After a five-year break from the stage, one of South Africa’s favourite comedians, Eugene Khoza, is bringing fans a brand new one-man show called Step Aside.
The show, which is set to have audiences howling with laughter, opens on 4 November at Gold Reef City’s Lyric Theatre and is Eugene’s first big show since he decided to take a break from performing.
He took the time off to heal and replenish after the tragic loss of both his son and best friend, to reflect on where life was taking him – and also to revisit his comedy roots.
The man who says he came to comedy “by accident” wanted to recapture some of the naivety and innocence of his early career and to experience playing to small audiences again. And that’s exactly what he did, delighting audiences at the Laugh Factory in LA and the Comedy Store in Sydney in 2019 and again at the Comedy Cellar and the NYC Comedy Club in New York in the fall of 2022. Earlier this year, he also presented a sold-out season in comedy clubs in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Now, just in time for the party season, he returns to the big stage.
“The Lyric has a very special place in my heart,” he says. “It’s where I hosted my first comedy showcase many years ago, so it’s a great place to re-launch my stage career.”
Eugene says that, having taken a step back from performing, he’s zoned in and found an essential part of himself again. Inspired by real life and everyday experiences, he weaves engaging and hilarious stories that recount his own unique take on everything from shopping at the mall to hailing an Uber. And therein lies the Khoza magic.
Step Aside is a story about how we relate to our loved ones while still trying to maintain our sense of individuality and also about how we sometimes get in the way of our own happiness because we feel that others are having a better time than we are. It’s a funny story that will resonate with everyone. It will make you laugh and it will touch you deep inside where your most personal feelings lie.
“The lockdowns during the pandemic forced us all to slow down and reflect,” says Eugene, who says he spent an entire year in a house at the beach just looking at the ocean and watching people come and go. “They gave us time to think about our relationships, our work, our place in the world – and to reassess what was working for us and what wasn’t.”
Step Aside is the product of that period of reflection. It’ll make you laugh and it’ll make you gasp with recognition. It’s simply a must-see.
Tickets are priced between R150 and R300 and are available at the Lyric Theatre Box Office on the nights of the shows. To book in advance, please call the box office on 011 248 5168 / 5229 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For group and corporate bookings (this is a great year-end show!), please call 011 248 8957 or email email@example.com.