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Wednesday, May 11, 2011


(Pic by Val Adamson: Jailoshini Naidoo, Iain "Ewok" Robinson, Tim Wells and Clare Mortimer)

Brilliantly written piece of theatre, well-directed and performed, generates roars of laughter. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Whatever you do, don’t let the title sway your decision to see this brilliantly-written piece of theatre presented by KickstArt and currently running at Seabrooke’s Theatre at DHS.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the title refers to some ancient Biblical warfare or – by placing it in a modern day concept - any of the major conflicts that are currently underway on a global scale.

“God of Carnage” refers to something one of the characters says. It works perfectly in the context of the time and mood. Perhaps this is a good title for an international and more highly-informed theatre audience who would go and see anything that Tony Award winner Yasmina Reza writes (after her superb theatre piece, simply titled Art) but it could be enough to keep Durban audiences away in droves.

Ignore the title! Better still, go and see the show and see how you would title this clever and intricate piece (winner of a number of international awards) that is based on an astonishingly simple concept. It starts off as a situation where the parents of two young boys meet. The son of Annette and Alan has thumped Veronica and Michael’s son and knocked two of his front teeth out – a situation which involves much discussion. The foursome tries to resolve the matter in a civilised way without confrontation but the end result is a complete battlefield!

God of Carnage has been described as the hottest ticket on Broadway and it’s easy to understand why. The interaction – and resulting conflict – is skilfully planned by Yasmina Reza and the dramatic interchange from snide remarks to full-blown insults crackle with energy like a laser light display. No sooner do you identify a conflict between one or other character, than a salvo is fired from an unexpected source! And it’s all hilariously funny.

Anyone who has had children involved in brawls in or out of school will identify with the situation. Those who don’t have this experience will simply delight in the play as it is – four people who turn out to have a very shallow veneer of co-existence suddenly going completely out of character and railing against everything that irritates them in their respective marriages. Perhaps, as was suggested at the beginning of their meeting, they should have let the boys sort it out between themselves. Then things might have been different - but then we wouldn’t have had the delight of enjoying the delicious chaos that ensued!

Director Steven Stead has an ace team behind him with top notch performances from a cast of multi-award winning local actors: Clare Mortimer, Jailoshini Naidoo, Tim Wells and Iain ‘Ewok’ Robinson. Greg King has created a simple yet highly effective set which is well-lit by Tina le Roux.

The God of Carnage runs until May 29 at the newly refurbished and re-designed Seabrooke’s Theatre, DHS. Performances are at 19h30 from Tuesday to Saturday (15h00 on Sundays). Tickets R90 from Tuesday to Thursdays and R100 from Friday to Sunday. Booking is at Computicket (unreserved seating) – Caroline Smart