A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

drama
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

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

SUICIDE KING (article first published : 2007-01-19)

Marc Kay must be known to you as an actor as he has been seen in several shows in Durban. What might be less known is that he is a semi-professional online poker player. By his own admission, he thought "Why not combine my two great loves and write a play about poker".

Suicide King is the result and what an excellent result. It is a well constructed play with a great plot line and well rounded characters, excellently portrayed in this two hander starring Marc Kay (as Paul Gallows) and Clinton Small (as his flat mate James, and the Russian Stanley Borovsky) as well as several other roles. Both portray the narrators of the poker games, the TV commentators of the Poker World Series etc. with Clinton Small also portraying - very well - the TV image of the online poker game and James' boss Mr Botha. This is done by the clever use of various hats and excellent different accents, and even of a moustache rapidly stuck on and removed with lightning speed.

Their characterisation of the roles was superb, notably the scene where they both arrive home extremely drunk after a night of boozing, very convincing. There was, however, one jarring note, the very unnecessary use of that four letter word on a few occasions and the blasphemous expletive. Their characters were very well described by the writing, delivery and acting and the swearing and expletives were completely superfluous, and unwelcome.

The story line develops with the young man James being ensnared by the world of Texas Hold ‘Em poker. He can do no wrong and has win after win, eventually being offered the biggest game of his life by the very sick Russian. To say any more would spoil the enjoyment of the show. Suffice it to say that one does not have to know all the intricacies of poker - they are explained, anyway - to enjoy the play thoroughly. Being on the Fringe of the festival there has only been this one performance. I hope that some producer will mount the play again, and again.

The excellent technical backup of the play must also be mentioned. The lighting and sound, including dramatic music used to great effect, were spot on, especially the lighting cues and there were many of them. The blackouts to reveal brilliant tableaux of poker games in progress were inspired. The props too were magnificent, from the poker chips to the enlarged playing cards; I wonder who the artist was. He, or she, has a career as a forger. The set too was most effective, a settee, a table and two chairs where the gambling took place, and a chair and small table with the laptop computer.

This comedy is a real winner (an obvious word to use) both from the writing and acting, as well as the plot. Director Lloyd O'Conner has formed a good, tight production. – Maurice Kort




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart