national Arts Festival Banner

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


(Hamish Kyd)

Hamish Kyd’s humorous one-man show at St Philomena’s Hall sees a new performance venue in town. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Representing the first drama to be presented in the hall at St Philomena’s Community Development Area in Sydenham, Hamish Kyd’s Knowing You ... Knowing Me needs to be supported as a portion of the box office will go towards St Philomena’s Children’s Home.

In his review of the play when it was presented at the Playhouse in July last year, artSMart reviewer Keith Millar described Kyd’s performance as “sublime” in a “little gem of a production” that is “delightful, poignant, insightful and very, very funny.”

The play is about Lenny Stalk, a down-to-earth and honest tradesman who has raised his son, Otis, single-handedly after the death of his wife.

I make no excuses for republishing Keith Millar’s review here, as it says it all:

Otis is a creative fashion design student and a respectful and loving son. Then circumstances conspire to force Otis to announce that he is gay. Lenny is devastated. The concept of a gay son is completely foreign to the life he knows and understands.

He will go to any ends to, as he says, “un-gay” his son.

The play starts with Lenny (Kyd) kneeling on stage praying to his God. He is asking for a solution to the perceived problem he has with his son. God appoints a group of angels (the audience) to hear Lenny’s story and offer him advice.

Lenny relates hilarious tales of growing up in Sydenham. He tells of his marriage and love for his wife and of her death while giving birth to Otis. He also reveals that he himself did not follow the conventional path in matters of the heart. He eventually comes to the realisation that he will have to follow the advice he had often given his son. That is, “to go to that place deep in your soul, and ask the little voice for an answer”.

In the end the audience is left with food for thought on issues such as tolerance, understanding and compassion.

South Africa’s various cultures are unquestionably rich in character and personality. In “Knowing You ... Knowing Me” we are given a loving and insightful glimpse into the coloured communities of Durban. While humour is Kyd’s vehicle, it is never disrespectful and the many colourful characters he describes are brought to life through his words.

Knowing You Knowing Me is directed by Hamish’s daughter, Leveen Kyd, with musical direction by Dawn Gaillard and musical arrangements are by Chris Ruiters.

The hall can be laid out in theatre seating or with individual tables. Usually surrounded with white drapes, this production sees the empty stage area swathed in black as befits the simplicity of the play’s setting (most of it taking place in the actor’s mind). It is backlit with little lights before the show to create an elegant space to match the impressive chandelier that hangs above the stage.

Knowing You … Knowing Me has two more performances – tomorrow and Thursday (February 26 and 27 at 20h00. Bookings on 076 777 5732. St. Philomena’s Hall is situated at 92 Rippon Road, Sydenham (about five minutes away from Highway Hospice)

Any productions taking place give a high portion of the profits to the St Philomena’s Children’s Home. For more information contact Tamara and Clinton Daniels of Memorable Occasions on 076 777 5732 entertainment space in a complex that is easily accessible and has ample secure parking.

NB: Coming up from April 27 is “Tjooners & Crooners“ with the family fun game “Check Your Mate”, hosted and directed by Hamish Kyd .Stand a chance to win a sea cruise! Bookings on 076 777 5732.