Reuniting in an undisclosed park, three feisty and independent women meet up after years of not spending time together. As anyone who has planned a party knows, not all invited guests arrive. This gives the three the perfect opportunity to catch up and deepen their bond. The extravagant Elisa, played by Sinovuyo Sebakeng is our party-planner – her core group of friends, Trinity and Brenda show up as reliable friends do, and the drama unfolds.
Like many self-affirming millennials, all three characters have the incessant need to look perfect, like they have made it and their lives are better than they have ever been. “Everyone needs to smell and see our success” Elisa says early on, clearing her real intentions behind organising the reunion. But like many adults’ lives, all three are far from perfect. Their respective issues with their lives and each other are brought to the surface throughout the play. Most of the issues they have with each other are dealt with, some aren’t – but no real friendship is without conflict.
The play was both confrontational and entertaining. The actors made great use of the stage and even used parts of the rest of the theatre. This encouraged the audience interact with them. Even though this was not meant to be an interactive play, it was delightful to watch the audience throw lines to the characters while they took it in their stride.
The confrontational attitude of the ladies reminds us of the feisty someone in our lives, perhaps even ourselves. This sass, along with several emotionally jarring moments in the play allows audiences to see that no one is meant to be one-dimensional. It’s important to be vulnerable with people who matter most to us. Receiving love and support from them can help us fight whatever challenges we face.
There were points during the play when the characters became so comfortable in their conversations that they no longer projected their voices as loud as they could have, making hearing some of their lines quite difficult.
The conversational, casual style of acting, along with the familiar challenges the characters were facing, made for a relatable narrative. The familiar secrets they were hiding, made the interior lives of these characters that much more realistic.
These women taught us that friendship is not conditional on being the same person you were years ago, when the initial spark was lit. It’s important to allow your friends to evolve and become better people. It’s important to love them, despite their flaws and accept that even though your life isn’t as rosy as you would like it to be, the love you give and receive will always make life that much sweeter.
Catch Diva Reunion at PJ’s on 7 July at 19:30 and 8 July at 12:30
By Karabo Baloyi