It was Living Remote’s opening night at The Kalk Bay Theatre last night and there was a crowd of press, Cracks, friends, family and even ordinary audience to celebrate one of Cape Town’s finest and funniest actresses, Anthea Thompson.
Living Remote is a “medical demonstration” presented by Anthea’s bizarre character Bertha Cummings. Bertha is a properly cooked, drug dispensing, varicose veined, sif dressed Capetonian old lady who dispenses medical advice to her audience, amongst other things. I first saw Bertha in Cracks and here she is in a full show.
Now, as far as I am concerned, Anthea Thompson could perform the phone book brilliantly. She is that good. And Bertha is a great vehicle for her funny bone; she has superb timing, wicked characterisation and a brilliant connection with the audience. There are moments of total comic genius here. Bertha’s eye test on an audience member is still one of the funniest things I have ever seen, and her phone call with her daughter is pure comic evil.
The whole show could be tighter and some things definitely work better than others. I found myself laughing out loud to things nobody else found funny, and the opposite too. People were falling off their chairs at the physical and sexual stuff that I don’t get so much. But, go see for yourself. Whatever tickles you, there’ll be something here to get you going.