The gravity-defying flips of which I had seen images seemed unlikely to occur in a space the size of the Kalk Bay Theatre. The theatre is by no means one of the largest I’d attended, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in its quaint interior and cosy atmosphere.
Following the enormous success of Big Boys Don’t Dance at the National Art Festival, where the production picked up a Standard Bank Ovation Award, brothers Ash and Bradley Searle have brought the show to Cape Town.
The basic plot premise is that, after a night of tomfoolery during Ash’s bachelor’s party, the brothers awake to find they are minus Ash’s soon-to-be-father in law’s expensive car. Bradley comes up with a dodgy‘master plan’ involving a dance competition, as an attempt to replace the missing car.
The dialogue between the brothers during their dilemma was seamless and natural. Clearly their real life rapport with each other is reflected on stage. Despite a few cheesy moments during their conversations, there were also moments of sharp wit which left the audience in stitches. And of course, in between hilarious vernacular, the brothers demonstrated the skills for which they have become renowned.
My misgivings about the size of the stage were proved profoundly misplaced as the stage was set ablaze with the pair gyrating, twisting and flipping their way through an exciting array of dance styles. Eighties hip hop, gum boot dancing and an uproarious ball room scene, which saw Ash dressed as a woman, were all showcased with precise choreography.
Big Boys Don’t Dance is dazzling entertainment with a lot of laughs. There aren’t any poignant moments that leave the audience in profound thought, though the play does of course challenge the stereotypical notion of how a fondness for dancing somehow detracts from a man’s masculinity.
I must admit, this made me ponder. Beer guzzling, rugby supporting males with braai tongs in hand don’t dance, do they? I am one of the many who wouldn’t be caught dead on a dance floor. Maybe I do hide this behind a ‘veil’ of masculinity. This realization made me feel…well…rather small. Not quite enough to get me dancing perhaps, but at least enough to stop sniggering at others’ attempts.