national Arts Festival Banner

Sunday, July 21, 2019


(Aaron McIlroy & Lisa Bobbert as the presenters on BNN)

Audiences support Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert in their latest bundle of nonsense. (Review by Caroline Smart)

The indomitable Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert are back on stage with their hilarious bundle of nonsense, Bloopers.

I use the word “indomitable” because just under two weeks ago, they were on the eve of their final two shows in Makhanda (Grahamstown) at the National Arts Festival when they received the news that their lovely house in Durban North had burnt down.

With wonderful help from Durban family as well as friends and colleagues taking care of children and pets, they stayed to finish their shows at the Festival before heading home to face the tragic spectacle of their ruined house which took a mere 15 minutes to burn to the ground. The cause is believed to have been an electrical fault. Very few items were able to be salvaged.

Fortunately, Bloopers was one of their festival productions so they at least had their costumes and, despite fighting the flu, they gathered their energies and opened with Bloopers on Wednesday (July 17). This is the level of professionalism we have come to expect from this much-loved pair of entertainers, both of whom have a whacky sense of humour, strong movement skills and a mastery of accents and different voices.

Skilfully directed by Daisy Spencer, Bloopers contains a collection of sketches with a myriad of off-the-wall characters. The set included a mini stage complete with curtains and a BNN (Bloopers News Network) TV broadcast studio.

Here is an extract from Barry Meehan’s review of the show when it ran at Rhumbelow Tina’s at the end of last year:
“The first half of Bloopers runs at a frenetic pace with Aaron and Lisa in various outfits, wigs and characters, hurtling from one scenario to another. Their own brand of comedy never stops, with some very original material and some internet-inspired, such as the “Songs That Shouldn’t Be Played at Weddings” segment. Lisa stands out with her drunken mother of the bride speech, with Aaron excelling in “Things You Don’t say to Your Wife”. The ultimate standout of the first half for me though, was Aaron’s art critic dissection and destruction of Lisa’s ABBA standard “Waterloo”. Comedy timing is critical in this sketch, and both nailed it.”

(Left: Aaron as the critic for Lisa’s “Waterloo”)

These numbers were also favourites of mine from this half. There was also Lisa as a hilariously squawking Alicia Cheese who had to fight with a microphone that had its own agenda!

Barry Meehan continues:
“After interval, we were treated to the Darwin Awards, a tongue-in-cheek honour, which originated on the internet around the mid-80s. They recognize individuals who have supposedly contributed to human evolution by selecting themselves out of the gene pool via death or sterilization by their own actions. The two recipients of an Honorary Darwin Award, are a rather horny Australian outback couple who should have met their maker through their incredible stupidity while attempting to fish for crocs from their boat but lived against all odds to tell the tale.”

Lisa blew us all away with her reworded version of Memory from Cats – which portrays a woman who is losing her memory and sometimes can’t remember who or where she is. One of the lines is …”And is my house on fire?” The audience went wild with approval. Takes courage to belt out a line like that at a time like this!

Aaron appears wearing a feathered headband singing Running Bear but we then discover it’s not a Red Indian but one of his much-loved characters, Vijay Maharaj, who is very much from Durban and has no problem with engaging with audience members and often good-heartedly insulting some of them.

To finish the show, Aaron and Lisa focus on the Indian culture with a lively version of the popular Bollywood hit, Jai Ho.

The finale launched the audience into an immediate standing ovation, their applause and cheers not only appreciating the show but the courage and pluck of the performers.

In an emotional show of gratitude from the stage, Aaron acknowledged all the people who had helped them personally with donations of money, clothes, food, linen and anything that would help build their new life.

He also paid major tribute to Daisy Spencer, Jackie Cunniffe (manager of the Sneddon) and technicians/designers Tina le Roux, Wesley Maherry, Jason Bird, Mike Broderick and Black Coffee.

Bloopers runs at The Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre until July 28, 2019. Please support this show and help this special family carve their future.

Show times are Tuesdays to Saturdays at 19h30 and Sundays at 15h00. Duration is approximately 90 minutes including interval. Tickets R165 (R150 pp for bock bookings of 10 or more). Booked through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, or log onto – Caroline Smart