‘Laughing Wild’ returns to KZN

19 Sep 2014

Laughing Wild


Lisa Bobbert and Darren King reprise their award-winning roles in Laughing Wild, Christopher Durang’s internationally acclaimed comedy, which returns to the KZN stage after an absence of 10 years…


Christopher Durang’s Laughing Wild, starring multi-award winning actors Lisa Bobbert and Darren King, will have you laughing, crying and gripping the edge of your seat as you meet two zany people who are as different to each other as a can of tuna is to the Vatican.


Laughing Wild deals with the struggle of two people attempting to make sense of the world in which they are forced to live – coping with the everyday stress of trying to buy a can of tuna, coming to grips with the infinitely more taxing subject of religion.


Highlighting the dilemma we face of inhabiting over-crowded urban environments without forming meaningful relationships, Durang’s wickedly funny play exposes how we cohabit with each other, yet each remains nothing more than a faceless person in a crowd. 


First presented as an off Broadway production in New York in 1987 (with its master-of-the-absurd playwright in the cast), Laughing Wild is written as a two-hander. Set in New York in the late 80’s, the play is structured around two 30-minute monologues, followed by a 30 minute second act, some of it monologue, some of it scenes between the two characters who remain unnamed.


As the play opens a woman enters and launches into an increasingly frenetic recital of the hazards and frustrations of city life in America – waiting in queues, encountering impolite taxi drivers, being exposed to fatuous talk shows and encountering inconsiderate supermarket shoppers. She is especially enraged by a man who obstructed her from buying a can of tuna, whom she attacked in a fit of temper.


In the second monologue the man appears. While the subjects upon which he expounds (nuclear waste, the intolerance of the Catholic Church, particularly in sexual matters, the threat of AIDS) are broader in context, he too dwells on an incident in a supermarket, when a strange woman hit him over the head in the tuna fish aisle.


The two protagonists finally meet, and re-enact varying interpretations of the supermarket incident before launching into an explosively funny parody of a talk show. The two find each other after a fashion as they come together at the Harmonic Convergence in Central Park – hoping to instil a sense of optimism and purpose in their lives, but remaining sceptical they will succeed.


Laughing Wild was previously staged in Durban in 2004, directed by Steven Stead who oversees the show’s KZN revival. Theatre goers can revisit this comic masterpiece when it plays at the Hilton Arts Festival on 19 and 20 September at 7.30pm, R180 tickets via www.hiltonfestival.co.za. 


Alternatively catch it at DHS’s Seabrookes Theatre in Musgrave from 2 to 12 October, performances at 7.30pm Tuesday to Saturday and 3pm Sunday. Tickets at R100 for the Durban run can be booked through Web Tickets at www.webtickets.co.za (enquiries at 0861225598).

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