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Thursday, September 8, 2016


(Tim Plewman Pic by Suzy Bernstein)

Last night’s opening of Defending The Caveman showed Tim Plewman in his 1,712th performance of this hilarious one-man show which should be seen by any married couple or those in a long-term relationship!

Defending the Caveman looks at the origins of the male and female sex from the days of the caveman and how the hunter (male) and gatherer (female) understand (or more often that not, don’t understand!) each other. As a line in the show says: ”Everything goes back to cave times, we’ve just found modern ways to do it!”

It’s easy to see how Plewman has garnered the reputation of presenting the longest-running and most successful solo comedy in South African theatre history which has played to over a million people so far.

The Broadway production written by Rob Becker who lives in California still holds the record of the longest-running non-musical solo comedy of all time. The script is exceptionally funny while being highly insightful and observant of the ways, thinking and dreams of both sexes.

Plewman originally adapted Becker’s script for Southern Africa and the show was directed by Rex Garner. The 2016 production sees it “updated, upgraded and totally up-loadable” to match today’s social media world. His way of asking the audience to turn off their cellphones for the show was highly amusing.

Gales of laughter responded to the scenes where comparisons are made between a man’s desire to less (or no) talk and a woman’s need to communicate – constantly! Apparently a woman speaks 7,000 words a day and a man 2,000!

Much fun was had with discussions about the sexual act and there were knowing reactions as to who controls the TV remote. Another question that was received with hilarity was whether women are – or are not – hindered by logic!

Performing in Durban after ten years, Plewman has a highly impressive record of over 30 years of experience in all aspects of the performing arts in South Africa and all his comedic talents come to the fore in this production.

It’s a tour de force performance – from gentle asides to near manic intensity. He laughs, he weeps, he jigs about, he gestures, he strides and he flops. He facial gestures are extremely funny when he is playing a character lost for words!

Even if you aren’t in a relationship, you will find the show hugely entertaining!

Defending the Caveman runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre until September 17. Booking is through Computicket, or on 0861 915 8000, or online at – Caroline Smart

(NB: At the end of the show, Plewman assured the audience that the theatre, which is on the UKZN Howard College campus, is safe to visit as the mid-term break has been brought forward. Also special security has been engaged for the run.)