Raunchy, amusing encounters

EXPLICIT RECOUNTING: Alicia McCormick and Kim Kerfoot spice things up in Dirty Words at Alexander Upstairs. Photo: Amy Lilley

EXPLICIT RECOUNTING: Alicia McCormick and Kim Kerfoot spice things up in Dirty Words at Alexander Upstairs. Photo: Amy Lilley

Published Apr 22, 2014


DIRTY WORDS. Created by Jon Keevy and written by Jack Hardcastle, with Alicia McCormick and Kim Kerfoot. At the Alexander Upstairs Theatre, Tuesdays to Saturdays at 9pm until April 26. STEYN DU TOIT reviews.

A tantaliSing burlesque stripper clicks her clear heels on to the stage at the start of Dirty Words.

Dressed in a tight-fitting bustier and sexy garters, she then proceeds to flick her feather boa to the beat of Kylie Minogue’s Two Hearts.

Flirting, gasping and winking at the audience while executing a routine involving the languid tossing aside of garments and the quivering of her seductive bosom, it’s clear that she’s got her tongue firmly in her cheek.

Born out of Play Things, the fast and loose crucible that is Alexander Upstairs’ monthly experimental platform, this is a provocative production that takes pleasure in cunning linguistics.

Starring Alicia McCormick and Kim Kerfoot, seven sketches relating to erotica, bedroom politics and sexy grammar are hilariously acted out over the course of an hour – leaving no viewer unflustered by the end of it.

Written by Jack Hardcastle (nom de plume of the devilishly dirty-minded Jon Keevy), various disciplines of the English language are given a sexy makeover.

Whether its prose, poetry or songwriting, your knees will soon be buckling under all the intimation and innuendo.

There is also a good chance that you’ll leave the theatre afterwards with a newfound fascination with botany.

Performed as the show’s second sketch, Hardcastle’s The Deluge sees the sparks fly between a hardwood furniture store’s carpenter and a wet woman who enters the shop seeking shelter from an unexpected downpour.

What unfolds is an explicit recounting of the carnal events that followed.

Detailed with just enough wit and wickedness, hearing Kerfoot describe how the carpenter’s eyes “drank her in like an alcoholic at a wine tasting” while his hands fondled her breasts “with the care of an expert safe-cracker”, before together making one of the shop’s mahogany beds shake “like an exorcism except with more use of ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’,” made for some of opening night’s biggest laughs.

Told through rhyming couplets, we meet another lustful couple in a third sketch presented in the form of a long poem.

After having spotted each other at a restaurant, the woman, tired of waiting for the man to make the first move, introduces herself and suggests they take the party elsewhere.

Sassy sayings to look out for include “ I am the recipient of more than one award/And have mastered the use of my meat sword”.

And “ Ok, jump in – my car’s a rental/Uhm… one hurdle – my landlord’s a parental.”

A show not recommended for sensitive ears or for those who take themselves too seriously, Dirty Words never holds back with its language.

But while it’s easy to lose oneself in all the roaring references and raunchy profanities, also take note of the incredible writing and display of wit behind all the laughs.

Let’s hope Hardcastle isn’t about to mend his depraved ways.

Another skit that drew howls during opening night involved a series of online chats between a group of lustful individuals. Gorgeous forest nymphs, Grecian deities and graceful swans with beady black eyes.

They all made an appearance in this wacky carousel told via a circular narrative.

Kerfoot shouting, “ Ek gooi jy oor my skouer oor en hardloop tot die try line!” while pretending to be an Afrikaans rugby player is an item you need to immediately write down at the top of your bucket list.

The second-last skit sees McCormick as a contrived, tai-chi practising love coach with a French accent aiming to teach the secret language of sex to Kerfoot’s nerdy character. The quirky couple then bring the show to an end through a delightful song involving a psychologist and his porn-addicted patient.

Both exceptional performers who’ve proved themselves very competent theatremakers when it comes to more serious matters, it is clear that McCormick ( The Things You Left Behind) and Kerfoot ( Closer, Statements after an Arrest under the Immorality Act) are having loads of fun on stage and want viewers to join in on Dirty Words’ fun.

It is an invitation that should be accepted without inhibition.

l Tickets are R75 to R90.

To book, call 021 300 1652, or see www.alexanderbar.co.za

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