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Tuesday, June 22, 2010


A comedy and social commentary piece that runs like a pair of freshly laddered stockings… once you’re in it, there’s no going back! (Review by Shika Budhoo)

Shaggy is a monologue play on the Fringe of the National Arts Festival. With six parts with two performers alternating pieces, it’s a comedy piece that runs like a pair of freshly laddered stockings. Once you’re in it, there’s no going back. The six pieces are completely different in tone, plot and subject matter with interesting but strange characters that interact with their stories in repeated heightened moments. If a linking theme through the monologues is present, I think it would be different for each audience member, depending on what appealed and stood out to individuals. For me the theme is trying times, because the characters presented are all individuals with trying situations.

The piece is directed by Roshnee Guptar and the script, which is by Anton Krueger and Pravasan Pillay, requires high attention from audiences in order to follow the threads that carry through the individual pieces from beginning to end. The monologues are written with suggestive text which opens the mind’s imagination and the eyes of those who always see below the surface. The two performers fill the stage with large performances - necessary, I think, for a script such as this. The scripts operate differently from monologue to monologue with a variety of oddball characters who reveal hilarious truths about humanity and the systems that operate within it.

At Shaggy you will come into contact with the following oddball personalities and cranky situations:: Part one: a female marketing officer of a baked bean factory, holds a meeting with her staff about her new marketing strategy; her presentation becomes a confusion of analogies for a reluctant staff that leave the bubbly marketing officer despondent and hurt. Part two: a peculiar inventor with strange boundaries and a strange sense of humour pitches an invention (his only one - for now!) to a chairperson of a big firm. Part three: an SABC female representative declares the problems with the programming budgets for the year and in this sequence she suggests some eccentric proposals to increase programming at zero cost.

Part four: Pete, an old man living only in his home for 18 years, tells the stories of the frustrations of performers in the arts of juggling and especially Balloon Art. Part five: Sally a Cambodian orphan, now living in South Africa wins the Small Business Person of the Year Award and explains her journey at the award ceremony. Part Six: I call it the ‘Military Dance’ monologue (for obvious reasons when you watch the show) it touched on the proposition of out-of-work actors to pursue careers in the army to bring future prospects of fame, after a war experience.

The show is an all-round success in presentation and script. A funny and entertaining piece of theatre, that is well performed and constantly keeps the cogs of the mind turning and churning. I love the South Africanisms and unique perspectives explored. Performers Zanne Solomon and Tristan Jacobs did an amazing job of changing between characters and precisely portraying the quirks and peculiarities of the characters in the rich script. The words sometimes complex in construction flowed out their mouths smoothly with high effect. Shaggy is running at the Drill Hall during festival 2010. – Shika Budhoo