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Friday, December 13, 2019


(Aaron McIlroy & Lisa Bobbert)

Altogether, this is a hugely entertaining show, with impeccable comedy timing from the manic pair, and is well worth seeing. (Review by Barry Meehan)

Durban’s madcap couple, Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert, are at it again in a manic, zany two-hander which pokes fun (and a good few truths) at families and their problems. Family Therapy is a laugh-a-minute, two-hour romp from this supremely talented twosome, and is – in my humble opinion – their best show to date.

If you’re going to see Family Matters – and you should – be warned that you cannot escape being an integral part of the show. All audience members are part of the therapy session, some getting a lot more involved than others, and not through their own doing. Four unsuspecting attendees are dragged up on stage to be part of the opening sequence as life coach Charmaine and her bumbling co-host Bruce welcome us to the therapy session, which culminates in a rousing version of We Are Family. Don’t be alarmed if you’re one of the four guys brought up to form the chorus – it’s all in good fun!

Conflict Resolution is next on the agenda with a wonderful way to avoid it – the “Grey Rock Technique” – a novel and innovative approach which I will certainly be using in the future!

(Right: Lisa Bobbert)

Bobbert excels as Charmaine and Bruce’s daughter Cher in the “Mind The Gap” sequence, which deals with the generation gap created by today’s internet and social media technology. Cher is the ‘influencer’ highlighting her Dad’s ‘Ballie Balls-ups’ to create a unique social media following. Very entertaining stuff!

For me, McIlroy’s standout character is guest presenter Gary Van Vuuren from the Bluff, in the “Blended Family” sequence. He tells the tale of his upbringing, with special emphasis on ‘Leon’ who arrived in the family after Gary’s dad left, and the similarity between his situation and a National Geographic programme on a tribe/pride of lions. The sequence ends with Gary’s version of Living Next door to Leon, based on Smokie’s Alice. As per the original, there is the opportunity for the audience to get involved by shouting out the line “Leon, who the **** is Leon”. Go for it, people – you’ll love the answer!

The second half of the show features a pair of conjoined but not identical Aussie twins, Spencer and Toby, who started fighting in the womb, but finally manage to sort out their differences, learning to do things together. Audience participation is compulsory, and if you didn’t know how to do the Hokey Pokey before, you certainly will by the end of the sequence. After all, that’s what it’s all about!

(Left: Aaron McIlroy)

One of McIlroy’s stock characters, Vijay, is next up, with a hilarious take on the one problem person in every family. His subject is “Boundaries”, including physical, emotional and mental, denoted by a door, a boat and a bucket, ending in a rousing version of Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat from the hit musical Guys and Dolls.

Last up are Beatrice and Max, parents, grandparents and soon-to-be great-grandparents who take a heart-warming look back at the problems involved in bringing up children.

Altogether, this is a hugely entertaining show, with impeccable comedy timing from the manic pair, and is well worth seeing. Be warned, though – tickets are selling like hot cakes, and the only performances for which seats are available are December 15, 22 and 24, but an extra 14h00 matinee has been scheduled for December 21.

(The theatre venue opens 60 minutes before show for drinks)

Tickets R180 and tables seat 8. (No alcohol or food may be brought on to the premises). Tickets are cash or EFT only. Secure parking is available. Booking is through Computicket or contact Roland (also for large group booking discounts of 20 or more) on 082 499 8636 or email: or visit

(Patrons are welcome to book for dinner or lunch at Tina's Restaurant before the show: Call 031 764 7843 to book)

Tina’s Hotel is situated at 14 Beryldene Road in Kloof. – Barry Meehan

There are also performances at the Rhumbelow Northlands on December 27 and 28, but the 27th is already sold out! Tickets are available at Computicket or phone Roland Stansell on 082 499 8636.