Style that still lets the bride shine...
CIVIL Parting, a new comedy written by Nicholas Spagnoletti and directed by Zanne Solomon, had a soft debut at the Alexander Upstairs last week.
Short, at just 55 minutes, it stars Pieter Bosch Botha and Shaun Acker as a couple seeking an amicable divorce.
The entire play takes place in the office waiting room of a divorce lawyer who is late in taking their meeting, and as time passes it becomes apparent that the two have not yet worked through their issues.
With this play you see how gay divorce can be just as banal, bitter and messy as heterosexual divorce; it is just that when these two crack up, they will crack you up.
Spagnoletti is best known for writing London Road, which has won numerous awards such as the Olive Schreiner Prize and the Stage award for best actress for Robyn Scott at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it has just played.
His previous work, Special Thanks to Guests from Afar, was part of last year’s Artscape Spring Drama Season, and with this third play he again display his strengths: writing sharp dialogue and concentrating on human relationships.
Acker and director Solomon appeared in Yasmina Reza’s The Unexpected Man, which premiered at Alexander Upstairs.
Acker puts his music degree to good use, as his character Glenn is writing an opera, using his cellphone to plink, plink, plink away in the waiting room, very much to the annoyance of his ex-partner, JP.
Bosch Botha has been spending quite a bit of time upstairs at the Alexander Bar, playing 36 characters in a critically acclaimed performance of Fully Committed.
He plays JP, a doctor who wishes he was on call so that he could get away from this needy person who used to be his better half.
In between arguments about who gets the furniture and what happened to the cat, the two sometimes let slip the emotional toll the split has taken on them and the anger and sadness each feels about the emotional betrayal and abandonment of a relationship that at one time defined them both.
Civil Parting will play upstairs at the Alexander Bar from Monday to September 18 and it may change, or may not, depending on what the director feels like doing. But watching it now will be an interesting exercise, as it definitely won’t stop here.