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Tuesday, July 7, 2015


(Reviews from the artSMart team currently in Grahamstown at the 2015 National Arts Festival)
(Renaldo Moodley &Vern Rowin Munsamy in one of the amusing scenes)

Strong social message gets across through a fun and interactive show. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Presented by Scruffy Sessions Productions, No Contest?! is anything but scruffy in the social message it gets across through a fun and interactive show.

No Contest?! is written and directed by Vern Rowin Munsamy who appears in the show with Renaldo Moodley.

I first saw this production at the Musho! Festival earlier this year in Durban and my original review can be found at

The scenario is the finals of a TV reality dance show. Having reached this point in the competition, Dharshan and Direshen – two hopefuls from Chatsworth outside Durban – are being given the opportunity to showcase their talents and to give the judges their opinion on what talent South Africa should have.

Along the way, through the medium of a televised presenter on a screen placed centre stage, we meet grandmothers and friends as well as a whole band of whacky twosomes with their own ideas of what South Africa should strive for.

The production has grown considerably and is much tighter since its first presentation and there are some hilarious sequences. The show progresses in a fast-moving cavalcade of characters allowing the performers to showcase their versatility and movement skills.

The actors use no more than about ten props which range from caps to buckets. A memorable scene sees two zonked “dudes” from Laudium discussing ... well, “dude” stuff. Which means that it’s not much of a conversation!

The various messages that come across for South Africa’s future are to encourage prosperity, tolerance and self-worth. - Caroline Smart
This production’s appearance on the 2015 National Arts Festival was supported by the Libraries and Heritage Department of eThekwini Municipality.

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