Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert in "Family Therapy". Picture: Supplied
Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert in "Family Therapy". Picture: Supplied

'Family Therapy' will give you a new appreciation for your family

By Alyssia Birjalal Time of article published Feb 25, 2020

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Director and choreographer, Daisy Spencer’s newest show will give you a new appreciation for your family.

Starring theatre legends Aaron McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert, "Family Therapy" combines music and theatre, laughter and tears, all rolled into one.

“It has never been harder to maintain a functional family. The production is ultimately about trying to find ways, no matter how wacky it might seem, to try achieve that.

“It’s a crazy therapy session that helps one realise that family, that place where individuals are nurtured, grown, treasured and driven crazy, is home. It’s a constructive, critical appreciation of all that makes up that wonderful group of sometimes, misfits, family,” said Spencer.

"Family Therapy" made its debut at the Rhumbelow Theatre at Tina’s Hotel in Kloof over the festive season, now it will be playing at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from March 4 to 15.

The musical covers themes such as coping techniques to help one deal with difficult family members, generation gaps, blended families, sibling rivalry, boundaries and love.

Music ranges from jazz to pop to rock to musical theatre. "Love Story" by Shirley Bassey, "Under Pressure" by Queen, "That’s Life" by Frank Sinatra and fun, silly songs like the "Hokey Pokey,” Spencer said.

The show is aimed at anyone, young or old, who has ever thought: “Even though I might not have chosen my family, I love them”.

“If you’ve ever had that love/hate feeling for family members - the ones who know just which buttons to push, which lines to cross, which triggers to ignite - then it’s you this show will speak to.

“It will speak to you because as much as you will be able to identify with the characters and their situations, through laughter and tears, it’ll give you a whole new appreciation for your family,” she said.

Spencer was lucky to have directed stars like Mcllroy and Bobbert in a previous show, Bloopers, which was very successful; working with them again she said, was “a privilege and an honour and an absolute pleasure”.

“They are without a doubt two of the most humble and hard-working artists in our industry. Considering the extent of their fame, accolades and expertise, they are so easy to work. They give every moment their everything, are so willing to take direction, and never cease to improve their material, whether it’s with comedic timing, choreography, vocal notes or attention to details of characters. For a director, they are dream actors,” Spencer said.

Spencer who uses theatre as a form of escapism, said the show would also allow one to “forget” for a little while.

“Family Therapy is a smile-a-minute load of pure entertainment that has the power to help one escape the many woes we face every day: familial strife, political strife, economic strife, load shedding life!

“It’s a mix of colourful and quirky characters who are faced with screwball situations that lend themselves to audience participation, linked with a range of songs. Who wouldn’t want to see that? It’s total theatre at its best, a bit of everything, rolled into one very bizarre family therapy session,” Spencer said.

* "Family Therapy" is at the Sneddon from March 4 to 15. Tickets at  Computicket  or Checkers from R180.

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