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Tuesday, June 9, 2015


(Anthony Stonier & Lisa Bobbert)

Brutal it may be but the only thing that will get hurt is your ribs - from laughing too much. (Review by Keith Millar)

The Westville Country Club in association with Rhumbelow Theatre presented the award-winning production Brutal Tunes at their Old Boys Hall on Sunday.

This fabulous music revue is best described by borrowing words from a Cole Porter song - it’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s delectable, it’s delirious, its divine and it’s de-lovely.

Brutal Tunes showcases the talents two of Durban’s favourite entertainers, Lisa Bobbert and Anthony Stonier. They perform songs from the masters of fiercely clever lyrics and razor sharp wit - such as Noel Coward and Tom Lehrer.

Bobbert and Stonier are accomplished singers and both have excellent comic ability. They put in a performance that is wonderfully wicked, totally outrageous, and with exquisite timing and flamboyance. Appearing together or alone on stage, they are delightfully entertaining and show considerable skill in extracting every last ounce of humour from the lyrics.

The show takes the audience on a brutal, biting, sarcastic and ultimately very funny journey through life. Most aspects of living, from love and marriage to liaisons, parties, family and children are given the treatment.

There is a marvellous selection of songs on the playlist. Amongst others there is Poisoning Pigeons in the Park and Masochism Tango from Tom Lehrer with Nina, A Bar on the Piccola Marina and Don’t Put Your Daughter On the Stage, Mrs Worthington from Noel Coward.

Also included is Eartha Kitt’s An Englishman Needs Time, the hilarious Ballad of Barry and Freda by Victoria Wood, Always a Bridesmaid from the Broadway musical, I Love you, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and I’m the Only Gay Eskimo by a group intriguingly called Corky and the Juice Pigs.

Musical accompaniment is by the celebrated pianist Andrew Warburton. Not only does he play superbly but is an integral part of the show as he passes acerbic comments and takes camp to a whole new level with his performance.

Brutal Tunes is directed by Durban theatre legend Caroline Smart, and her deft touch is very much in evidence in this tight and professional production.

I have not had the opportunity to attend a Rhumbelow Theatre Production at Westville Country Club since their opening several months ago, and I was very impressed at the improvements that have been made. This spacious room with a well-appointed stage and excellent lighting has become a very elegant supper/luncheon-theatre venue and is well worth a visit. Further enhancing the quality of this production was a faultless sound mix by Durban's award winning sound engineer, Megan Levy".

Brutal Tunes is sure to be staged again soon. It is too good a production not to be revived. Keep an eye out for it and don’t miss it next time around. Brutal it may be but the only thing that will get hurt is your ribs - from laughing too much. – Keith Millar