CHAMP is f*#^ing brilliant
Champ follows three actors, struggling to get real theatre work, behind the scenes of their current gig working in a shopping mall as entertainment for all the little kids. The premise of this play is actually very close to home for me and here’s where I’ll let you in on a little secret. One December during university, while on vacation, I actually worked in a shopping mall in Cape Town wearing an eight foot tiger costume so I could definitely identify with the characters in this performance.
Set in one of the change-rooms of a mall where we meet the three bears one by one. First up is Darron Araujo who, despite the desperate nature of this gig, still tries to take his acting very seriously and knows that a job is a job. Next to come back is Nick Pauling who is fed up and makes no attempt to hide his frustration and lastly Mark Elderkin who really doesn’t care about the job and is preoccupied with finding a source of booze and a good time. The interaction between these three has been superbly directed by Greg Karvellas and all three deliver great acting performances. The unenviable task of managing this disgruntled mascots is played by Adam Niell, a hippie who seems unperturbed by the grumblings of his bears until alcohol is added to the mix and, with inhibitions cast aside, a wicked plan is hatched to avenge a little tyrant that has escalated his attacks on the three bears pushing them to breaking point. This only leads to management being called in and Kerstin Francis proceeds to put all four of these ‘men’ firmly, and I mean, firmly in their place.
The play does come with an age advisory warning of 18 years due to explicit language and this is to be heeded. As a friend of mine commented, ‘I even learnt some new words’ and I’ll admit that there were moments when I thought the bad words went on for too long only to be brought back to laughter by a quick-witted line in a very clever script written by Louis Viljoen.
If you are looking for some serious laughter then don’t miss this play but you’ll have to hurry as the final performances are tomorrow, October 20th at 15:00 and 20:15. It is on at the Artscape Arena, tickets are R85 – book online at Computicket or call the Artscape box office on 021 421 7695.