Sax and the single woman

2011-09-05 00:00

I LAST saw Barbara-Anne Puren perform over 24 years ago when she was a young drama student.

Her talent was very noticeable then, but she has grown into a successful, focused and professional performer. Her first one-woman show Casual Sax, which moves to Sibaya this week, is delightfully humorous and engaging.

She takes her audiences on a journey through her relationships over the years, calling the process “From day-dreaming to divorce to dating”.

On a stage that is bare except for a chair and a modesty screen on which is draped a white feather boa, she takes a satirical look at fairytales and so-called happy endings. From growing up on the “wild, wild Bluff” to Internet dating, she relates her tale with a sardonic humour, softening the barbs with a cheeky grin.

Her script often becomes sexually explicit, which is why the show is not recommended for persons under the age of 16. However, she handles these moments with wit and panache and what could become tacky in less skilful hands is presented as sophisticated adult humour, to which the audience responds with spontaneous chuckles.

At the age of 32, after her failed marriage, she took up the saxophone and this gleaming instrument provides a perfect visual accompaniment to her quirky yet elegant black dress and white culottes suit.

She occasionally puts the sax on its stand so that she can move freely and at one stage handles a provocative costume change behind the screen, saxophone and all!

Accompanied by lush orchestral backing tracks, she sings a line-up of much-loved jazz classics such as Summertime, Cry Me a River, Fever, My Baby Just Cares for Me and Big Spender, alongside well-chosen quieter numbers like When I Give my Heart, Cold Cold Heart and Someone to Watch over Me.

She engages with the audience without losing any of the show’s stylish nature.

Even the head massage she gives a volunteer has its own appeal and becomes a performance moment. Grant Knottenbelt’s lighting design is excellent and the sound balance is good.

Casual Sax is at the iZulu Theatre, Sibaya, on September 9 and 10 at 8 pm. Tickets R120 at Computicket.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.