Goodwill acting on a shoestring budget

This is a ridiculous play – but in a good way. Its saving grace is the awareness of it’s ridiculous nature. You’ve just got to go with it. Relax.

If you’re having the preshow three-course meal, you’re bound to have a glass of wine or two, and that’s a good thing. If you haven’t booked the meal, get there a little early and make good on the Kalk Bay Theatre’s hospitality and catch up on that drink. It’ll help you drop your guard and simply enjoy Good Will Acting for what it is.

It’s a light-hearted romp with four well-drawn stereotypical ­acting “types” giving your tummy muscles a bit of possibly much-needed exercise. You can hardly ­expect a play running over ­December to offer you deep ­philosophical fare (we’ve got the rest of the year for that, with ­existentialism specifically pegged for January).

When you realise the title Good Will Acting has nothing to do with the overwrought film Good Will Hunting, it all falls into place.

Good Will here applies to this particular season of festivity and overindulgence, and acting refers to that peculiar art of entertainment taking place on stage.

It has a bit of a Theatre Sports feel to it – without the audience participation.

A sort of thrown-together air that is professional despite itself, which is hardly surprising because Megan Choritz, who is famous for putting that particular brand of improvisational theatre on the map in Cape Town, is the director.

Before you think you know what this is all about and start looking for something else to watch, remember that Theatre Sports is one of the most long-running and popular theatre forms of the South African stage for a very good reason: it’s heaps of fun.

Its comedic nature also belies the high quality of acting that makes it work.

The four actors in this show are able to communicate a comic put-together-on-a-shoestring-and-tight-deadline air to the show not only because that is probably exactly what it is, but because they are fine actors.

If they weren’t, the veneer of a play about a play thrown together by four unemployed actors trying to cash in on Christmas would crack, and it would just be a play by four unemployed actors trying to cash in on Christmas. If comedy were easy, we’d all be able to be scintillatingly funny dinner guests. It needs to be sharp or else it’s just flat and embarrassing.

Anele Situlweni, Daneel van der Walt, Larissa Hughes and Ntombi Makhutshi are sharp, sending up with wit and abandon themselves and the oddities that go hand in hand with theatre. It’s perfect light-hearted December ­entertainment.

»?Good Will Acting runs at the Kalk Bay Theatre until December 31. There will be a special New Year’s Eve performance. You can book dinner before the show. Visit www.kbt.co.za or 0 073 220 5430

- West Cape News


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