‘Just like the ODZ, nobody is safe!’ | Comedy Knights

Acclaimed for their satirical Christmas variety shows at Teatru Salesjan, the Comedy Knights will now be playing the more relaxed venue of Dukes at St Julian’s, with fresh material poking fun at the ongoing churn of local politics and current events. We spoke to ‘Knights’ Chris Dingli, Marc Cabourdin and Wesley Ellul on what we can expect from The Comedy Club Cabaret. 

Comedy Knights performers, left to right: Pia Zammit, Malcolm Galea, Jo Caruana, Marc Cabourdin and Chris Dingli. Top: Colin Fitz
Comedy Knights performers, left to right: Pia Zammit, Malcolm Galea, Jo Caruana, Marc Cabourdin and Chris Dingli. Top: Colin Fitz

The Comedy Knights are fast becoming staple alternative entertainment during Christmas time. But what made you decide to set up an additional show beyond that particular season?

Chris Dingli: I view our Christmas show as the big yearly round up of all that went on throughout the year. It’s big, brash and in your face. This show is more diverse. It has different facets to it, allowing us to explore things that are too risky – or risqué – even for the annual show. We can afford to be much more adventurous (and dare I say naughty) with this show.

Marc Cabourdin: Social commentary, satire and parody is something we do pretty well, and more times than not it needs to be relevant to the period. What with all that’s going on we feel that there's enough content to oblige our audience.

Wesley Ellul: Actually for a few reasons. First of all our island is full of so, so much material to satirise. Open any newspaper and you find daily fodder which everyone can relate to (and that’s not just now – it’s been a staple of our political culture for years!). Secondly we’re looking a giving people a different night out... so we’re looking at mixing a good night of music, fun, dancing with our own brand of humour! Thirdly, everyone was missing the whole live show, and couldn’t wait till Christmas, so we said why not!

What kind of feedback have you received for the Comedy Knights so far, and will you be responding to it in any way with these new shows?

CD: The response has been overwhelming, with many people asking us to extend the Christmas shows or do more throughout the year. These shows are great fun to do so we’re happy to oblige!

MC: Our audience’s demand and feedback has been tremendous. There is a hunger and want for an alternative performance driven experience, and through the Comedy Club Cabaret, we are addressing that.

WE: As Chris said, feedback has been phenomenal – both to the live stage show and or daily sketches on NET TV – so the natural thing to do in Malta is flog this horse until you can flog it no more, right? Wrong. We’ll be exploring angles, trying new things, and most of all testing the waters to see what our audiences are ready for, while mixing in a few audience favourites.

How will the show be adapted to the new venue? And will it consist of entirely new material?

CD: The show will be 80% new material, with the rest being a mixture of sketches airing on our TV show, and one particular sketch from our very first Comedy Knights show. There will also be a reappearance of some of our more popular characters, although they will be performing entirely new scripts. For all intents and purposes, this is a new show, not one that anybody has seen before.

MC: The fact that we are playing in a club adds a lot to the mix. Primarily we’ll be more adventurous in content development as well as cheeky in scope, and secondly we will toy with the notion of “a night out”; adding more variety and spice to the show.

WE: Also the venue is a lot more intimate than our Christmas venue... so I have a feeling things are going to be much more raw when they get on stage, as the actors will almost literally have the audience on the laps... so I have a feeling things will be electric.

Could you give us a taster of what kind of topical humour we’ll get to see this time around?

CD: Not without giving spoilers!

WE: …which is normally code for: ‘we haven’t written it yet’... but this time round he’s right... we have a few zingers and just like the ODZ, no one is safe! But we can say that this time we’re mixing it up.... and with some of the new members to the show, we’re gonna have some great surprises in store!

Do you think Malta needs a diverse satirical scene? And what would you say you contribute to it?

CD: I think any country needs a diverse satirical scene. I hope that we bring a humorous, truthful and occasionally biting sense of humour that’s for adults and that is consistently funny, original and of great quality.

MC: Does man need air? We are not reinventing the wheel, just reminding people you need one when driving a car. We are light, cheeky and definitely do not take ourselves as seriously as the characters we parody. The Comedy Club  Cabaret is a new concept by the CK that allows for light entertainment as much as hard hitting satire, while sipping on ones favourite tipple and a fun night out with friends.

WE: We bring the cheeky mirror up to our society. We’re happy to point out people’s flaws without any malice intended, in the hope they may see it and possibly right the wrongs that we’re caricturising. We also bring a voice to Malta’s ‘mittleklass’ – especially the English-speaking side – helping them laugh at the things happening around them rather then just complaining about it all the time.

What’s next for you?

CD: More Comedy Knights TV Shorts (weekdays at 20:30 on NET television) and further developing the Comedy Knights Comedy Club Cabaret. Directing a circus show in the UK for Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and a few other projects in the early stages of development.

WE: Well, a lot more Comedy Knights it seems, with the current TV show and a new show in October, along with another Comedy Knights Christmas show, then the Odd Couple in February 2016... and that’s without mentioning a feature film that’s in the works…

The Comedy Club Cabaret will take place at Dukes, Corinthia Beach Resort, St Julians on May 30 and 31 and June 6 and 7 at 21:00. Bookings: ticketline.com.mt