Have you ever thought of yourself as a bit of an animal, a man-imal?
Sort of a lion trapped in the hamster wheel of suburban life running very fast and getting absolutely nowhere?
You don’t have to answer. It’s rhetorical.
We all feel like that. Trapped in a desperate race to find some sort of meaning, make some sort of mark knowing all the while that we won’t. Because we’re not all Albert Einstein.
The past few weekends I have achieved nothing in terms of anything except going up a few levels in Candy Crush, and Farm Friends and Bubble Witch. So, when my mother offered we a ticket to join her and her cronies at the theater I jumped at the opportunity.
Actually, I didn’t jump. I was very skeptical. The last time I accepted a ticket from her I was trapped in a bizarre contemporary interpretative dance disaster set to the music of Queen.
It was all some sort of strange rape, domestic violence thing that was incongruously set to ‘We are the Champions’. I held in my giggles for about 10 minutes before spending the rest of the performance erupting in gales of laughter as it got weirder and weirder. After that I set down an ultimatum – No more interpretative dance.
And that is why I found myself loitering outside the Pieter Toerien Theater on Sunday afternoon feeling more than a little apprehensive and waiting for my mother’s posse to appear with the tickets.
I’ll admit I was quite interested in seeing the play. My life for some reasons is full of Fridjohn’s. My dad was at school with one, my son is at school with two and now here was another one. Perhaps it is a sign that I should buy lots of expensively fabulous red wine from Michael Fridjohn, the Wine Wizard. Yes, it’s definitely a sign.
Which all leads to this incredible one-man play with Robert Fridjohn. It was brilliantly funny, although sometimes a little deceptively so.
Hard truths seem to hit a lot harder when coated in humour. I ended up laughing at some points, when really I wanted to weep. I work in marketing too. And if you take some time to watch this play you’ll see why this would make a grown woman want to cry.
He hates his job in marketing. His boss is an asshole. His girlfriend is a bitch. And truth be told, he’s a bit of an asshole too.
“If ever you miss a dinner date with your girlfriend, common sense tells you that you’d better have a good excuse. Which I did … on both counts. And my excuse was outstanding. I was attacked … by a lion … at an office party … in a strip club … in Jo’burg. Well … ok … let me go back to the beginning.”
Close encounters with a tailless kitten, a French lion named Eleanor, some confused wildebeest, a giraffe who only speaks when there is something to say and a constipated hyena with ADD all come together in a wonderful moment of clarity cloaked in much hilarity. It’s all very zen.
Aside from being a great way to spend an afternoon or an evening, you can also make a positive difference to our world – proceeds from the show go to the Jane Goodall Institute. In South Africa their JGI SA Chimpanzee Eden provides a home for displaced chimps from Central Africa and their Roots & Shoots programme works in educating our youth about animal conservation.
The show’s on until 3 August, so make a plan and get out there. Especially if you’ve dated an asshole, or if you think you might be one.
You can book a ticket directly from here: http://www.montecasinotheatre.co.za/show/robert-fridjhon-goes-wild/
Find out more about the Jane Goodall Institute here: http://www.janegoodall.co.za
Or read a far more erudite and professional critique of the performance here: http://sandtonchronicle.co.za/97011/a-walk-through-actors-wild-ways/