James Cairns, currently onstage at Kalk Bay Theatre in the music infused dramedy El Blanco, is truly a master of his craft. With his impeccable comedic timing and phenomenal physical theatre chameleon-like skills, he can literally transform into any character he sets his sights on. Right in front of your very own eyes, he effortlessly shifts from one persona to the next… even a mosquito won’t you believe, and you should, because he is El Blanco!
Witty, spirited and absurdly believable, even though you rationally know the stories El Blanco relates are vibrantly delightful but very much fabrications. He makes you want to believe in the unbelievable, because we all want to buy into the idea that it is possible to reinvent yourself at the drop of a hat… or rather a sombrero.
Though this is a zealously performed hilarious one-man comedy, it has a subtle undertone dealing with a topic that should not be ignored: the scars of childhood bullying. El Blanco’s colourful tales of radio drama heroes and a world famous mariachi that jet sets across the world at the drop of a tequila shot are rooted in his memory of being ridiculed as a child for being different, for being el blanco, the white one.
Viewed as just a comedic tale of silly funny stories El Blanco is already a great theatre night out, but when viewed from the fantasy driven escapism perspective of the character standing before you with but his guitar and a dream, it becomes so much more, it becomes a multi-layered story of survival brilliantly told with great depth. As he himself professes, stories matter, as “no one needs to defend stories, stories are our only defense”.
El Blanco is such a very well crafted, unforgettable play that it makes you want to be as much of a non-conformist, champion of the unique, as the character himself. So you walk out of Kalk Bay Theatre utterly convinced that the only way you will ever sound as cool and impressive is by adding “el” before everything you say from here on out!
Vivid and alluringly hilarious, it is easy to see how the very talented combo of James Cairns as performer and Gwydion Beynon as text writer resulted in the epic tale of El Blanco being the marvelous award-winning success that it is. With a Gold Standard Bank Ovation Award behind its name, you need to go see this tale of songs and lies at Kalk Bay Theatre before run ends 18 March 2017.
Book online at www.kalkbaytheatre.co.za and remember to reserve a seat in their very funky restaurant too for a pre-show bite. Their new menu is absolutely delicious!