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Friday, December 13, 2019


(Aaron McIlroy & Lisa Bobbert)

Altogether, this is a hugely entertaining show, with impeccable comedy timing from the manic pair, and is well worth seeing. (Review by Barry Meehan)

Durban’s madcap couple, Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert, are at it again in a manic, zany two-hander which pokes fun (and a good few truths) at families and their problems. Family Therapy is a laugh-a-minute, two-hour romp from this supremely talented twosome, and is – in my humble opinion – their best show to date.

If you’re going to see Family Matters – and you should – be warned that you cannot escape being an integral part of the show. All audience members are part of the therapy session, some getting a lot more involved than others, and not through their own doing. Four unsuspecting attendees are dragged up on stage to be part of the opening sequence as life coach Charmaine and her bumbling co-host Bruce welcome us to the therapy session, which culminates in a rousing version of We Are Family. Don’t be alarmed if you’re one of the four guys brought up to form the chorus – it’s all in good fun!

Conflict Resolution is next on the agenda with a wonderful way to avoid it – the “Grey Rock Technique” – a novel and innovative approach which I will certainly be using in the future!

(Right: Lisa Bobbert)

Bobbert excels as Charmaine and Bruce’s daughter Cher in the “Mind The Gap” sequence, which deals with the generation gap created by today’s internet and social media technology. Cher is the ‘influencer’ highlighting her Dad’s ‘Ballie Balls-ups’ to create a unique social media following. Very entertaining stuff!

For me, McIlroy’s standout character is guest presenter Gary Van Vuuren from the Bluff, in the “Blended Family” sequence. He tells the tale of his upbringing, with special emphasis on ‘Leon’ who arrived in the family after Gary’s dad left, and the similarity between his situation and a National Geographic programme on a tribe/pride of lions. The sequence ends with Gary’s version of Living Next door to Leon, based on Smokie’s Alice. As per the original, there is the opportunity for the audience to get involved by shouting out the line “Leon, who the **** is Leon”. Go for it, people – you’ll love the answer!

The second half of the show features a pair of conjoined but not identical Aussie twins, Spencer and Toby, who started fighting in the womb, but finally manage to sort out their differences, learning to do things together. Audience participation is compulsory, and if you didn’t know how to do the Hokey Pokey before, you certainly will by the end of the sequence. After all, that’s what it’s all about!

(Left: Aaron McIlroy)

One of McIlroy’s stock characters, Vijay, is next up, with a hilarious take on the one problem person in every family. His subject is “Boundaries”, including physical, emotional and mental, denoted by a door, a boat and a bucket, ending in a rousing version of Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat from the hit musical Guys and Dolls.

Last up are Beatrice and Max, parents, grandparents and soon-to-be great-grandparents who take a heart-warming look back at the problems involved in bringing up children.

Altogether, this is a hugely entertaining show, with impeccable comedy timing from the manic pair, and is well worth seeing. Be warned, though – tickets are selling like hot cakes, and the only performances for which seats are available are December 15, 22 and 24, but an extra 14h00 matinee has been scheduled for December 21.

(The theatre venue opens 60 minutes before show for drinks)

Tickets R180 and tables seat 8. (No alcohol or food may be brought on to the premises). Tickets are cash or EFT only. Secure parking is available. Booking is through Computicket or contact Roland (also for large group booking discounts of 20 or more) on 082 499 8636 or email: or visit

(Patrons are welcome to book for dinner or lunch at Tina's Restaurant before the show: Call 031 764 7843 to book)

Tina’s Hotel is situated at 14 Beryldene Road in Kloof. – Barry Meehan

There are also performances at the Rhumbelow Northlands on December 27 and 28, but the 27th is already sold out! Tickets are available at Computicket or phone Roland Stansell on 082 499 8636.

Thursday, December 12, 2019


(Photo by Iona Joshua)

Westville Theatre Club’s year-end production, The Monster Mash, offers a fun family show that will take audiences on a magical, whirlwind journey through the world of the creatures of the night.

Written by Durban-born artist and the Durban Actors Studio team member, Sanele Sibiya and directed by another Durban Actors Studio team member and Westville Theatre Club’s own, Iona Joshua, this show is sure to be one for the whole family to enjoy.

