Don’t miss 7 Deadly Sins and The Ranga at the Cape Town Fringe fest

fringe

Durban favourites, Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert, are heading to Cape Town to stage their shows, The Ranga and 7 Deadly Sins, at the Cape Town Fringe. I highly recommend that you check out these shows and to give you an idea of what to expect here are my reviews for each of them.

REVIEW – 7 DEADLY SINS

Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert in 7 Deadly Sins. Photo: Val Adamson

Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert in 7 Deadly Sins. Photo: Val Adamson

VICE is the new virtue … and the seven deadly sins — pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth — well, they are all past their sell-by date.

That’s the gospel according to new-age gurus Yogwana and Yawana (aka Durban entertainers Lisa Bobbert and Aaron McIlroy), who host a television show that aims to prove that the Biblical sins are not relevant in the 21st century.
To prove their point, these two gurus introduce the audience to a range of characters, including a Swedish designer, whose self-belief in both his looks and his creations is off the charts. He sees no conflict in wearing fur while claiming to be a vegetarian and his version of What Does The Fox Say? — a song that went viral thanks to a YouTube video — is genius.
Gluttony is represented in the form of a grossly obese man called Toby, wearing a brilliantly conceived fat suit made by Bryan Hiles. His long-suffering wife, played by Bobbert, reveals that Toby’s rolls of fat are so dense that he has managed to lose a gaming console inside them.
Bobbert and McIlory are also in fine form as two aging female entertainers doing a work-out in a gym. They ably demonstrate envy with a kind of claws-out nastiness that is hilarious to watch.
For greed, McIlroy does a play on the philosophy of Gordon Gekko, the fictional character in the 1987 film Wall Street, that “greed is good”; and perennial favourite Vijay gets a look-in, this time as a man who believes that by harnessing his wrath he has gained power.
I don’t know about that, but those in the front rows of the theatre will definitely not forget his thoughts on the subject in a hurry.
I also loved Bobbert’s slothful wife, who has signed her equally lazy husband up for a reality show without his knowledge.
Watching Seven Deadly Sins unfold on stage, you will definitely laugh till your sides ache — but what makes the show memorable is that the humour has a dark edge.
The characters being pilloried are all rather sad examples of humanity and reminded me irresistibly of those reality shows you get on TV, like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, which engender a kind of horrified fascination.
7 Deadly Sins, which has been co-written by Susan Monteregge and is directed by KickStArt Theatre Company’s Steven Stead, boasts a simple, but very effective, set created by Michael Broderick.
There are also fabulous video inserts, great costumes and wigs, and songs that perfectly fit each scenario, from Justin Timberlake’s Bringing Sexy Back to Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive, Britney Spears’s Work B**ch and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way.
So folks, don’t join the ranks of the slothful but rather get off your sofa and enjoy a fabulously sinful night out.
Estelle Sinkins
• 7Deadly Sins is at the City Hall from September 30 to October 4. Tickets at http://www.capetownfringe.co.za
Aaron McIlroy (left) and Andy Turrell in The Ranga

Aaron McIlroy (left) and Andy Turrell in The Ranga

REVIEW FOR THE RANGA

I BELIEVE The Ranga may well be Aaron McIlroy’s best two-hander — and if the press night audience is anything to judge by, then the punters agree.
Originally directed by Steven Stead for the Hilton Arts Festival, the show takes a look at those “cursed” by the ginger gene. Sporting a red-haired wig, McIlroy is, as usual, hilariously manic, and those in the front rows beware as you will no doubt have to participate in those antics.
The premise sees the audience becoming the guests invited to the opening of The Ranga Cultural Centre on the Red Rover reservation.
Hosted by McIlroy and the deadpan Andy Turrell, we learn that ­people born with red hair are ­abandoned and left to do the jobs ­no one else wants, like armpit sniffing for a deodorant company.
Along the way, he shares a few ­traditional songs, including one titled Someone Ate the Baby ! and another that explains that Turrell was once believed to be a girl called Sue.
I also loved the reworked versions of Pitbull’s Fireball, club hit Selfie, Randy Newman’s Short People and Maroon 5’s Moves Like Jagger.
But theatre-goers also get to see another side to this award-winning Durban performer when he performs on guitar. He and Turrell deliver a great ­Duelling Banjos and McIlroy’s solo rendition of Don McLean’s beautiful ­Vincent (Starry Starry Night) is quite simply brilliant. A tribute to the artist Vincent van Gogh, the song tells the of the demons that haunted and ­finally drove him to take his own life. Van Gogh was red-haired.
The Ranga is undeniably funny, but also unexpectedly thought-provoking thanks to the way it deals with prejudice. Unmissable
Estelle Sinkins
• The Ranga is at the City Hall from September 30 to October 3. Tickets at http://www.capetownfringe.co.za
Both these reviews originally appeared in The Witness.
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