Sitting in the gorgeous Theatre on the Bay, waiting for the curtain to go up on the opening night of Twee vir die Prys van Een, I was chatting with one of my fellow patrons about art and how subjective the liking of and reaction to any form of art is. Little did I know how fitting a prelude that conversation was.
I am the kind of person who likes dry humour, possibly dark, mostly the off-beat British kind. You will most likely find me laughing hysterically at something when other people just stare blankly. On this particular night, I was however the one sitting quietly perplexed most of the time.
So admittedly, not everything in Twee vir die Prys van Een tickled my funny bones. I caught myself contemplating the amazing set design and trying to predict character reactions. So I was entertained, but not necessarily comically so in a laugh-my-head-off kind of way. The majority of the audience were however rolling in the aisles; laughter bouncing off the walls. So a good time was definitely had by all, even if in different ways.
While sitting there, listening to the laughter echo around me, I was left wondering what type of comedy it is then. Calling it the South African equivalent of American slap-stick may sound a little harsh, because the acting was good and I generally can’t stand slap-stick. I think this is best described as the stage version of Vetkoekpaleis meets Orkney Snork Nie. So the majority of people will definitely find it funny, of that I am sure.
The time warp back to the 80s was really well done and aligned with the era of the original farce The Decorator by Donal Churchill. The mentioned smart set designed played right into this era, with the text revealing accurate and creative slang references worked into the Afrikaans translation by Wim Vorster.
Cue the opening scene with appropriate theme song … 'Liefling' ala Gé Korsten!
We are introduced to Walter the eaves dropping painter / actor, Mercia the mistress and Janie the wife of a cheating husband out for revenge. Indeed a comedy recipe if there ever was one, and a bit of a twist on the Three’s Company idea.
Acting wise Hannes Muller (Walter), Lizz Meiring (Mercia) and Michele Botha (Janie), balance each other out perfectly with great delivery and comedic timing. With Afrikaans legends like Meiring on stage, you would not expect anything less. Her facial expression at times did have me giggling with delight and I think there are few things as terrifying as the thought of Botha as a scorned wife with a hammer and an axe to grind … or in this case Mercia’s cheating head! Also, ever wondered how an actor looks when he enjoys his role a little too much? Enter Walter! Muller does over-the-top in great fashion as Walter, the wanna-be-actor turned painter.
At times the sexual references are a bit in your face. I would suggest this rather be a date night, but not a first date (unless you like awkward situations), and definitely not a family theatre night out. Looking for a ladies night or a laugh with the blokes, then this is the show for you too!
Twee vir die Prys van Een runs at Theatre on the Bay until 26 July 2015, with tickets available at a steal between R100 and R170 at Computicket. Why not make a proper fun night of it, and book the dinner theatre package to enjoy an amazing three course meal before the show too? We definitely recommend that for a complete theatre experience.