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TWO TO TANGO (article first published : 2006-07-7)

Mike van Graan’s highly entertaining two-hander Two to Tango, currently appearing on the Fringe of the National Arts Festival, was the jury runner-up of the PANSA Festival of Comedy and Satire.

Directed by Ruth Levin it features Bo Petersen and Bruce Young. Long-term Durban audiences will remember Bruce as a member of The Loft Theatre Company.

The laughs start flowing in the first minute as we see Andrew with pretend mike acting out his proposed karaoke performance later that evening. Wife Lisa is not amused – they’re dining with a black couple that night and she doesn’t feel that they will be impressed by karaoke. This sparks off what is to be the in-and-out-of-argument style of the play, ranging from suppressed mutters to full-blown bellows!

Andrew is irritatingly jokey, forgetful, un-PC, a hypochondriac and spends too much time on the golf course. Lisa is neurotic, nagging, flares easily and has become uninterested in sex. She constantly corrects Andrew’s grammar and pronunciation of African names while he bewails the fact that he’s frustrated and has “table envy” - it gets “laid” more than he does! She says they need more black friends. He says they need to choose those with easy names to pronounce! Even a game of Scrabble turns into a feud.

Mike van Graan gives us the full spectrum of emotions of an upmarket married couple who have two young daughters living through burglaries, problems at work and – horrors – finding a packet of condoms in their 14 year-old daughter’s drawer. (The reason for this is highly amusing!)

Ruth Levin keeps the pace at a hilarious rate and Bo Petersen and Bruce Young bat the amusing and clever dialogue between each other with a naturalness that only comes from great skill. For me, this play has been one of the most enjoyable on the festival. – Caroline Smart




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