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Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Three highly creative comedy minds under Greig Coetzee’s excellent direction are pulling in the audiences. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Under Greig Coetzee’s excellent direction, three of KZN’s most creative comedy minds - Aaron McIlroy, Ben Voss and John van der Ruit - have put together a hugely entertaining production which is pulling in the audiences at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

I was unable to attend the opening night but colleague Keith Millar reviewed the show for artSMart ( and he has covered virtually everything that I would have mentioned. However, I will focus a bit more on the technical side.

It’s always interesting to attend a show on an ordinary night – ie one with “real” public (ie paying) as opposed to opening nights which are invariably for media or by invitation only. These are the people who support theatre and to see a two-thirds capacity for a Tuesday night means that the word is spreading around town fast that this show has definitely got audience appeal.

Mike Broderick – who also designed the lighting – has created an expansive set with a vast backcloth of swirling clouds, an image which is reflected in the floorcloth. There are two large hanging cubes, one of which carries a television screen which provides some hilarious links and inserts. Stacey Taylor-Broderick’s costumes are a delight, especially that of the lion who has a penchant for Afrikaans music and sushi! Jackie Cunniffe’s sound design – and it has many technical levels - is top-notch.

The Rise of the Insanity League has turned the standard use of cellphone announcement into a league of its own. Featuring the distinctive voice of Frank Graham, this deserves an award in its own right!

Ben Voss and John van de Ruit are well-known for their Mamba comedy series and this production revisits the kind of clever, satirical sketches that made them so popular. Add Aaron McIlroy’s hyperactive energy and it’s an overall recipe for success. The three actors work well together, the dialogue is slick and there are some brilliant scenes.

Biggest surprise for me is John van de Ruit’s singing ability. I don’t remember ever seeing him sing in a production before so I can’t believe how he has been hiding this talent! It’s good to see him back on the stage again after his absence to get his hugely popular Spud movies out. It’s also nice to see Ben Voss back in male clothing – a break from his alter-ego Beauty Ramapelepele.

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: – Caroline Smart