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Saturday, August 31, 2013


(Kogie Naidoo and Maeshni Naicker appear in a volatile relationship!)

Entertaining evening of new script by new writer augurs well. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Last night saw a couple of “firsts” for me. Firstly, the introduction of a new and highly promising writer for theatre and film and, secondly, my first visit to the Durban North Conference Centre.

Love in a Pickle is a show written by Jithen Premrajh and presented at what I hope will become a popular supper theatre/cabaret venue. The Crown Theatre is situated at the Durban North Conference Centre which is less than ten minutes away from the junction where Umgeni Road becomes North Coast Road, also branching off towards Makro to the West and the Umgeni Bird Park to the East. It is easily accessible and has onsite parking.

The Crown Theatre holds about 150 people, there is a cash bar and light snacks are available.

Premrajh’s writing is mainly humorous and Love in a Pickle offers an evening of fun and laughter and this comedic content is safe in the hands of well-known comedy stalwarts, Maeshni Naicker and Kogie Naidoo who carry the show as they pursue their battling relationship of one-upmanship as the wife and mother-in-law of a successful doctor. As Dr Moodley, Naren Sanker gives a consistently strong performance as he tries to keep this volatile relationship under control and ensure that his daughter Priya is given the future she deserves. As Priya, Perlisha Somiah is charming and attractive. She has some important speeches regarding a young Indian woman’s situation in 1990 (when the play is set) and she handles these well.

The Moodley family moves from Chatsworth to Umhlanga which requires a major adjustment in their lives. An added complication arises when Eric Viljoen, the elder son of their Afrikaans next-door-neighbour, starts showing interest in Priya. Marco Kotze is a likeable Eric with Elzette Smith as his long-suffering mother and Eben van de Merwe as his gay younger brother.

Also appearing are Shakti Matura as Sheila and Sinikiwe Sifumba as the maid. Premrajh and Chirag Patel are a delight as the possible husbands for Priya.

Apart from Naicker and Naidoo, most of the cast are newcomers to the stage and it’s hats off to Premrajh for directing the piece in such a way that the experience gaps do not show.

The stage and setting is very basic with various items of furniture indicating the locations. However, I believe that this is a venue that can be explored and experimented with and, considering the pro-active and passionate team behind it, I am sure that this will not take long.

Many of the issues in 1990 that challenged young women with the capacity to be financially independent are still in place today and Premrajh brings these out in his script. I look forward to seeing more work from him.

Love in a Pickle runs until September 8 at the Crown Theatre at the Durban North Conference Centre, 5 Northview Road in Durban North. Performances Monday to Saturday at 19h30 (Sunday at 14h30 and 18h30),Tickets R50 on weekdays (R90 over weekends) booked through Computicket and also available at the conference centre at the door on the night. Snacks, food and a cash bar will be available. More information on 031 563 9176. – Caroline Smart