Scene It: Suspense with a dark comedy edge in The Garage Sale

October 7, 2014


If you are looking for a comedy with a dark twist, or a suspense drama with a witty edge, then The Garage Sale may just be what you are looking for. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a laugh-a-minute production, but Rafiek Mammon proves with his script that he can effortlessly capture an audience with his creative insight.


Lulled into a false sense of comfort, while you witness what you at first perceive to just be normal sibling rivalry between Avril (Kim Cloete) and Mike Williams (Stefan Erasmus), you are confronted with a very subtle question: What holds more power, hope or confidence?


As the story unfolds with more unforeseen twists than the Cobra at Ratanga, you are taken on a very unexpected ride.This play is so skillfully put together, that even the curtain call can be said to be part of the production.


In the end you see a side of hope (or perhaps something else masquerading as hope) that will leave every audience member with a different reaction, but a reaction nonetheless.


Brilliantly staged under the direction of Tara Notcutt, with design by Marcell Meyer and lighting by Franklyn Steyn, this really is a fresh, new play with an ending that you will only see coming if you are clairvoyant, and even then you will probably still gasp at the sheer genius of the build-up.


Not once did I look at my watch, or think, “mmm, will I make it to my next show in time”, because it was Cape Town Fringe time still and by last Saturday all theatre lovers were running on fumes. However, the plot, acting, direction and design does not allow your mind to wonder off once from the mystery that unfolds before your eyes at the Artscape Arena.


It must also be said that Carel Nel takes a character, that is merely incidentally noted as Flip the Pizza guy when you first go to book your ticket online, and gives him depth, personality and even a few funky dance moves. All this just reminds you why he won the 2012 Best Actor Fleur Du Cap for the role of Lafras in the Rebellie of Lafras Verwey.


Oh, and on a personal note, after seeing The Garage Sale, I will never again open an umbrella in the house!


The Garage Sale, part of Artscape's annual Spring Drama Season, runs from 2 to 11 October at 7:30pm with tickets from R40 to R90 via Computicket.


Scene It by Barbara Loots.

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