Cocktail to wash away the blues

Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert as Aussie crocodile-fighters in their new show, Bloopers, now at the Rhumbelow Theatre at Tina’s Hotel, Beryldene Road, Kloof. All pictures here are by Jason Bird.

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Stage: Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert in Bloopers – Rhumbelow Theatre, Tina’s Hotel, Kloof
REVIEW BY BILLY SUTER  
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A TIPSY and sarcastic mother making an increasingly embarrassing speech at her daughter’s wedding. A haughty, pretentious, long-haired arts critic dissecting the relevance of each line of Abba’s Waterloo. A seemingly sophisticated couple with a new slant on The Cellblock Tango from the musical Chicago.

A forgetful diva performing Memory; an effeminate wedding planner with some surprises up his floral sleeves; and Durban Indian VJ , complete with American Indian headdress, on the topic of  cultural insensitivity while performing snippets of songs by Eminem, UB40 and Elvis Presley.

All these oddballs are just some among the kaleidoscope of crazy characters presented by the deliciously over-the-top husband and wife team of Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert in their latest, ever-unpredictable mish-mash of song, silliness, satire and slapstick.

Lisa Bobbert with a lyrically reworked Memory, from the musical Cats.

Bloopers, directed and choreographed by Durban’s Daisy Spencer, who has done a fine job, has the award-winning singer-actors performing to backing tracks for a two-act outpouring that clearly left an enthusiastic audience very happily entertained last night.

The show opens with the couple performing Michael Jackson’s Bad before taking their seats behind the BNN (Bloopers News Network) desk, where they milk laughs from incorrect teleprompting before a freefall into feisty fun in a parade of different wigs, costumes and accents.

I loved their salt-of-the-Earth Aussie couple, winner of the Darwin Award – “and we haven’t even been to Darwin ” –  who chat about their incongruous fight with a crocodile and its surprising side effects.

Also fun is Lisa, under a cascade of curls as Lisa Cheese, nodding to Alicia Keys’s Fallin’ hit while grappling with an intentionally faulty mic-stand which at one stage has her on her knees. Another standout is Aaron’s customary picking on audience members during the appearance of his talkaholic Indian character.

The show, jam-packed with laughs and featuring a good variety of songs that includes the Superman audience-participation-song finale,  is a perfect cocktail to wash away the blues.

However, a small gripe must be directed at the absence of a follow spot. I am not sure if lights sometimes pointed in the wrong direction were intentional, as an offbeat spot of humour, but if so it doesn’t work and the performers are often too long in the dark when they mingle with the audience.  Hopefully that would have been acknowledged and corrected by now.

Bloopers is being presented at Tina’s Hotel at 2pm today (Sunday, December 16) and again at 8pm on December 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22, and at 2pm on December 23 and 24. Tickets cost R180 each (not the usual R150) and booking is at Computicket outlets or by phoning Roland at 082 499 8636.

Aaron McIlroy as a pretentious arts critic dissecting the lyrics of Abba’s Waterloo and Lisa Bobbert as a bubbly singer who simply wants to get on with the song.

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