught it, declaring it too close to home. Bezuidenhout isn't ripping up any trees with this hour. But he's certainly maturing as a storyteller, easing into his tales from slightly off-kilter angles and drawing you into his world.

Notwithstanding the false start of his arrival on stage, conducted a second time to meet the dropped beat of his walk-on music, Bezuidenhout states that with this, his fourth Fringe, he cares less about what others think of him than ever before. The 31-year-old casts himself as a sexually prudish, ineffectual man whose female partner takes all the stereotypically masculine roles in their relationship and an “old soul”, the youngest member of his local lawn bowling club. Apartheid still colours the thinking of his elderly fellow members, and he gets tremendous, righteous fun out of pretending not to understand their racist implications when he's a crime victim.

Despite enjoying a cosy, relatively cosseted life, Bezuidenhout still appreciates living in a place with just a hint of danger, further evidence of a comic increasingly at ease with himself, unhurriedly and drolly parcelling out his reliably amusing anecdotes.