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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

THOSE INDIAN GUYS (article first published : 2008-09-15)

After a brief voice-over in a darkened theatre to introduce the comedy of "those Indian guys", the two-hander opens most appropriately with Sans Moonsamy and Kaseran Pillay dressed as cane cutters busy working in the cane field before they stop for a tea break. I loved the clever repartee of the one when asked if the tea has sugar by the other pointedly waving to the cane fields surrounding them.

This is the first of many sketches, all expertly performed by the two to a clever script by Krijay Govender, Sans Moonsamy and Kaseran Pillay. There are quick costume changes in this very slick, well-directed production by Krijay Govender. Indeed the two are almost unrecognisable in the next sketch in which Kaseran Pillay is the (very, very buxom) African maid, Gladys, and the beautifully bewigged Sans Moonsamy as the madam of the house. Much is made of Gladys being able to read and write and knowing what the CCMA is.

A clever, humorous voice-over monologue in which Mo and Shabir Sheik feature strongly allows a quick costume change before Sans Moonsamy then appears as an airline steward on an Arabian airline with a clever take on the usual safety patter which welcomes passengers on flights, and several allusions to the 9/11 incident of 2001. He remarks that the passengers might recognise him as an Idols finalist which gives him the excuse to break into a couple of brief songs, all too short, but this is because their context is inappropriate for a flight.

In another sketch, the mother of three small sons and a daughter, who also looks after her uncle, keeps the audience well entertained. What is particularly impressive about the show is the complete absence of any foul language, a definite plus in this day and age, and the sure mark of professionalism.

A highlight of the evening was the entrance of Sans Moonsamy as a very glamorous Jolleen to present her show Free Talk, a clever skit on those two talk show hosts, Noleen (Three Talk) and Opra. Indeed, the audience is urged to look under their seats as that evening’s show is Book Club Day. Also very well performed and written was Sans Moonsamy as Talibar the director and Kaseran Pillay as Suniel, his assistant, who are to produce a film and are devising the story and obtaining the actors. The dialogue sparkles.

In another sketch they are sports supporters at a cricket match, nicely underplayed by Sans Moonsamy and there was a good voice over "advert" on how to get over one's beer belly which allowed for another of the quick costume changes.

The final sketch has Kaseran Pillay as the host of the Game Show To Be or Not to Be a Charro in which he entices a member from the audience to participate against the surprise guest, Sans Moonsamy as Vishnoo Moodley. It was all good fun and well enacted.

The run of Those Indian Guys, produced by SandMan Productions at the Supernova Theatre at Suncoast Entertainment World over two weekends from September 5 to 14, unfortunately clashed with the Witness Hilton Arts and Glenwood Festivals. This is a very large theatre and the sound amplification was unnecessarily loud considering that the theatre was not full but this might have been because I was sitting in front of the large speakers. However, despite this quibble, this is a very slick entertaining show by two accomplished actors with excellent rapport. The show could very well be repeated at more intimate venues. – Maurice Kort




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