Woordfees: The Demon Bride

March 10, 2018

Twee vriende daag by ’n gastehuis in die wynlande op vir ’n troue, maar dinge ruk vinnig handuit. Hierdie US Woordfees- en Fugard-Teaterproduksie bevat sterk taalgebruik en sekstonele, en geen onder-18’s word toegelaat nie. Kaartjies beskikbaar by Computicket.

With this new play, Louis Viljoen (who wrote and directed) delivers a highly enjoyable, self-reflexive homage to the horror movie genre. When wedding guests Jamie (Sarah Potter) and Gary (Craig Jackson) arrive at their suspiciously gothic-inspired winelands accommodation, things soon start getting a bit … weird (and not only because the woefully inept Gary can’t keep his mind off his planned attempt to bed his friend Jamie after the reception). Once the bride (Bianca Flanders) and groom (Carel Nel) get involved, things really start to go in an unnerving direction. 

Jackson’s portrayal of a man with an astonishing talent for talking himself out of a good time garners a lot of sympathy from the audience, and Potter imbues her character with a lot of pent-up anger and frustration (which gets a satisfying airing in the second act). Flanders, who effortlessly grabs the audience’s attention, is perfectly cast as the mercurial bride who enters the stage mid-breakdown, and Nel’s neurotic, slow-on-the-uptake turn is fun to watch.

Andrew Roux steals the show as the archetypal creepy caretaker who welcomes the unsuspecting wedding guests to their lodgings and does generally spooky things like wear a long black cape and draw chalk circles on the floor. Roux’s comic timing is unimpeachable and his morose delivery had the audience in stitches.

The marvellous set by Rocco Pool contributes beautifully to the otherworldly atmosphere the characters find themselves in, and the excellent sound and lighting design (by James Webb and Sean Whitehead respectively) play a crucial role in establishing the grandness of the production’s scale and impact.

This show, with its jabs at contemporary culture, constant references to tropes of the horror genre, and at least one rogue Harry Potter quote, is a refreshing addition to the ream of current theatre offerings and should be enjoyed by anyone with a sense of humour (and a healthy tolerance for strong language).

The Demon Bride is an US Woordfees and Fugard Theatre production and can be seen on the 10th of March at 16:30 and 20:00. Tickets are available through Computicket or at the door. Please note that this production carries an 18 age restriction for sex and language.  


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