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Gritty Comedy-Drama, BENCH Runs At Alexander Theatre

Popular writer, actor and comedian, Brent Palmer, presents his latest play, Bench, at Alexander Theatre from 13th to the 16th of March 2013.

Inspired by the story of two small time crooks, Bench is a gritty, compelling comedy-drama that examines a day in the life of two hustlers.  Brent also performs in the production alongside acclaimed actor Adrian Collins, and the show, which enjoyed a successful reading at the Baxter Theatre earlier this year, is directed by Michael Kirch.

Bench tells the story of two local petty thieves, Hendry and Dwain, who are sat on a park bench, about to embark on their most daring job to date. This is the job they believe is going to change their lives and make them wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. When one of them gets a crisis of conscience and begins to question the job, the planning takes an interesting turn with surprising and unexpected results.

Brent Palmer’s inspiration:

“I was inspired by the story of two small time crooks, and curious about what motivated them,” says Brent. “I wondered, what would these two hustlers speak about? What makes them laugh or cry? I was interested in their humanity; not just in our views of them as crooks.  I wanted to peel back the layers to reveal two absorbing characters, who, despite what they do, are able to hold up the mirror to all of us and reflect some of our own humanity; our aspirations and our disappointments. Of course, with a healthy dose of comedy thrown in!”

Biographies:

Adrian Collins:

Adrian Collins’ extensive theatre work includes Hamlet, directed by Janet Suzman at the Baxter and Swan theatre in Stratford upon Avon, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Birthday Party, for which he received a Fleur de Cap nomination.  Adrian is a member of The Mechanicals theatre collective and most recently played the role of Edmund in King Lear.

Michael Kirch:

Michael Kirch holds a Masters degree in directing from UCT.   Credits include directing a production of The Wizard of Oz for an all-Japanese audience, when, since English is not widely spoken there, the script was reduced to an absolute minimum, and Toto the dog became a Japanese speaking narrator who cleverly linked the show from one song to another. The Japanese national broadcaster NHK was so impressed they filmed the production and gave each of the cast members a video copy to take home.

Other projects include an adaptation of Dario Fo’s One was Nude and One wore Tails, called Nude/Tails.  Michael again took on a challenge and translated the play from its original Italian context and localised it in a contemporary South African political and cultural setting.  At this point he realised that he had a knack for the politics of comedy, as well as the comedy of politics, and has since worked with various Cape Town comedians to develop their shows.

Brent Palmer:

Brent Palmer is a London trained actor who has enjoyed an illustrious career locally and internationally in theatre, film, TV and stand-up comedy.  He has performed on stage in numerous Shakespearean and modern productions, while his international film credits include, The Flood, The Triangle and Mercenary for Justice with Steven Seagal and Leon Shuster’s Shucks Tshabalala.  Brent performs regularly as a stand-up comedian, and has also written and performed two one-man comedy shows, Credit Crunch and Corner Hope & Vrede. He has directed all of Nik Rabinowitz’ comedy shows over the past seven years, including “Stand and Deliver”. Brent has most recently directed award winning comedian Siv Ngesi in his hit show “Race Card” which can be seen at the Baxter in October.

To meet Brent’s character Hendry, visit, http://www.brentpalmer.co.za/wordpress/project/interviews/

Here is what the press had to say:

Cape Argus ‘Funny and surprisingly poignant,  four stars’

Cape Times “Palmer is a joy to watch, while Collins brings an almost visceral energy to his performance. Bench is a worthwhile contribution to local theatre. It is stimulating and, at the same time, entertaining.”

Die Burger – Die interaksie tussen die twee sorg vir puik komedie

Encore online ‘an emotional and clever journey between comedic and serious moments; a must see’

Broadway World  ‘a script that is stand-up sharp’

The Next 48hours – ‘It’s that great  combination of strong script, spot-on acting and sound direction – the type of all-round winner that you always hope to stumble across’

Sunday Independent – ‘One of the most unique and funny theatre offerings Cape Town audiences will experience this year’

Megans Head  ‘the characters are absolutely classic….absolutely kak funny.’

Writing Studio   ‘…superb….hilarous…Invest time and effort to see Bench. The reward is great. It will be a sinful crime to miss this fresh and entertaining production that makes going to the theatre a pleasure and also serves as a reminder of how great is it to be on the other side of the bench. ’

Monday Missile ‘one of the best performances of the 2012 season to date’

Bookings:

Bench will be performed from Wednesday the 13th through to Saturday the 16th. Performances start at 7pm.

TICKET PRICES:  R80

To book visit: http://alexanderbar.co.za/show/bench/

Or call: 021 300 1652

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers.

Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry.

Catch him on Twitter: twitter.com/andrewgerm_za
And IMDb: www.imdb.com/name/nm5390453/

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