Long term Fringe performer George Kapiniaris is an Adelaide icon who has been gracing our tv screens and comedy bars since 1988 and although, in his humble opinion, his fan base is made up of an older generational audience these days, his dedication to the craft has meant that George has taken extra pride in helping to make this year’s Fringe show, Straight Outta Compo with fellow comedians Joe Avati, Tahir and Rob Shehadie, relevant to all audiences.
Straight Outta Compo is not your ordinary stand up. Instead it is, in George Kapiniaris’ words, “A Baklava in a Souffle. You get all the really traditional flavours of comedy but brand new material in a show that is piping hot when you cut into it”
I caught up with George to find out why Straight Outta Compo should be on everyone’s list of ‘must see’ shows at the Fringe. As there is no doubt that Joe Avati has produced a comedy show like no other with four of the funniest comedians in the business. The show is packed with sketches, rap songs, a hot seat parody and even a video send up of the film on which the show’s title is a reference too. George describes the four of them as comedians with “Wog comedy superpowers”
When asked why the show was named in reference to a film, George excitedly and proudly spoke of the need to relate to their younger audience and name the show something that all of their followers would be able to relate with. As George so eloquently puts it, Joe and he come from the era of the Rat Pack. However Tahir and Rob fall more into the modern day version which required the team to have a more generation appropriate title.
Ever the professional Tahir thought the name he had planned for his solo show may be just what they were looking for and George explains how it references both the similarities between Hip Hop and the Greek comedy genre as well as the ability to reference the underlying comedy of the Greeks cultural stereotype of loving a good compensation claim in order to get ahead in life. If you are still wondering what a Baklava is George says think of trifle – if you whack enough good layers in, your trifle is bound to be really good.
George refers to his stage mates with glowing admiration, pride and the familiarity that you would expect normally only to see from siblings. With so much love for his “brothers” it was difficult to shorten the accolades he had for them, so here are the best bits from George:
“Joe Avati is a rock star! He is so huge internationally and is so incredibly talented with both his comedic skills and as a producer of the show.”
“Tahir is such a clever and versatile comedian. He never turns off. Expect him to treat you to street theatre around Adelaide if you catch him in a supermarket or checking out the sights of the city”
“Rob is absolutely smashing it on the hit series Here Come the Habibs”- George continued to hilariously describe Rob’s attributes in what can only be described as a much loved annoying younger brother (I won’t embarrass Rob by putting the things I now know about him in print)
So with Straight Outta Compo on your ‘must see’ list, George had a few recommendations to help anyone searching for more laughs. “Make sure you check out home grown talent. I personally love comedians who have something different that jumps out at you. I really like Sam Simmons, Tom Gleeson and Anne Edmonson (Anne is not performing at the Fringe unfortunately)”
With such a stellar group of comedians on the one stage, Straight Outta Compo will no doubt have you reaching for a change of underwear and treating yourself to a Yiros on the way home.
You will find Straight Out Of Compo on at Top of the Ark at Arkaba Hotel, 150 Glen Osmond Road, Fullarton, 22 and 23 Feb and 3 and 4 March, Woodville Town Hall, Woodville South