At the heart of every friendship there is, of course, dirt. It is part of the glue that brings us together. Besides, what is a friendship, without knowing the nitty-gritty of your mates’ lives?

All the way from Johannesburg, Dirt, stars the multi-talented James Cairns. The production  is an hilarious South African comedy, told in a very engaging way. The delivery for the most-part is somewhat subtle -a preference of mine- yet each quip and quirk in this tale catches one very unexpected, which makes for great laughs and enjoyment.

Dirt, in short, tells the story of three long-lost friends, and a dog, who have to drive down from Guateng to Cape Town to pay tribute to a deceased poker friend of theirs. On the journey, the characters begin to dish out the dirt on one-another; and we find out what the cause of their distance has been.

Cairns plays about ten characters in total, and his attention to detail, from accent, to facial expressions, gestures, and walks, all work together neatly to showcase each character as their own being.

The play, written by Nick Warren and directed by Jenine Collocott, takes the audience along for the Jo’burg – Cape Town ride, which might be rocky for the characters, but for us, it’s just turbulent due to laughter.

When it comes to set, props and costume, Collocott has gone with minimalism, which I think aides Cairns’ performance, as he is able to show-off his acting abilities even more -in fact, he was nominated for the creme-de-la-creme of theatre awards in South Africa, a Fleur du Cap, for his performance of Dirt last year.

Showing at the Baxter Theatre, in the Golden Arrow Studio, Dirt first appeared at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown last year. It was performed at the Kalk Bay Theatre last year, too, and returned to Grahamstown this year.

I think what I loved most about watching Dirt, is that it is a true South African comedy. It certainly gives one the opportunity (and excuse) to just sit down, have a really enjoyable evening out, and not worry about life, but rather laugh the night away!

Showing until 27 August at the Baxter Theatre. Shows start at 8.15pm. Tickets: R110 – R130 [Performances till 20 August = Two for the price of one]. Book: Computicket.

– Jonathan Duguid [@theDramaKing]

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