KZN comedies make ’em laugh

2010-06-29 00:00

KWAZULU-Natal artists are causing a stir at this year’s National Arts ­Festival (NAF). The local comedies I have seen have been extremely well received by the discerning creative crowd.

KickstArt’s Boston Marriage, written by David Mamet and directed by Steven Stead, stars theatre guru Clare Mortimer, Janna Ramos ­Violante and Belinda Henwood. This excellent comedy centres on two scheming ladies of fashion, who, through their love for one another, cook up plans to save both their comfortable lifestyles and their romantic relationship. The immaculately witty dialogue, plush set and underlying shock value of this play wowed me.

“At first glance it is all terribly decorous and polite, it jars with elegance but the first kiss between the women takes the audience by surprise,” said Stead. The lesbian love affair, which is set in such a lady-like era, caused a few gasps at first but was quickly embraced by the audience.

This is the only show KickstArt is showcasing this year. Stead said they “didn’t want to take on too much so we decided on the one show, but it is a big show”.

Not only big on laughs and visual delight, Boston Marriage’s set is also decadent. “We got the whole set down on the back of one bakkie,” said Stead.

This “stylishly witty,” as Stead put it, piece of theatre was put to rest last weekend, but KickstArt followers need not fret as the company is cooking up a new production.

“We are planning a new piece of South African writing and we are currently negotiating with Neil ­Coppen,” said Stead. Festinos at the 2011 NAF will certainly not be disappointed by any new offerings if the company’s reputation is anything to go by.

I had Rumpsteak for breakfast earlier in the week and walked out completely satisfied. Directed by Rob van Vuuren, this comedic one hander uses no props, thirteen characters and an astounding eight hundred sound effects.

In between fits of giggles the ­audience was also schooled in French cuisine. This innovative combination of lighting, dialogue, sound effects and humour, which has appeared on the NAF fringe for years, would make any artistically minded Maritzburg locals proud of their boy Van Vuuren.

Other hilarious KZN shows such as Neon Anthem’s Tokoloshe Come Again, Ben Voss’s NATV, Van Vuuren’s other productions such as Rob van Vuuren is Rob van Vuuren and the ever popular Corne and Twakkie’s The Most Amazing Show are sure to keep Grahamstown visitors in fits of laughter for the duration of the festival.

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