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Edinburgh Fringe 2023

Schalk Bezuidenhout: Keeping Up

Mick Perrin Worldwide

Venue: Gilded Balloon Teviot - Sportsmans


Low Down

Awkward childhood stories, and I mean marvelously cringe-worthy awkward, will have you in stitches during Schalk Bezuidenhout’s stand up comedy show “Keeping Up”.


Although he is only 31, Schalk Bezuidenhout wonders if he is “keeping up”. He’s a self-confessed “old soul” who recently joined the bowling team at his parent’s retirement complex. He’s conservative for his age group, in part due to his Afrikaans upbringing. He’s not sporty, and admits his wife has to do the handyman work around the house while he prefer’s folding laundry.

So yes, maybe he’s not a big-shot, tough guy, but there is something incredibly endearing about Schalk. He doesn’t pass judgement on anyone but skillfully points out the ridiculous side of human nature…and it is absolutely hilarious. Comedic timing and his fantastically expressive face, helps his non-South African audience enjoy his show just as much as his predominantly South African fans do. 

Having being brought up in South Africa myself, it was refreshing and somehow healing to listen and laugh with Schalk. In fact, if laughter is the best medicine then Schalk Bezuidenhout is a veritable pharmacy. He skillfully delivers his unique contemporary Afrikaans perspective onto the global comedy stage, and it brings a sense of hope. He knows that people are leaving South Africa in droves but he loves it there. It’s his home and he’s proud of it along with all its craziness. And it’s as if he nails that craziness with a big, fat, heartfelt embrace.

Schalk steps “gently” on some uncomfortable topics and it works. His South African humor and references work. Even when some poor soul got triggered by one of Schalk’s childhood stories and walked out, believe it or not, that totally worked too. I was crying with laughter, not at the poor triggered-person but at how smoothly Schalk handled the situation. It’s not just that he is super funny and quick-witted, it’s also that he’s so warm-hearted and easy going. With his mop of curls, big brown eyes, and quirky dress sense, Schalk basically melts you. Is Schalk Bezuidenhout “keeping up”? I think he is. I think he may even be ahead.