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Saturday, March 30, 2013


(Aaron Mclroy, John van der Ruit and Ben Voss)

Hilarious chaotic madness from three exceptional exponents of comic acting. (Review by Keith Millar)

Will the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre at UKZN ever be the same again after being subjected to the crazy, off the wall antics offered by The Insanity League?

The Insanity League is a comedy movement starring three exceptional exponents of comic acting, Aaron Mcllroy, Ben Voss and John Van Der Ruit. Playing to a full house at the Durban premiere of their show on Thursday night, the trio had the audience roaring with laughter from beginning to end.

Each of them is an accomplished clown who is capable of getting a laugh from something as basic as a deadpan stare, or an arched eyebrow, so when they go way, way over the top as they do in this performance the result is hilarious chaotic madness.

The Rise of the Insanity League is a sketch comedy show during which Mcllroy, Voss and van der Ruit introduce a plethora of wired and wonderful characters – each funnier than the one before. The pace is fast and frenetic and one hardly has a chance to catch one’s breath at the end of a sketch before being blasted headlong into the next. This leads to my only complaint. Due to the speed of delivery and the frenzied action, it is sometimes difficult to hear everything that is being said. As a result, I fear that several good gags were missed.

The sketches range from the history of The Insanity League, TV Talk Shows and the invention of the telephone to the introduction of the Insanity Police. This sketch has a very funny song entitled SAPS and sung to the tune of YMCA. Also very entertaining is the Insanity TV Sports programme with Mcllroy and Voss providing the sound effects of two young Russian tennis players.

The highlight for me was Ben Voss playing the oldest member of The Insanity League, 116 year-old Sybil Solomons. More dead than alive, she manages a remarkable recovery when she remembers that they are serving her favourite biscuits for tea that day. This performance alone is worth the cost of the ticket.

There are several video clips played throughout the programme. Most notable were all three cast members playing characters on the Insanity Internet dating site. Beware all ladies surfing the net looking for a partner! Another highlight is the use of one of South Africa’s leading comedy voice artists, Frank Graham, to provide the links between some of the sketches. Graham’s delightful personalities added extra colour to the show.

For those who enjoy irreverent and uninhibited entertainment and a very good laugh, it is recommended that you make your way to the Sneddon Theatre during the next month and join The Insanity League. You won’t learn anything new and you won’t find solutions to the world’s problems, and the evening may be a bit short on social commentary, but rest assured - you will laugh until you ache.

However be warned - if you are shy or inhibited, don’t sit in the front row.

The Rise of the Insanity League runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre until April 28 and will return to KZN to appear at the Hilton Arts Festival from September 13 to 15. KZN booking is at Computicket outlets or on 0861 915 8000 or

For block bookings and fundraisers nationwide, contact Ailsa Windsor of Going Places on 083 250 2690 or email: