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Friday, December 12, 2014


(Shona Johnson)

An undeniable triumph for writer, director and performer! (Review by Caroline Smart)

Well-known for his children’s productions such as the award-winning The Fantastical Flea Circus and The Calf With No Name, as well as the well-known Lollipop Lane series, Marius has turned his focus onto more adult humour with B!#ch Stole My Doek.

The production was inspired by young actress Shona Johnson, who was recently seen in the revival of The Fantastical Flea Circus at Catalina. Recognising her special gifts as a comedienne, Marius was motivated to create this one-woman show for her.

While this diminutive powerhouse has appeared in numerous theatre productions, this is the first time she has gone solo. To hold an audience’s attention for close on an hour with very few props is a major test of a performer’s acting ability. Johnson rises to the challenge as if she had been doing this for years.

She plays a feisty mother of two who lives in Wentworth. Salome (not pronounced like the sausage!) is a housewife who collects crochet swans and is married to a fairly unprepossessing man called Dennis. However, Dennis proves to have more strength that he’s given credit for. We meet Salome as she is taking down her washing. With her hair in curlers and dressed in her nightwear and a dressing gown, she is chatting to an (unseen) neighbour over the fence.

She is shuddering with fury as her new neighbour, a lady called Chelsea, insists on taking up space on the communal washing line to hang her scanty lingerie. By some chance, Salome’s much-loved apple green doek with the polka dots disappeared when Chelsea collected her washing and Salome is absolutely convinced that she has stolen it.

In between explaining her efforts to find ways to retrieve the doek, she shouts instructions to her son Travis and daughter Laverne to help get supper on the way.

Whether she’s playing the gawky Travis, the gum-chewing ditsy Laverne, her unruffled husband or the quietly-spoken Chelsea, Johnson gives a spirited performance that never wanes. With the only props being the washing line and various garments hanging on it, a washing basket and some curled up chicken wire at the side of the stage, the focus is entirely on her and she ensures that it stays there. Normally, a comedy takes a little while to gain response from an audience but the laughs here ring out right from the start.

All in all, an undeniable triumph for writer, director and performer!

Presented by Copy Dog Productions, B!#ch Stole My Doek runs at Catalina Theatre until December 21 with performances at 19h30 from Wednesdays to Saturdays and on Sundays at 14h30. Tickets R100 booked at Computicket on 0861 915 8000 or, Shoprite Checkers Computicket or at the Catalina Theatre box office on the night should there be seats available. – Caroline Smart

The production runs in tandem with Hamish Kyd’s “Knowing You ... Knowing Me” which has performances from Wednesdays to Saturdays at 21h00, and on Sundays at 16h00.