Set in Vladimir’s Castle, the home of a malicious self-made creature with the hopes of turning people into monsters during the eve of The Monster Mash, we follow Grace and her newfound friends as they stumble their way through this adventure, take on the Nightcrawlers and race against the clock to save the day.

Accompanied by a nightmarish assortment of rock and pop tunes, performed with a live band under the direction of Westville Theatre Club’s chairman, Shawn O’Neill, this ghoulish adventure is guaranteed to have you laughing, screaming, singing, and dancing all night long!

Don’t miss out on a fun-filled evening of chills and thrills. Join in on the mischief and madness before the Monster Mashing Hour ends.

The Monster Mash runs from December 12 to 15 and again from December 18 to 21, 2019, at Westville Theatre Club (adjacent to Westville Swimming Pool). Doors open at 19h00 and the show starts at 19h30 except for Sunday, (December 15) which is a matinee only, with doors opening at 15h00 and the show beginning at 15h30.

Tickets R100. Book a table for eight and pay R90, R60 for pensioners/scholars on December 12 and15 only. R80 for members. Bring your own eats and drinks.

To book contact Kerry on 083 342 3650 or email


Baroque 2000’s next concert will be Celebrating Christmas! on December 22 at the Church of the Mariannhill Monastery.

The programme includes:

Schlafe mein Liebster & Bereite Dich Zion from Christmas Oratorio – Johann Sebastian Bach. Soloist: Monika Voysey - Alto

Concerto for 4 violins in B minor RV580 – Antonio Vivaldi

Christmas Concerto Fatto per la Notte di Natale Op6 No8 – Arcangelo Corelli

Suite in D Major for trumpet, oboe and strings – Jeremiah Clarke

Celebrating Christmas! takes place at 11h30 on December 22 at the Church of the Mariannhill Monastery. Tickets R150 at the door (children access free) and include complimentary drink and snacks. Ample and safe parking available.

The project is sponsored by the Rupert Foundation. For more information contact Michel on 082 303 5241 or email:


(Thuli Cox & Tony Cox)

The great news for guitar players is that acoustic guitar master, Tony Cox has published a book titled Fingerstyle for Africa.

The book contains 16 of his compositions that range from intermediate to advanced, and while it is not a how-to-play-the-guitar kind of book, it is a treasure-tome of Cox's signature finger-picking style that has helped him carve his name indelibly into the minds of his fellow South Africans.

Any student of the guitar will get years of inspiration from this book.

It is also a book of great beauty that blends Cox's love of music, art, teaching and simply telling a story, into a music book like no other that anyone with an eye for something beautiful, will enjoy.

Accordingly, the great book tour of South Africa has been planned. It will see the entire Cox family travelling through the country in a four-berth motorhome, with Tony and his daughter Thuli giving performances up and down the length and breadth of the land over the December/January festive season.

Students of the guitar should take note that there will be several workshops, demonstrations and discussions around the content of the book where and when possible on their journey. All dates and details will be up on

Cox will be performing from a repertoire that has a deep well of material to draw from but will specifically highlight the songs from his acclaimed Enormous Flowers album. Thuli Cox, at the tender age of 15, has the power to enthrall those who hear her sing. When father and daughter get together, magic happens.

Part and parcel with this tour is promoting the 'Player-inspire' initiative. It was brought into life by Tony and his partner Anthony Just. The simple premise of the initiative is to inspire musicians and people in general, to teach what skills they have to those who do not have a hope of achieving those skills. To this end, Cox teaches a weekly class of youngsters for whom he gathered guitars, music stands, books, capos and tuners. In so doing he inspired guitarist, Jane Donald from Plettenberg Bay to also open up a class for youngsters. The hope is that the inspiration continues to catch on across the country.

Whatever you do this festive season, wherever you are, if this father/daughter show happens near you, go, you won't be sorry.

December 16 at 14h00: HOUSE CONCERT, Hilton. Contact 082 331 7271 or

December 17 at 18h00: Tatham Coffee Shop, Pietermaritzburg. Contact 074 145 3354 or

December 19 at 19h00: KZNSA Gallery. Bookings: 031 277 1705 - - Quicket link:

December 20: The Busk Inn, Kloof. Bookings: 082 781 3106 -

December 21 at 20h00: Riverbend Crocodile Farm, Southbroom. Contact 078 444 7130 or

For more information visit