ONE WOMAN FARCE
DIRECTOR/WRITER: Greg Homann
PERFORMER/WRITER: Louise Saint-Claire
VENUE: Pieter Toerien Theatre at Montecasino
UNTIL: June 8
RATING: 4 stars (out of 5)
Diane de Beer
If you want to escape the chaos of your life and giggle at the madness of someone else’s, this is it. It’s a stress-releaser deluxe, fast and funny with extraordinary acting.
Saint-Claire (pictured) and Homann have cleverly leapt ahead of the zeitgeist and captured the new millennium and the life of ordinary middle-class suburban families with grand abandon and there’s no one who won’t recognise this life that is suddenly hysterically out of control.
As we try to manage our swiftly spinning roller-coaster lives in today’s fast world, most of us hardly finish a sentence before dashing off to complete another chore, and on the way there, you’ve forgotten what you left behind and where you’re going.
That’s what these two have captured so brilliantly in madcap fashion which is just the way to unravel this tragic tale unfolding in almost all our lives.
The play is short and sassy, as Saint-Claire plays with five doors, basically five voices with each emerging through a different door, and the numbers increase as the action gets more heated. While she’s running around playing all the different characters, they’ve cunningly allowed the audience a backstage glimpse of the speed at which everything has to happen.
It’s all wink, wink, nudge, nudge, with Saint-Claire given a platform to display her comic prowess, which is huge fun to watch. From the whiny, oblivious selfie-obsessed teenager, the shy, stuttering son, a mother-in-law who rarely surfaces from her liquid induced state, a husband who is immersed in his world of invention, a he-man, handyman with an accent, a few cats, some yapping dogs and at the centre of the home, a working mother, all of whom tell this tale of a family in fanatical daily flux.
It’s all been tied together with a clever script, and fine detail in words and workspace that allows for an extra smile and an actress who knows how to work with everything – from the top of her head to the soles of her feet.
It is the work and the performance in tandem that give this such a warm edge.
It’s not simply a matter of an accent or a look. It’s the way her eyes lose all sense of focus when she wants her teenager to dither or the necktie that does a dance all of its own. There’s the pronunciation of specific words when a gambling granny gets online, or simply the stance of an oke who knows he’s much more than any old bloke.
At a time when we all sometimes need some time out, this is a chance to step off your world and recharge – with a smile.