Crude but funny one-hander

2010-09-20 00:00

Review: Dirt

THIS one-hander written by Nick Warren and performed by James Cairns is a comedy gem — a real festival piece. Cairns plays the roles of three friends (and sundry other characters, most memorably a dog) as they set off for the funeral of Gerry, the fourth member of their poker school who has died in Cape Town.

Wayne is a squeaky-voiced loser who has been looking after Gerry’s ancient dog, Tom, and can’t quite get his head round Tom’s insanitary habits; Grant is a new father with a depressed wife and colicky baby; Sam is a soapie star with delusions of fame — and they set off on a road trip to the funeral, with predictably disastrous results.

Cairns’s strength is that he never lets the audience doubt which of the group they are watching. And although small props are used to signal a change of scene, the actor has only his voice and mannerisms to differentiate the characters. The piece is sometimes crude, but it is always funny — often very funny indeed.

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