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Saturday, December 6, 2008


(Pic: Clinton Small, Jacobus van Heerden, Dylan Edie and Liam Magner)

Four talented guys send up Christmas and tv magazine programmes. (Review by Caroline Smart)

In the same style as the highly successful Green Mamba and Black Mamba which he co-wrote with John van de Ruit, director Ben Voss harnesses the considerable energies of four of Durban’s most talented young actors in NATV’s Live Xmas Show currently running at Seabrooke’s Theatre at DHS.

The audience becomes part of NATV (dubbed RSA’s worst TV channel) in their countdown to midnight on Christmas Eve.

In the rehearsal process, I would hazard a guess that Ben Voss would have needed to keep a tight rein on his buoyant cast which comprises the award-winning Neon Anthems – Liam Magner and Cobus van Heerden – as well as Dylan Edy and Clinton Small.

Simpering floor manager Louisa (Liam Magner) busily welcomes patrons to the theatre and prepares them in terms of appropriate behaviour once the television programme gets underway. Then there’s smooth talk-show host Mike (Dylan Edy) whose cool becomes seriously rattled when he gets to interview a forthright and gutsy Santa Claus (Clinton Small) who’s having problems as his main reindeer has developed a phobia for flying!

Jacobus van Heerden makes a dynamic appearance as Afrikaans rock singer Kirk and then there’s the ape Arnold, who is a good deterrent for performers who refuse to take the hint and leave when their slot is over.

Other visitors on the show are two members from the Newly Organised Crime Unit of South Africa (NOCUS), Victoria Greenbelt with her Crossing Fibres where she claims to receive messages from the spiritual realm from donated items of clothing, and fashion designer Gustav Dicks who offers a “fashion makeover” to a member of the audience who catches his eye.

Then there’s the Umzimkhulu Praise Singers with a lullaby with a cynical twist and two wannabee hunks from Gustav’s Moscow Adventure Club for Boys.

The action is fast and mildly chaotic, drawing many laughs in a series of spoof interviews and songs. It’s only when they reach the highly amusing finale – a very funny send-up of The Twelve Days of Christmas that one is reminded that there are actually only four people in the cast! This is a highly amusing show. No deep thought processes are required – just sit back and let four good-looking guys entertain you in a whirl of fun and nonsense!

NATV’s Live Xmas Show! runs at Seabrooke’s Theatre @ DHS in St Thomas Road until December 24. Shows are Tuesday to Saturday at 20h00 (Sundays at 18h00). Tickets R80 Thursdays to Sundays (R60 scholars, students and pensioners as well as for shows on Tuesdays and Wednesdays).

Booking through Computicket on 083 915 8000 or at the door. More information on 084 637 1345. – Caroline Smart

NB: As DHS is an exam marking centre, no vehicles are permitted to enter the complex until December 15. There is parking in St Thomas Road.