The Ranga heads to East London

15 Jan 2015

Comedian Aaron McIlroy’s hot property new musical comedy heads for the Alexander Playhouse in East London in the Eastern Cape this month..


The announcement of a new show from comedian Aaron McIlroy traditionally spells a ‘Red-Letter Event’ on the entertainment calendar for thousands of fans. The epithet ‘Red’ takes on a special significance in the case of the popular star’s latest stage escapade, The Ranga, which plays at the Alexander Playhouse in East London between 27 January and 1 February 2015.


Presented by MacBob Productions, The Ranga is a new one-man comedy written and performed by madcap McIlroy. Originally directed by Steven Stead for the 2014 Hilton Arts Festival, this musical comedy takes a tongue-in-cheek look at prejudice as seen through the eyes of a man tormented with pigmentation issues.


The word ‘Ranga’ is derived from ‘Orangutang’ (red haired monkeys) and is a term used to describe people with varying shades of red hair, from strawberry blond to auburn. 


In The Ranga, McIlroy, in his inimitably whacky style, takes the scalpel to the preconceived ideas around ‘ranga-ism’ - highlighting how this recessive gene is the primary cause of most the world’s woes!  Inspired by the Australian sitcom, Summer Heights High, and the Youtube sensation Rage of the Redhead, McIlroy descends into the gritty underbelly of ginger prejudice with hilarious results.


“For many years, we tried to blend in with other people and pretend we weren’t rangas,” quips McIlroy. “We even tried to disguise ourselves with the use of hair dye and sunscreen, and by taking the mac out of our names. This made rangas harder and harder to identify.”

“As time went by, with the Ranga Rights Movement getting underway, we began celebrating our connectedness with rest of Homo Sapiens. We even began leaving our Red Rover Reserve and Coming Out. We put forward a list of demands to Government. These included recognition that Rangas have souls... That you may not own a Ranga… That a Ranga is not just for Christmas...”


“We began lobbying for better work opportunities for Rangas beyond the reserve. Rangas have always been side-lined in the work place (right back to the days of Angus the great, the famous Glaswegian sewer diver of the 1800’s who specialised in jewel retrieval and fungal development). My own jobs included menial responsibilities like Arm Pit Sniffing, Pet Food Tasting, even Whale Snot Gathering, which I must say I enjoyed once I learned to swim.”


 Get the picture? Vintage McIlroy material flows forth copiously in The Ranga in which Durban’s multi-award-winning comic appears alongside well-known Durban muso, Andy Turrell, on musical accompaniment. Hit songs to be heard in the show include, among others, covers of Duelling Banjos (Deliverance), Hey Brother (Avicii), Money’s Too Tight To Mention (Simply Red) and Moves Like Jagger (Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera).


Aaron McIlroy, who has delighted cinema audiences with his off-the-wall performances as Spud’s disreputable father in the two Spud movies based on author John van der Ruit’s best-selling novels, returns to the   East London stage after an absence more than two years.  


The Ranga runs in the Alexander Playhouse from Tuesday 27 January to Sunday 1 February 2015. Booking is through Lee Gold Music on 043 735 1586. Tickets for Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28 January shows, and for Sunday 1 February, are R125 (no meals, patrons bring their own refreshments). Tickets for Thursday 29th to Saturday 31 January shows are R155 (including meals, but patrons bring their own drinks and snacks). Performances times are at 20h00 Tuesday to Saturday (doors open 19h00), and on Sunday 1 February at 18h00 (doors open 17h00).



-Interviews and photos available on request-




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