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Tuesday, March 10, 2020


(Aaron McIlroy & Lisa Bobbert)

They say laughter is the best medicine so do yourself a favour, go and see “Family Therapy”, it is therapeutic! (Review by Kerryne Nico)

Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert are at it again with this hysterical look at families, what makes them tick and why so many of them need therapy. This musical comedy is directed and choreographed by Daisy Spencer and guarantees audiences a really good laugh, a number of sing-a-long songs and a couple of hours with no mention of the Corona Virus! Who could ask for more?

When the curtain goes up, we are introduced to Charmaine, a life coach, and her henpecked husband, Bruce. Charmaine and Bruce are hosting a family therapy session and they are determined to make everyone participate, insisting that it’s a ‘safe space’ to share. They immediately set about finding members of the audience to participate in their session. It’s funny how this makes people terribly uncomfortable but it’s an age-old trick used to break the ice and it sure works! Just FYI - the audience participation continues for the duration of the show so leave your inhibitions at the door and get ready to have some fun. I guarantee you’ll laugh until your cheeks hurt.

Next we meet Cher, Charmaine and Bruce’s teenage daughter, in the “Mind the Gap” segment which focuses on the generation gap. Cher is a typical teenager who exposes her dad’s WhatsApp blunders and belittles him for not understanding how social media works. As the parent of a teenager, I found this segment particularly enjoyable. Parents should be warned facial recognition technology is definitely something your kids understand better than you do!  McIlroy ends this segment on a slightly serious note with a stunning rendition of the Billy Joel song Vienna.

McIlroy’s portrayal of Gary van Staaden, a surfer dude from the Bluff in the “Blended Family” sequence is, as the Afrikaaners would put it, kak snaaks. Gary’s stories about his dysfunctional family are brilliant. A reworked version of Smokie’s Living Next Door to Alice was the final straw for the lady sitting in front of me; she was mopping up buckets of tears which just poured off her cheeks. For a moment or two I thought she might start convulsing she was laughing so hard!

When interval was announced, the audience reacted as if Eskom had just declared the start of another round of load-shedding, shock and disappointment filled the air. I know I was grateful for the intermission as I needed a moment to compose myself; my cheeks were aching from all the laughter.

The second half of the show opens with “Sibling Rivalry” featuring Spencer and Toby, a pair of conjoined Aussie twins, who keep the momentum going with their quirky offbeat stories. But to be honest, they didn’t do it for me and neither did the Hokey Pokey, I found it all a bit silly.

Vijay, on the other hand, had me in hysterics in the next segment entitled ‘Boundaries’. This was cleverly written and brilliantly performed. Again, McIlroy’s comedic timing was impeccable! His rendition of Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat from the hit musical Guys and Dolls closed the segment on a high note.

Last up are an older couple, Beatrice and Max, who bring a slightly more serious note to the show but this is where I felt Bobbert really shone. Her character Beatrice was wonderful.

They say laughter is the best medicine so do yourself a favour, go and see Family Therapy, it is therapeutic!

Family Therapy runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre until March 15, and has a suggested age restriction of no under 10’s.

Booking is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at, or at outlets (any Checkers Money Market counters). Tickets R180 (discounted price of R160 for children (under 12), students, pensioners and block bookings of 10 or more). Show times are Tuesdays to Saturdays at 19h30; Sunday at 18h00. The last Saturday on March 14 has two shows, at 15h00 and 19h30. – Kerryne Nico