Graduates laughing their way to the top

29 November 2004

It was their solid theatre training at UCT that prepared them for the world of acting.

So say graduates Alan Committie and Robyn Scott who are carving names for themselves in theatre circles.

"We realised drama school was what you made of it and that we had three years where we could do anything we wanted. And this is exactly what we did," explained the comedic team who will be appearing in Once Upon A Laugh, a new show written by Committie especially for the festive season.

Directed by UCT Associate Professor Christopher Weare, who was also Committie and Scott's favourite lecturer while at varsity - they refer to him as "the master of comedy", the show brings to life the hysterical and outrageous celebrity lives of Benny and Bernice - actors, singers, raconteurs, gymnasts, puppeteers and writers.

Benny and Bernice are household names in the entertainment industry. However, that household happens to be their own home in Plumstead, and celebrating 20 years in the show business, or shall we say no business, the theatrical couple provide festive cheer and magical memories making for much-needed holiday laughter and fun.

Well known for his madcap, physical and stand-up comedies such as Titanic On Ice and TV or Not TV, Committie has received various nominations including those for his works Dick and Di (Vita nomination for best script and best comic performance), and Dracula: Unclotted (Fleur de Cap nominee for best comic performance). This is his sixth collaboration with Weare.

When he's not writing or acting, Committie, who is also a qualified high school teacher, consults to schools, works as an impersonator and a master of ceremonies.

"You can be taught the rules and principles of comedy," Committie explained, "but ultimately it comes from inside of you. It's all about timing. It's also about being able to move an audience and see that you are doing this."

Scott wowed audiences earlier this year with her portrayals of the porter and Lady Macduff in Macbeth at Maynardville. After graduating from UCT in 1995, Scott won numerous best actress awards for her first professional production, Elizabeth Almost by Chance a Woman directed by Weare.

She continued to enthral audiences with her performances in productions such as Fiela's Child and A Winter's Tale. Scott is also one of South Africa's leading voice artists. She has appeared in several local and international films such as Out on a Limb (British) and the local box office success Mr Bones.

"Right out of the womb I knew what I wanted to do," said Scott who tells the story of receiving a skipping rope as a present when she was three or four years old.

"I grabbed it and immediately started using it as a microphone." (Scott starts singing at this point of the interview).

"There really is nothing else I would want to do in life. It's amazing, I get to play different people."

Once Upon A Laugh runs at the Baxter Sanlam Studio from November 30 until January 8, 2005.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.