I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to see Cracks, but last night Big Friendly and I finally got there and I had one of those best times of laughing my head off for over an hour.
This incarnation of Marianne Thamm’s on stage mid life crisis as performed by her, Anthea Thompson, Shimmy Isaacs and Anne Hirsch is at On Broadway, which used to be the New Space which was not a theatre for a long time after it stopped being the old Space.
Cracks In The City is comedy. There is stand-up (mostly Anne and Shimmy), sit down and demonstration comedy by host Marianne, character and song by mistress of transformation Anthea, and even funny recorded sketches. Marianne is one of the funniest people I know and she has this completely wacky, very fast delivery of material that is bizarre, original and quite mental. She is a fantastic emcee and host for the evening. Anthea’s character, a lopsided breasted old stinker, who has a bit of a habit dispensing and taking pharmaceuticals is hilarious, and her singer who sings a dirty little song had me weeping. Anne Hirsch does a fresh young stand-up routine, my favourite part being the Sokkie sucks; you have to see it. Then Shimmy does a warm, delicious combination of stand-up and sketch which is local and totally lekker. I particularly smaaked her gangster dance/fight routine.
The most hilarious moment of the show (and one I will never, ever forget) is a visual one, virtually impossible to describe here (but you know me, I’m going to give it a bash!). Anthea’s old lady is doing the most bizarre sequence of ‘eye’ tests on a hapless male volunteer from the audience (last night’s man was this tall, grinning stick of embarrassment) and suddenly, after placing him in the right position on stage she gallimpses towards him with a chart that he needs to read. It is so fast. And weird. And totally, completely beyond anything. I thought I was going to suffer a physical ailment myself from that lopsided speed assault on that poor man.
Obviously some stuff is more funny than others, and each audience member will have their favourite favourite. Four completely different cracks on stage. I was jealous, but in a good way. All I wanted was to be a crack. And I am one! Hau!
A tiny footnote must be added. What’s with the shabby little venue downstairs? Big Friendly and I went down there after the show to wait to say thanks to the cast and the lights were on bright, there was no music, a programme called ‘teen mom’ was on the big screen TV, but Big Friendly thought it was called ‘Please change the lamp’ because that was the display message on the screen, we weren’t offered a drink (in fact I don’t even know if there were wait staff around) and it felt a bit like being in a hospital waiting room. Which is not a good thing to feel after an amazing, funny show that makes you want to hang around afterwards and drink and talk and laugh. What gives?
Cracks In the City is on at On Broadway until the 27 November.