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As they say, laughter is the best medicine and now you can get your prescription filled every first Wednesday of every month at “Yisakal Night” which will be held at Sheraton Addis, Gaslight. Yisakal Entertainment in collaboration with BGI Ethiopia started presenting a night of stand-up comedy, spoken words and poetic jazz since October 3rd, 2012.
The event features well-known names like Bewketu Syoum, Ephrem Syoum and Abiy Melaku. “We have been organizing stand-up comedy nights in different venues for a while now; the response we get from people is amazing so we want to continue to promote this particular art,” said Ermiays Getachew, Production Manager of Yisakal Entertainment.
The first show held in October was received by a full house of over 350 people in attendance. “A lot of people came and we had to send some back because there was no room in the venue. We expect it to be a full house in all of the nights we plan to do the shows,” Ermiays stated.
Although the price may be a bit steep for most with 300 birr entrance, the organizers say it is fair. “Compared to all the costs we had to cover to make this event happen, the entrance fee is fair. But we do also understand that the majority may not afford it, that’s why we are planning to organize other similar events with less expensive entrance fees so that everyone can join in the fun,” Ermiyas stated.
The other reason explained by Ephrem Syoum one of the performers at the event and a poet, concerning the price is that it was time to hold these kinds of events in a classy place with people who are able to spend more money to see the show, it gives the profession and the professionals involved a little bit higher status. While some may agree, one might say respect, admiration and status upgrade is not gained from money or from events being organized in fancy places, it comes from the implacable quality of the work itself.
The next “Yisakal Night” will be held on 7th of November at the Sheraton Gaslight with the organizers promising to make you laugh like never before. Maybe one of the performers Abiy Melaku will do one of his famous impersonations of the former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. “But please ladies and gentlemen,” the organizers insist, “leave your sneakers at home because the show is strictly sneaker free zone.”