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Friday, March 25, 2016


(Shannon Newton; Carla Gailey; Zanele Sibiya & Shannon Rose)

Lighthearted, naughty but nice, sitcom with plenty of laughs. (Review by Keith Millar)

The Bridesmaids, which premiered at the Seabrooke’s Theatre on the campus of Durban High School last night, is a lighthearted, naughty but nice, sitcom with plenty of laughs.

It is a story of friendship, loyalty and love. Four young ladies who are lifelong friends get together for an evening of wine, tequila and pizza at the home of one of them. Their reunion is a high-spirited and hilarious celebration which includes plenty of drinking and a party game which involves reading passages from the book, Fifty Shades of Grey.

When they were in college together, the girls had taken a vow not to get married until they were 30 years old. Now five years later, that is about to change as one of them announces that she has got engaged and asks the other three, to their consternation, to be her bridesmaids.

The Bridesmaids is the debut stage production from the pen of Prev Reddy who previously toured with his stand-up show Wait, You're Indian!? He has created four distinctly individual and likable characters. The dynamics between them is the source of much of the comedy in the piece. Reddy is also responsible for the direction of the production and he makes good use of a satisfying living room set designed by Brett van Dort. The producer of the play is Zoƫ Walsh.

The four young ladies of the cast are all relative newcomers, and all give enjoyable and credible comic performances.

Zanele Sibiya plays Kris, who is about to be married. She is a sensible and lovable character who is probably the most grounded of the quartet.

The sexy, wild-child Belinda is played by an impressive Shannon Newton, while wannabe pop star Shaylene, who hilariously keeps her microphone in her handbag, is played by Shannon Rose. Completing the quartet is Carla Gailey as Stephanie who has recently broken up with her long-term girlfriend.

This production, by a young and enthusiastic group of thespians, is not without fault. It is at, 50 minutes, a bit too short. Many of us thought it was interval when it came to a sudden abrupt ending. I also thought that the use of red polka-dot pieces of fabric to depict the bridesmaid’s dresses fell a bit flat.

From a performance point of view I would have enjoyed a bit more projection as I struggled to hear the dialogue from time to time.

However, there was nothing wrong that can’t be easily fixed and I think that this young group deserve congratulations for producing an enjoyable and entertaining theatre experience.

The talent that has been on display from young, new production companies at the Seabrooke’s Theatre recently bodes well for the future of the performing arts in our city. Now all that we need are a few viable venues where they may ply their trade.

The Bridesmaids runs until March 27 at 19h30 at Seabrooke's Theatre, DHS. Tickets R80 booked via Webtickets. No under 16s. – Keith Millar

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