Naidoo flexes her comedic muscles

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IOL Jailoshini Jailoshini Naidoo

Debashine Thangevelo

A POPULAR face on Eastern Mosaic, there are also many other facets to Jailoshini Naidoo. When she isn’t flexing her comedic muscles on stage, she is a compère for events. After all, versatility is crucial in this industry.

Although she has other theatre shows in the kitty, she is revisiting an earlier work – Ronnie Govender’s internationally acclaimed At The Edge.

A vivacious personality on and off the screen, Govender says, “I’ve been performing the play since 2010. Prior to that I performed the sister play, 1949, for many years. And we ran the show so many times because it was always sold out. It has been the same with this show. Audiences seem to love it and At the Edge has received rave reviews, both locally and internationally.”

On when she first tackled this demanding role, for which she fluidly goes through an array of eccentric, well-crafted, colourful characters, the seasoned actress admits, “It was nerve-wracking. It felt a little overwhelming but at the same time, as a professional actor, it was a challenge I was thrilled to take on. The script was truly an actor’s dream: bright, colourful, dynamic, funny characters that were so real and endearing and unforgettable. I literally fell in love with them and couldn’t wait to bring them to life on stage. Yes it is challenging to narrate and flit between so many characters so quickly, especially since I have to rely solely on the physicality and speech patterns (accents, vocal range etc) as I change characters. But the stories are so real and beautifully written by Ronnie. It’s a play about people, their joys, pains, funny little daily interactions, arguments, situations and challenges that we can all identify with. Audiences are completely involved throughout; it’s a roller-coaster ride.”

Just last year, the show toured India. Naidoo says, “The audience reaction was fantastic. They were moved, and roared with laughter. We had standing ovations almost every night.”

As for her favourite characters in the show, she says, “Oh, there are so many. I’m quite attached to most of them actually. I love the crazy school photographer who is so funny; he’s overconfident and takes his job very seriously and delivers some hilarious lines.

Also, there is an argument between a husband and wife, which is so classic. It is set all those years ago but continues to remain a popular argument that couples can identify with today. And then there are the corner boys each trying to outdo each other, in a graveyard scene which will have audiences rolling in their seats. I really love them all.”

Next up on the comedy front, Naidoo is busy with Keeping up with the Koopasamy’s.

She adds, “I’m also working on a crazy new comedy featuring my alter ego, Aunty Rumba, who everyone loves and can’t seem to get enough of.”

At the Edge will be showing at The Lyric Theatre on Saturday at 8.30pm. Tickets cost R155 and R350. Bookings can be made at the box office at Gold Reef City.


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