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Monday, November 16, 2020


(Aaron McIlroy. Pics by Val Adamson)

Aaron McIlroy turns the lockdown experience on its head in his latest excellent show “Apology” at Seabrooke's Theatre (DHS). (Review by Caroline Smart)

Lockdown. Lockdown. Lockdown. If you live alone, the first levels of this year’s COVID Lockdown are something you never want to endure again. Especially if you believe in observing the COVID protocol rules. Solitary confinement. Loneliness. Fighting off the easy slide into depression. Talking to yourself. Desperately missing inter-personal contact.

However, one thing Lockdown has done is that it has given those with a flair for comedy to yank us all out of the misery mire and remind us that the one thing we are allowed to do is …. laugh!

Another thing it does is provide all the time in the world to go down memory lane as well as take stock of relationships with other people – particularly with family - and remind oneself of their importance in your life. Some memories are lovely, some sad, some unpleasant to revisit. Again, time allows you to examine and explore the experiences and perhaps think there were times when you should have said “sorry”.

So, while Apology seems a strange title for a drama, it’s an excellent piece of theatre written and directed by Patrick Kenny and performed by the multi award-winning Aaron McIlroy - both firmly acknowledged in the top echelons of Durban theatre. The debut run can be seen at the Seabrooke’s Theatre until November 29.

A new direction for them both in terms of dramatic content, it’s funny – often hilarious – even while there is an under-current linking to the word “apology”.

The one-man show features Danny, who is in the media business, now stuck in a caravan park in Haga Haga on the Eastern Cape Wild Coast during lockdown. It’s also a hideaway as he is trying to escape a corporate scandal. As he explains the tender scandal – he took none of the money but got all the bad press. His wife is back at home in the city. Loadshedding is adding to his frustrations – sound familiar?!

Greg King has designed an effective set with a bed, varied pieces of mismatching furniture, a darts board, a line for hanging clothes and ill-fitting curtains - all overlooked by the unseeing eyes of a horned kudu skull. There’s also a couple of plants which become a passive audience to a serenade from Danny.

The dialogue is fast in true McIlroy style but stay alert, you don’t want to miss a thing! He brings back stories from his memory bank – some good, some bad. Danny grew up wanting to be a hero. He apologises to his grandfather that he couldn’t be like him. One of McIlroy’s most popular characters, VJ, even gets a look in! We also get treated to a few songs, the final one – which reflects on the title – is truly beautiful.

Presented by MacBob Productions, Apology runs at Seabrooke’s Theatre on the Durban High School (DHS) campus in St Thomas Road in Musgrave until November 29. Performance times are 19h00 (Wednesdays to Saturdays) and 15h00 (Sundays). The show runs for just over an hour without interval. Seating in this intimate venue is limited, so advance booking is strongly advised to avoid disappointment. Tickets R150, and booking is through Webtickets. – Caroline Smart