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Friday, May 2, 2014


(Kumseela Naidoo, Verushka Odayen & Madhu Maharaj)

Interesting and entertaining dramatic comedy production which is well worth seeing. (Review by Keith Millar)

For the past ten years, the Dingalings Production Company have been producing some of Durban’s most popular ethnic comedy shows. Now they are spreading their wings and making a move into the realms of more serious work with their latest offering – the provocative (albeit still very funny) drama For Better Or Worse.

Well – after attending the premier this evening, I can say that the move has been a resounding success.

The play is insightful, poignant, evocative, clever and most of all very well performed by Kumseela Naidoo, Verushka Odayen, and Madhu Maharaj.

When three brothers go on a fishing trip together they persuade their wives to spend the week-end together as an exercise in bonding. This is a recipe for disaster as the three sisters-in-law are very diverse characters. They have little in common when it comes to their views on the role of an Indian woman in the home, marriage and the business world. They cannot agree on how to balance their traditional responsibilities against the demands of a modern fast moving world.

This leads to arguments and anger and, before too long, home truths are told and secrets come out. By the end of the week-end their relationships, friendships and even their marriages are threatened.

The last time I saw Kumseela Naidoo on stage was at The Playhouse Loft Theatre when she played feminist and activist Dr Gonum in Ronnie Govender’s Botoo. She delivered a superb dramatic performance. In For Better Or Worse, she shows her versatility playing a cowed and dissatisfied woman. All her experience shows in a fine and skilled performance.

Verushka Odayen is excellent in the role of the fire cracker younger woman with feet of clay. Her experience in stand-up comedy holds her in good stead when she mimics the husbands laying down the law.

Madhu Maharaj can be very proud of her debut performance. She plays the haughty sister-in-law with confidence and sensitivity.

Sivani Chinappan and Logesen Moodley provide three items of dance during the production. They moved with mesmerising expression and dexterity. However, I wondered if the production needed this distraction.

For Better Or Worse is written and directed by Koobeshen Naidoo. On both counts he should be congratulated. His script is perceptive and thoughtful and has an excellent balance between drama and comedy while his direction gives a sense of reality to the scene of three bickering woman.

For Better Or Worse is an interesting and entertaining dramatic comedy production, which is well worth seeing. It runs  at the Catalina Theatre at Wilson’s Wharf from May 2 to 18 with shows every Friday and Saturday at 20h00 (Sundays at 18h00). Tickets R100 available from  Computicket or call 031 837 5999

For more information e-mail: – Keith Millar