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Bird hide script ‘brings out different worlds’

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By Latoya Newman

DURBAN theatre producers KickstArt will stage an original South African comedy as their first offering for the year. Robert Fridjhon’s Twitch will see popular actors Tim Wells, Lisa Bobbert, Jailoshini Naidoo and Iain Robinson on stage in what promises to be a witty production.

According to a press release, Twitch is about two harassed couples in a bird hide. The pleasantries and social formali- ties slowly begin to unravel with outrageous consequences when uncomfortable truths are revealed about the birding club, its members and, more specifically, the characters in the bird hide.

Tonight caught up with Bobbert and Naidoo, who will be working together for the first time in Twitch.

“Jailosh and I have been acquaintances in business, but now we’ve really become closer through working on this project,” said Bobbert.

Commenting on their characters, Naidoo said they were from different worlds and that the script brought this out.

“We have four very different people in a small bird hide. My character, Venice, is a marketing exec and really doesn’t want to be there. She is bored stiff and battling to get cellphone reception. At some point, the politeness is set aside and things start to go wrong.

“The two ladies try to identify with each other, but we are completely different. So it becomes hilarious in the conversations we try to have with each other.

“Our husbands are also quite different. My husband (Robinson) and I have a lot of differences and so does Lisa’s character and her husband. But she puts up with her husband, while mine is more henpecked,” she chuckles.

Bobbert described her character as not very eloquent and someone who just goes with the flow.

“Her husband (Wells) is very boisterous and he blasphemes, is highly strung and always tries to stir things up.

“She has had to put up with him for 19 years. So she is always the peacekeeper, but Jailosh’s character is not like mine; she won’t put up with him.”

Naidoo said: “The minute I read the script last year, there was no hesitation at all. I think it is delightful, very sharp and very witty. It is also great to be doing an original South African script and it is exciting that it is premiering on a local stage, too.”

Bobbert said she had had great fun working with the cast and director Steven Stead.

“Steven is definitely the best director in Durban, if not in the country. He is so professional. Jailosh and I have really bonded. Tim is a scream to work with and I’ve always known Iain more as “Ewok” (Robinson’s rap/hip hop stage name), so I was completely blown away by his skill. His characterisation is excellent.”

Naidoo also praised Stead as being a director who had the ability to bring out the detail in a script:

“It is a very clever script and with KickstArt doing it, it will be a great play. It is such a privilege to be working with this team. Whenever it comes to Steven and Greg (King), I never hesitate.”

The press release said Fridjhon worked full-time for FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in 2006. The majority of the cases he worked on involved birds and as a passionate conservationist, he is pledging a percentage of his royalty fee to FreeMe.

Directed by Stead, designed by King, with lighting design by Tina le Roux, Twitch stages at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from February 7 to 24.

• Shows: 7.30pm Tuesday to Saturday; 2pm and 6pm Sunday. Tickets: R130, R100 for pensioners and students. Valentine’s Day gala performance on February 14 costs R200, with complimentary sparkling wine and chocolate. Book through Computicket. For block and early bird group bookings, call Ailsa Windsor at 083 250 2690.

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