Comedic relief to kick-start the year

Aaron Mcilroy, with his character, James, in A Vegan Killed My Marriage, will bring comedic relief to audiences at The Drama Factory next month.

The hilarious and extremely thought provoking one-hander, A Vegan Killed my Marriage, starring funny man, Aaron Mcilroy, written and directed by the multi award-winning, Craig Freimond, comes to The Drama Factory in Strand.

Mr Mcilroy, well known for his many performances including the lunatic father, Mr Milton, in the Spud movie franchise, plays James, a red-blooded, meat-eating South African male. He is fully aware of the consistent concerns about the meat industry’s role in the impending climate catastrophe.

Over the years, he has done his best to studiously evade and ignore such concerns, until a work trip creates an unexpected double whammy, and he is shaken out of his comfort zone. Out of the blue, he becomes a vegetarian, not realising how unwelcome this change and his newfound fanaticism will be in his meat-eating home.

The skirmishes at home escalate into a full-blown war. Could it be a midlife crisis? James, who only months before, had been the king of the braai, has had a change of heart and now demands an entirely meat-free home.

Winner of a Bronze Ovation Award at the 2023 National Arts Festival in Makhanda (Grahamstown), A Vegan Killed My Marriage, is a comical and highly entertaining solo performance.

With a string of stage blockbusters under his belt in both the public and corporate entertainment circuits, the Durban-based actor is regarded as one of South Africa’s most popular entertainers. He has received acclaim for his award-winning satires, The Loser, co-written and directed by Susan Monteregge, The Golfer, co-written and directed by Steven Stead and ADHD, co-written and directed by Patrick Kenny.

“I grew up in the entertainment industry. My father was a member of the popular Irish band, the Blarney Brothers,” says Mr Mcilroy.

“I love music, but I really wanted to be a serious actor and even studied drama at university. However, every time I performed something vaguely dramatic, my lecturers would fall off their chairs. After much humiliation I realised that the only way I was going to make some cash in this industry was to embrace my funny bone!”

Recent productions include Classical Comedy, staring the Durban City Orchestra, as well as Family Business, both directed by Darren King and staged at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre in Durban.

Director, Craig Freimond’s prolific career spans that of writer and director in theatre, television and film. In 2014 he directed the triple Naledi award-winning, Death of a Colonialist by Greg Latter, which won Best Production, Best Actor for the late Jamie Bartlett and Best Director.

Initially, he worked as a theatre director, directing more than 20 stage productions. His play, The King of Laughter, won three Naledi awards, including Best New Play, Best Director and Best-Supporting Actor.

Mr Freimond worked on several television comedy series such as Not Quite Friday Night and the sitcom Scoop Schoombie. Rhythm City and Sorted.

His film credits as writer and director include Gums & Noses, which was adapted from his play of the same name and, which won the Apollo Film Festival award for best feature film; Material, which had a hugely successful theatrical run and won five 2013 SAFTA awards; Beyond the River, nominated for several awards and has played at festivals across the globe; Vaya, which he co-wrote, directed by Akin Omotoso, and which played at Toronto, Berlin and many other big festivals, garnering several awards and New Material, the sequel to his hit film, Material.

The show runs from Wednesday February 21, to Saturday February 24. Shows in the week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, start at 7.30pm and on Saturday the show starts at 3pm. Tickets cost R200 and R220.

Book online with a credit card at www.thedramafactory.co.za or contact 073 215 2290 to book and for more information.

The direct booking page for this particular show is www.thedramafactory.co.za/show/FEB2421