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Tuesday, September 22, 2015


(Bradley & Ash Searle)

(Review from the Hilton Arts Festival from Keith Millar)

Follow Spot Production’s unique and award winning comedy dance shows Big Boys Don’t Dance and its sequel, Big Boys 2, have developed something of a cult following after appearing at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown for several years.

It appeared as if that popularity followed them to the Hilton Arts Festival, where they appeared for the first time this year, as the whoops of delight and random applause started minutes after the action began. Not that they didn’t deserve it. Brad and Ash Searle, brothers on stage and off, are fabulously talented dancers, very funny comedians and charming and engaging characters on stage.

The two brothers stumble from one madcap disaster to the next. Ash has his future father-in- law’s luxury car stolen at his bull’s party. In order to replace the car he and Brad enter a dance competition, which they win. But they are then 16 hours late for Ash’s wedding and needless to say his bride, Vanessa, is long gone.

Vanessa has left Ash a note and Brad manages to persuade him that the real meaning of the message is that they must go to London to find her. They embark on a crazy trip to London via Mumbai, Singapore and France. Along the way, they perform dances from the various countries such as Bollywood Bhangra and Gangnam style.

While in London they discover that Vanessa is in fact still in South Africa. They don’t have the money to get back and so they arrange to perform at a strip club. However, they end up at the wrong venue and start stripping at a children’s birthday party. The police arrive and they are locked up in jail.

And so it goes in the lives of Ash and Brad.

The duo use a classic double act formula with Ash as the straight man desperate to get back to his Vanessa to see if he can repair their relationship and the comic idiot Brad getting them ever further into trouble.

The production uses excellent interactive projections and computer graphics while the soundtrack and lighting design are quite exceptional. Operating it all is Ash’s real life wife, Vanessa Harris. She is remarkable as she dances about following numerous sound and lighting cues. Her performance is almost as entertaining as the action on the stage.

Big Boys is a seriously good, fun and entertaining production. It is fresh and new and certainly something a little different.

With any luck it may make an appearance in Durban. If it does I suggest you join the Big Boys cult and get to see it. You won’t be disappointed. – Keith Millar