Laughing Wild causes wild laughter

A review by Sharon Emmerich

This two hander comedy sees Lisa Bobbert and Darren King reprise their award-winning roles in Laughing Wild, Christopher Durang’s internationally acclaimed play which returns to the KZN stage after an absence of 10 years.

Despite having been written in 1987, many of the situations presented have never been more current!

Laughing Wild was previously staged in Durban in 2004 and is currently directed by Steven Stead who oversees the show’s KZN revival.

The play is set in New York in the 1980s. Clever use is made of simple props reflecting a NY Skyline, as well as lighting blackouts to change scenes.

Lisa and Darren portray two zany people trying to come to grips with pressures of city life in this black comedy. The audience, myself included, guffawed often. But then I found myself reflecting that the situation I was laughing at was not really all that funny. I particularly enjoyed the moment when the audience suddenly understood how two random characters and their monologues tied up.

Lisa and Darren deliver their lines at lightning pace, sometimes without pause, as another line or zany action is thrown out. I felt myself moving quickly from the previous “not really funny” moment, to the next, as I laughed  heartily.

Do note: the production runs for 80 minutes, without an interval, which I found rather long towards the end.

Laughing Wild is on at DHS’s Seabrooke’s Theatre in St Thomas Road from 2 to 12 October 2014, with performances at 7.30pm Tuesday to Saturday and 3pm Sunday. Tickets are R100 available through Webtickets, www.webtickets.co.za. Contact Clare, clare@webtickets.co.za, 071 224 1046.

Darren King and Lisa Bobbert star in the revival of Laughing Wild in Durban theatre.

Darren King and Lisa Bobbert star in the revival of Laughing Wild at the DHS Seabrookes Theatre. Photo: Supplied by William Charlton-Perkins

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 )