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Saturday, March 5, 2016


(Boniwe Majwede, Jacobus van Heerden, Nadine Oberholzer & Kendyll Plu’g. Pic by Sean Laurenz)

Van Heerden’s tour de force performance is a perfect showcase for his considerable versatility. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Described as a satirical comedy Superchop is the latest production from the multi-award winning Neon Anthems. It sets out to parody the famous, and those desperate to be famous. Written and performed by Jacobus Van Heerden, it is directed by Liam Magner.

It works on the reality competition format. Eager hopefuls are presented - first in an audiovisual format and then in person – to gain a popular public vote.

For me, this production offered a perfect showcase of van Heerden’s versatility – I mean anyone who could act the rest of the cast off the stage - as he did, performing on his knees as the pint-sized Lord Farquaad in KickstArt’s Shrek - has got capacity a-plenty! He has an excellent flair for comedy and a good command of accents.
He was completely unrecognizable as the doddery rapping Granny Bevan who uses her music as a way of reaching out to the misguided youth to follow the Lord. Then there was the Afrikaans crooner, master of the faux pas. Van Heerden also produced a powerful scene of bitter pent-up anger as Romeo Pillay,the bogus magician/clairvoyant/mindreader/mentalist and psychic who’s into slam poetry.

van Heerden gives a tour de force high energy performance in a show that explodes into action from the first moment. Accompanying  and providing much eye candy, as it were, are four attractive dancers who appear in a range of costumes from bespangled cheerleader style to figure-hugging body suits with pig noses! They are Boniwe Majwede, Nadine Oberholzer, Amber Jean Hogg and Kendyll Samantha Plu'g. Choreography is by the award-winning David Gouldie.

This is a satirical comedy to approach with an open mind. While the humour is never vulgar, it doesn’t protect sacred cows and boldly – and fearlessly - explores new ground.

Last night’s opening was bedevilled with technical problems, to the extent that the second half of the show had to be called off.

This was a great disappointment to the audience who had been thoroughly enjoying this show. However, no doubt many of them will return to see the version in full as there are more characters to come in the second half.

Superchop first previewed at the 2013 Musho! Festival at Catalina Theatre where it won the judges’ vote award for best show. While it has been considerably expanded in terms of set and cast, the production does get a bit lost on a stage the size of the Elizabeth Sneddon. However, there was no doubt that it was well received by last night’s audience – mainly made up of people in the performing arts industry who can be ultra-critical.

Superchop runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre until March 13 with performances at 19h30 with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 14h30. Superchop is directed by Liam Magner and. Lighting and set by Michael Broderick and Bryan Hiles. Video editing and audio visuals by Mark Edwards.

Tickets available at Computicket with block bookings organised through Ailsa Windsor on or 083 250 2690.- Caroline Smart