It was real madness. Total madness. A star or so less than the five they had awarded themselves. They had promised that this would be the best of the best of some of their skits throughout the year. Sadly, their loyal fans who could have been anywhere else started walking out an hour into the two-and-half hour show at the Serena Kampala Hotel’s Victoria Hall.
Five Star Madness was Fun Factory’s end of year offering to loyal fans, who grace the weekly Comedicine show at the National Theatre every other Thursday. The outfit has been at it for close to a decade. Last Thursday’s Five Star Madness was the third such grand performance in a row. There was nothing grand this time around.
The show kicked off at around 9pm with a very poor Indian impersonation by Tindi Veronica. The joke was on her. Like it was on some other chap called Smart Ayokya Yokya. Or even former crowd darling Anne Kansiime.
Joseph Sax and friends had earlier warmed up the crowd for about 30 minutes, performing jazz renditions of songs such as Viola by Elly Wamala, Neera by Radio and Pana by Tekno among others. Before the group of instrumentalists was music mixing by DJs Slick Stuart and Roja.
Tindi was followed by newly-married Segujja Mendo aka Teacher Mpamire who got the crowd engaged with schools’ anthem and Slave! Slave! Slave! He then went back to not being funny, regurgitating jokes he has performed for the past year. Many in the crowd – more empty seats than people–had heard them before. They were not moved.
He left the stage to be replaced by actors Hannington Bugingo, Isaac Kudzu, and Dickson Zizinga, Frobisha Lwanga and Kalema who tried to breathe life into what seemed like a dying show. Skit after skit addressed different topical issues, in vain. For a group of talented, effortless actors, this was akin to committing suicide.
Most of the skits were repeats that had been performed before with no such thing as a twist. The crowd knew the ending to most. And again barely applauded, instead concentrating on taking selfies, making ‘fall back to’ plot and free Black Bell and Uganda Waragi cocktails by title sponsors – probably the only plus of the night. That and Kalema. He is a natural, who did not bother trying every time he came on stage as a confused cousin of a bride and an intoxicated taxi tout. With him, people laughed their lungs out and forgot about the other boring ones.
By 11.20pm when Prince Emma Napoleon came on stage, revellers had had enough, walking out in groups, refusing to stay back to listen to bits of jokes copied from elsewhere.
Verdict? Two and a half star madness.