Tim Plewman in Defending the Caveman


CAST: Tim Plewman

VENUE: Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre

UNTIL: 17 September

RATING: 4 stars (out of 5)


ACCLAIMED actor, dancer, writer, humourist, director and producer – Tim Plewman – has brought back to Durban stage his highly popular one man comedy show, Defending the Caveman, after a 10 year hiatus from local stage.

Showing at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre for short season, the production is the most successful solo comedy in South African theatre history. Originally written by Rob Becker, Plewman adapted the script for a South African audience, winning a Vita Award for Best Actor in a Comedy.

The production is a hilarious take on male/female relations – without losing the gravitas of the importance of relationships – and it is perfomed by Plewman in such a fashion that no matter which side of the line you find yourself on, you are bound to walk away with loads of food for thought.

Using men's caveman instincts as the focal point of this interaction with the audience, Plewman takes us on a journey through history and science. As we navigate the emotional differences between men and women – from some rather refreshingly different aspects – we learn, and unlearn a few things about each other – and ourselves – along the way.

Kudos to Becker for a brilliantly thought out script and well done to Plewman for translating this in such a fashion that we as South Africans can relate.

Not just that, he's gone to the trouble to update the material and his delivery – well that hasn't changed. As always delivered with passion and enthusiasm. Plewman has a gift for establishing a relationship with his audience. He welcomes you into his sacred cave space where the journey unfolds – and this is important, because this is an intimate conversation had between friends.Well, that's the way it feels anyway when you leave the theatre. Like you've just had the most awesome – sometimes uncomfortable and strange, but awesome non the less – conversation with a really funny friend who, although is a really funny guy with jokes for days, has a strong and valuable point to share.

At interval I heard that just under a handful of people had walked out of the theatre unhappy at some aspects of the show. Given that in the script there are references to language and gender issues, personally I think that this needs to be seen in context of the Becker's script. Also if you see the show through to the end, it's my personal opinion that you'd be hard pressed to find anything that offensive.The beauty of the show is that if you are in a relationship, entering one, maybe thinking of it, or maybe even having some trouble – whatever space you're in, this is one you definitely want to catch!

Booking is through Computicket. It should also be noted that it was mentioned during the media review night that measures have been taken to ensure that the show goes on uninterrupted, despite the recent disruptions at the University of KZN.