Monday, October 16, 2006

Defending the Caveman

Went to see "Defending the Caveman" more or less by accident. A group of people had arranged to go and see it at the Monte Casino theatre and one couple, George and Yvonne, somehow forgot (unbelievable as it may seem) that they were going to be overseas at the time of the performance, hence our short notice invitation to go and take their tickets. Both Caron and I have actually seen it before when Tim Plewman performed it at the Alhambra Theatre and remember it as side splittingly funny so we weren't exactly unpleased to have an opportunity to see it again. Until after the show, that was.

The show is a humorous dissection of male and female relationships within the gender boundaries as well as across the gender chasm. It looks at how men a.k.a "The Caveman" behaves and interacts with other Cavemen and then how they try and interract the same way with Cavewomen, which doesn't exactly work leading to some of the many situations that we see in our daily lives. Likewise, Cavewomen try to interract with Cavemen in the same way as they would with other Cavewomen and needless to say, has no more success than the Caveman has with Cavewoman. Stereotyped, the two sexes certainly are and in reality everyone is a bit of mix of both stereotypes but the stereotyping enables the play to bring out the humour of the interractions.

The play basically pokes fun at the two sexes explaining their behaviour by relating it to the behavior of their ancestors with a little more sophistication than the Caveman bashing the Cavewomen over the head and dragging her over the threshold. A little but not much.

One particularly funny episode was related to choices. Given choices A or B, Cavemen choose one or the other. Cavewomen choose C exasperating Cavemen while in their own minds C is a perfectly logical choice out of A OR B. I had a great real life example of this on the weekend. Went to visit family and the argument went like this. Cavewomen paints a toybox and accidentally sprays some of the cottage pain windows because she is painting too close to the windows with the roller. Caveman, asks politely (this particular Caveman is about as un Cavemanish as they come) why she painted so close to the windows when it was pretty obvious what the result would be. Cavewoman roars to life and asks "So when last did YOU (you slacker) do something around the house?" which, while a valid question has nothing to do with painting too close to the windows. Valid answers (for a Caveman) to the question would be something like "I did it especially to annoy you" or "Whoops, didn't think of that!" or "I like speckled windows, don't you?".

One woman, unable to keep quiet anymore shouted from the front a question which absolutely proved the point that was trying to be made. I think she wishes that she hadn't blurted the question out afterwards but too late, too late she had to dispense with her 7000 words a day and she was way behind having had to sit in silence for the better part of an hour.

While the play was funny, it wasn't nearly as funny as I remember it. Maybe just the rosy glow of memories but I don't think so. There was way more basic sexual innuendo in this one, designed to get cheap laughs, instead of witty wordplay saying and meaning the same thing. At least for me.

Note to self, if George ever arranges something. Check that he is actually going to be in the country on that date.

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