In the beginning Adam was dumb…

A review by Brenda Daniels

Drawn by the description (whimsical) and the author (Mark Twain) of The Diary of Adam and Eve, I attended opening night of this short play on 1 May. Whimsical means “playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing and amusing way”.

The character of Eve could certainly be described as whimsical, as could the language, and the use of the story of Adam and Eve to depict the frustrating, but tender relationship between men and women.

In this story, Adam and Eve each keep a diary, recording their observations and “experiments” as they progress. And progress they do, going from awkward and amusing attraction, to sweet, understanding family life.

Eve is the chatty one (to the annoyance of Adam), and seems instantly in tune with her intuitions about life and to a lesser extent love. Adam is altogether slow; in fact, the play could be called “In the beginning Adam was dumb…”

Despite the characters’ foibles, their humanness and inexplicable and growing fondness for each other is endearing. At one point Eve ponders why she loves Adam, listing his dubious qualities as she does so. She concludes that she loves him just “because he’s mine”. What a touching and enduring quality this is for relationships.

The Diary of Adam and Eve is short – only one hour – and light, something I particularly appreciated. If there were more pithy plays on offer I think I might go to one every night. Opening night of this play did reveal some shortcomings – a forgotten line, a few fumbled words, a video scene in the “garden of Eden” with an obvious jet aeroplane engine in the background! But I’m sure these can be ironed out with time.

The Diary of Adam and Eve is on at 7.30pm at Seabrooke’s Theatre, DHS, Durban until 3 May. It features Catarina Morgado as Eve, Jonathan Cohen as Adam and Mthokozisi Zulu as the Snake. Booking (tickets are R100) is through Computicket (0861 915 8000).

Tableau from the play; The Diary of Adam and Eve.

Eve, the Devil and Adam in the play, The Diary of Adam and Eve. (Photo: Val Adamson )

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