A Comedy of Jurassic Proportions
Daphne Kuhn and Theatre Shop Productions, five years after the success of their last collaboration, The Talented Mr. Ripley, are teaming up again, this time to present a razor-sharp international comedy, Pterodactyls.
Pterodactyls is a viscously witty dark comedy that pokes fun at middle-class value systems. The Duncan family might appear to be a conventional nuclear family but slowly, Nicky Silvers acclaimed play, strips away the veneer of this household to reveal a home buried in, what Silver calls, grand mechanisms of denial.
Emma Duncan (Sarah Richard), a hypochondriac with memory problems, and her orphaned fiancé, Tommy (Lyall Ramsden), confront her mother, Grace (Louise Saint-Claire), with the news of their intended marriage. Disapproving at first, Grace consents and puts Tommy to work as a maid. When Graces son, Todd (Asher Stoltz), returns home after a five year stint in Europe and announces he has AIDS, a hilarious frenzy of denial-spurred activity unfolds. Amidst the mayhem, Arthur Duncan (Michael Richard) attempts to reach out to his children, this, only fuelling the Duncan familys turmoil.
Greg Homanns directorial credits include; the very recent, Brothers in Blood (Market Theatre); Previously Owned, which in April marked his first outing as a playwright; the new South African musical Sauer Street; The Talented Mr. Ripley; the South African adaptation of Lord of the Flies and the critical hit at last years National Arts Festival, Chatter. For the Wits School of Arts, where he lectures, he has directed A Clockwork Orange, The Crucible, Translations and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Homann is also the editor of a new collection of South African plays entitled At This Stage: Plays from Post-apartheid South Africa which is now in print.
Pterodactyls has won an Oppenheimer Award, a Kesselring Award and was nominated for Outstanding Play by the American Drama Desk Awards in 1994. Theater Week described the play as, clever, sharp, witty its a play that takes aim at the main-streamed, moneyed, conventional American family and buries it under one satiric jibe after another. Pterodactyls was Silvers first major critical and box-office success as a playwright. Silver has subsequently written a number of lauded plays including the long-running Off-Broadway hit, The Food Chain. Although Silvers plays have been produced across the USA, Europe and Australia, this production of Pterodactyls will be the first time one of his plays is staged in South Africa.
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