BY BILLY SUTER
ONE of Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert’s funniest shows in a while, the new production, Family Therapy, which had a preview season over the festive season at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Kloof, is headed for Durban’s Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre – and this site has 10 double tickets to give away to the opening performance at 7.30pm on Wednesday, March 4.
See the end of this story for more details on how to enter the competition.
Durban’s loved and most offbeat and seasoned entertainment duo, the award-winning husband and wife team of Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert, continues to pour out the madness, music and mirth with Family Therapy.
The production, playfully directed and choreographed by Daisy Spencer, is scheduled to run at the Elizabth Sneddon Theatre from March 4 to 15.
If you’re seeking an escape from the many woes we are enduring in this country right now, this show is just the ticket, serving a smile-a-minute load of nonsense with a mix of colourful characters and screwball situations, some audience participation, and a diverse range of songs.
The setting is a room with a couch, lamp and an easel display board, where the fun starts with the arrival of Bobbert as the whining and domineering Charmaine, in curls and sequinned, fringed frock. She sings the classic Love Story and all the while, McIlroy, as nervous and hen-pecked husband Nigel, battles to make an entrance while Charmaine constantly shoos him off stage.
When McIlroy returns after the song, wearing lederhosen, Charmaine explains that she and (a reluctant) Nigel have now turned to motivational speaking, family being the topic of discussion and the audience being the people facing the lectures by the duo and ‘special guests’.
After male audience members are roped in for a fun routine, about which I will say no more lest I spoil the fun, we are treated to a rendition of Queen’s Under Pressure, then a series of sketches, each signposted with a change of topic on the display board, which introduce new characters.
First up is Bobbert as Charmaine and Nigel’s pig-tailed, cellphone-mad, teen daughter Cher, who tells a tale of her father’s embarrassing Whatsapp posts and plots a way to manipulate his bank account. The sketch ends on a somewhat poignant note and is capped with McIlroy’s fine rendition, to backing tracks, of Billy Joel’s Vienna. As he has proved often in the past, he has a really nice voice when he sings without comic intrusion.
We also get to meet guitar-carrying Gary, the blond, laidback, surfer-dude from the Bluff, who has been invited to deliver a talk on ‘Blended Family’. He chats about everything – from hungry lions and TV’s Postman Pat, to his Indian girlfriend and a stepfather who doesn’t like him – then ends with a lyrically reworked rendition of a golden-oldie pop hit that lends itself beautifully to Gary’s story.
After interval, Aaron and Lisa appear on stage, literally joined at the hip, as Siamese twin brothers who, in their discussion of ‘Sibling Rivalry’, talk about the dilemmas of having to share everything – from a toothbrush to a mother with only one functioning breast. They end with a fun, outrageous delivery of a novelty song everyone knows, for which the audience is ordered to join in (it is so silly that I will keep the song title a surprise).
Best of the bunch, not unexpectedly, is McIlroy’s spot-on, Indian smooth-talker, VJ, who, while on the topic of ‘Boundaries’, draws howls of laughter with a convoluted, wandering discussion about a man chopping up his boat, and which ends with a truly excellent, intentionally camp delivery of Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat, from the musical Guys and Dolls.
Family Therapy ends on a more subtle, more sincere but still comic, note, with Lisa and Aaron playing older characters, the rather conservative Beatrice and her hubby, the mischievous Max. They reflect on their life, times and family, closing the show with a rendition of That’s Life that leads to the silly Superman. This novelty song, a regular finale number for the duo’s shows at the Rhumbelow, involves the audience joining in with ridiculous dance moves.
Family Therapy has a suggested age restriction of no under-10s. Show times are at 7.30pm Tuesdays to Saturdays and 6pm on Sundays. On the last Saturday of the season, March 14, there will be performances at 3pm and 7.30pm.
Booking is at Computicket. Tickets cost R180 (R160 for pensioners, students and under-12s).
WIN SHOW TICKETS… WIN SHOW TICKETS… WIN SHOW TICKETS
Care to put yourself in line to be one of 10 winners of double tickets each to the opening performance of Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert’s madcap Family Therapy, at 7.30pm on Wednesday, March 4, at Durban’s Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre?
You simply have to be a follower of the SoSuterBill site to win. At no cost.
If you are not already a follower, simply leave your email address in the space provided towards the end of the cover page of this site, sosuterbill.com
You will then be a follower, and receive email notification whenever I file a new story.
Once you have subscribed (there is no cost), send your NAME and PHONE NUMBER via email (NOT THIS SITE’S CONTACT FORM) to firstname.lastname@example.org and place the words ‘FAMILY THERAPY: SNEDDON’ in the subject field.
Note that the competition closes at 6pm on Sunday, February 23, and the winners will be contacted soon after. (The winners were: Nicolette Lange, Gillian Taljaard, Dennis Pillay, Satish Dhupelia, Ashley Naidoo, Eizabeth van Doorn, Jess Pearse, Debbie Duminy, Shelley Wilson and Bryan Payne).
Also note that tickets may not be exchanged for another performance and that the prize is for tickets only (not travel and/or accommodation should this prove necessary).
NOTE: PLEASE READ ENTRY DETAILS CAREFULLY AS SOME PEOPLE ARE ENTERING COMPETITIONS INCORRECTLY.
ALSO NOTE THAT ONLY ONE ENTRY PER SUBSCRIBER WILL BE CONSIDERED.