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Besoek die aktiewe LitNet-platform by www.litnet.co.za

This is the LitNet archive (2006–2012)
Visit the active LitNet platform at www.litnet.co.za

Vermaak | Entertainment > Teater | Theatre > Resensies | Reviews

Joe Barber 4: Washielah whines and Barber shines

Anton Krueger - 2007-07-11

The legendary comic duo is back. Oscar Petersen and David Isaacs take on an entire community surrounding Joe’s justly famous barbershop, and on the way they sweep up their audience in whirlwinds of laughter as warm as it is witty. 

Moving fluidly in and out of many different roles (out of which Petersen’s mewling Washielah is a personal favourite), the powerhouse twosome comment on each other as people and as actors, as well as on the characters they’re playing. In this way the “reality” of the show swings between self-reflexive performance and the creation of an illusionary world. The narrative moves back and forth between the ebb and flow of these worlds as the performers step into and out of their fabricated universe, tying it to the real world in a wonderful mishmash of confusions. They end up taking on an audience member as their apprentice, and by the end one isn’t quite sure anymore which is the “real” world and which is the Barbershop community of which the audience have now become a part. 

Although the two knock each other and the world around them, their teasing is refreshingly free from the cynicism spat out by some comics. Many of the characters are based on real people and this comes through in the compassionate portrayal of even the most aggravating of characters. The ultimate testament to the performers' sympathy for their sources is that the original Joe Barber (on whom the character is based) traditionally takes a bow on the last show of every new production.

Petersen and Isaacs remind us in a gentle way to look at ourselves and those around us in a less judgemental light. As they say in their epilogue: “As you leave our Barbershop and people in the streets you pass,stop, look, look again, you may just see the you in them.”

Still fresh six years down the road, it seems that the Corne and Twakkie of the Cape Flats are destined to live as long as Nicholas Ellenbogen’s Raiders series. The only question is why these guys haven’t got their own TV show yet, even though pirated DVDs are doing the rounds. Somebody at e-tv is sleeping.

If you miss them here you’ll have to go to Australia to see them next, though they will be playing the Market in October.