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Wednesday, September 24, 2014


(Tim Plewman)

(Review from the artSMart team covering the 2014 Witness Hilton Arts Festival which ran at Hilton College from September 19 to 21)

Commanding and boisterous performance in hilarious comedy. (Review by Keith Millar)

Tim Plewman is a talented, skilled and experienced theatre all-rounder, and is a veteran of the South African stage. All these attributes were brought to bear in his commanding and boisterous performance of his play Designer Genes XXL which was seen at the recent Witness Hilton Arts Festival.

In this hilarious comedy, Plewman expands on the gender debate he started with his famous production, Defending the Caveman.

He takes his audience on a roller coaster ride of laughter as he discusses everything from the origins of man as the hunter/gatherer, to shopping expeditions in the modern day shopping malls. He also talks about issues such as the behaviour of men and women at braais and the effect of women’s magazines on relationship dynamics.

Plewman starts his show by teaching any foreign audience members the many colloquial South African and Afrikaans words he liberally and hilariously uses in his monologue.

He then relates the story of meeting a group of angry woman in a doctor’s waiting room. They think all men are contemptible beings. This sets him off on his hour-long journey of hilarity in an effort to prove that the differences between men and woman are in the genes.

Plewman is a powerful performer and a master of comedy pace and timing. He has excellent rapport with his audience and certainly had the capacity crowd at the splendid Grindrod Bank Theatre at Hilton College in the palm of his hand.

Judging from their reactions they had all experienced - or were experiencing - the joys, and frustrations, of being in a relationship. Although Plewman’s observations and opinions may be exaggerated for the sake of comedy, it seems that they certainly do not fall far from the mark.

If you loved Defending the Caveman then this sequel, Designer Genes XXL, is for you. However, the show does stand alone and should be enjoyed by all who have experienced or even just pondered the inherent differences between the sexes. – Keith Millar