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Visit the active LitNet platform at www.litnet.co.za

Vermaak | Entertainment > Teater | Theatre > Resensies | Reviews

Bangbroek Mountain, a silly play for the Silly Season

Herman Lategan - 2006-11-30

Currently showing at On Broadway in Cape Town is the show Bangbroek Mountain. Supposedly, it is a send-up of the movie Brokeback Mountain and a comedy with its tongue "loosely" in its cheek.

The blurb on the programme tells us that it is "A Musical about Camping" with book and lyrics by Fred Abrahamse and Marcel Meyer.
The music is by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder, a stalwart in the profession, and it is directed by heavyweight Fred Abrahamse. It stars Marcel Meyer, Grant Almirall and the singing trio Three Tons of Fun (Lilian Khumalo, Marguerita Freeks and Dorothy Engelbrecht) as The Cowletts.
Bangbroek Mountain, it says, is a riotous musical comedy revue that follows the life of two men who meet as boys at a Voortrekker Camp in the Bangbroek Mountains of South Africa in the mid-'60s.
Apparently a unique part of this quirky musical is that the audience gets to choose the ending they want - the HAPPY ending or the SAD one.
So far, so good. However, right from the beginning the show collapsed in a sorry heap of bad acting. In fact, there were moments when I cringed, and I was not the only one. The actors delivered their lines as if they were in a school play, hamming it up from one moment to the next.
The script was weak and banal, so right from the outset the poor performers did not have much to go on. No double entendres or punchy, funny one-liners, as one would expect. Some people in the audience laughed – a forced laughter – as they were obviously friends of the cast. The rest of the audience sat wrapped in an icy silence.
The trio Three Tons of Fun was the only redeeming feature. They camped it up and sang with gusto.
However, my main complaint about this show is the sheer cheek of it. The damn bloody cheek – trying to trivialise a movie that reflects homophobia in its crudest form.
By interval I fled, as the thought of sitting through a second half was unbearable. In one fell swoop, this silly little play mocks the struggle of gay people and their "forbidden" love for each other. What next? A comedy about the Holocaust? The movie Life is beautiful tried, but it backfired, with many Jews all over the word highly offended.
What a pity that this play will be performed throughout the Silly Season, exposing visitors to such childish drivel. A silly play for the Silly Season, indeed.

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