Cherry on Top
The interweaving live of two women revealed
This article is from 2013.
Some shows manage to give a pretty misleading impression in their own publicity blurbs. Cherry on Top from South Africa’s Mustard Seed Productions is a case in point. The publicity hints at a bitchy, catty squabble between a wife and a mistress over their dying husband/lover. What emerged in this enjoyable two-hander set in South Africa’s Indian community, though, was something subtler and far more rewarding, as both women’s back stories are slowly revealed, and uncomfortable questions of loyalty and suspicion confront them both.
Leeanda Reddy and Krijay Govender play between them all of the piece’s broad cast of memorable characters – from a bitchy hairdresser to a menacing grandma. They’re strong character actors, stressing humour and sometimes tipping over into grotesquerie, although there’s a likeable sincerity to their delivery. Caroline Duck’s direction is a little on the deliberate side, although that provides time for the play’s themes to sink in. The big unanswered question is why both women remain besotted with the bed-ridden philanderer, but the piece’s touching ending hints that sisterhood is stronger than jealousy.
C, 0845 260 1234, until 10 Aug, £9.50–£10.50 (£7.50–£8.50).