Besides the rather popular Irish pub, O’Willies, there’s also an, at least as popular, English pub, the George and Dragon. The latter, with its small studio at the back, regularly stages theater shows. This week, it’s Amanda Ford‘s last show in Dar, which she wrote, stars in and directed and subsequently will try to get published.
Amanda, I’m told, has been in Dar for four years and, so it seems, wanted to end it with a bit of a bang, creating this double entendre as a closing piece for her presence in the heart of peace. Spoiler ahead.
Three women, the management of an NGO running a cat shelter, are organizing a fund raiser to finance a Bollywood version of the musical Cats. The short play, a mere thirty minutes long, spans a period of no more than two hours just shortly before the fundraiser, where internal politics are played out in the hotel’s elevator, in between arrival, a visit to a beauty parlor, where vaginas will be waxed, and the start of the event.
The play is quite clever but has a rather abrupt ending which doesn’t fit with the pace of the rest of the play. The actual ending is no surprise, as it’s implicitly hinted at earlier on in the story. Not that this is a problem, though it does require the ending to be more than just an unexpected revelation. And it’s that attempt at trying to be a bit more which feels out of place.
Besides the fund raiser, a new president for the organization will also be voted in and the seemingly meek secretary ends up with the post, through a bit of cunning. This is revealed to the players at the end of the play, after which the two lead women nearly throw a fit and the secretary reveals herself as a smart cookie with thus far hidden ulterior motives. It’s the style of this revelation which feels out of place.
The author and director plays one of the two more prominent roles, the other being done by Louise Forster. But it’s the supporting performance, by Sophie Buckman, which feels the most natural.
The show had several sponsors and proceeds went to MBINTI training center for fistula girls, which added a new verb to my active vocabulary.
A raffle was held where the three winning prizes were crates of beer. I had come to the George and Dragon on my bike, so I’m also kind of glad I didn’t have to lug a whole crate back.