In a satirical take on the new-age talk show, Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert play hosts Yawana and Yogwana, who have the utterly pretentious, over-the-top corniness reminiscent of daytime infomercials. With this guise they attempt to ‘debunk the sins’, using seven segments focusing on characters who embody each sin.
The first of these is the modern-day paragon of pride, Hubris van Vaulter, an egocentric, vainglorious Viking designer played by McIlroy. Here, McIlroy’s mastery of accents is clear: he sings an uproarious rendition of ‘What Does the Fox Say?’ in an exuberant German accent, which proved to be one of my favourite moments in the show.
Bursting with energy, Bobbert and McIlroy never lose their vigour as they perform upbeat physical comedy and continually surprise with off-the-wall characters and costumes as well as synchronised choreography rich in 90s clichés. Impressive musical numbers, however, were sparse. The most notable were McIlroy as Veejay Moodley showcasing his wrath with an adaptation of Blondie’s ‘One Way or Another’, and Bobbert bellowing a love song to the morbidly obese character Toby.
The comedy of the seven skits varied. I found some hilarious while others failed to arouse more than a giggle. Due to a slightly empty theatre, there was a lack of energy from the audience, which affected the overall experience. An overhead projector was also used frequently and though it added comedic value at times, it felt slightly overused. I had high expectations for the performance, and I was let down as the talk-show theme teetered on a fine line between frustrating and humorous.
With characters ranging from bitchy gym bunnies (imagine McIlroy in pink hot pants and Bobbert being hilariously vain) to typically power-hungry businessmen, the show captures the seven deadly sins in a modern context. The characters are cleverly crafted, each well-suited to the sin they represent.
Overall, 7 Deadly Sins allowed the range of the actors to take centre stage and I was often surprised by the quality of accents and the physical performances.
7 Deadly Sins runs from 30 November to 4 October 2015 at the City Hall as part of The Cape Town Fringe Festival 2015.