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A raucously familiar Unfair Lady

 Unfair Lady at Alexander Bar, Cape Town, until Saturday December 12
This stunning little number from Pop Art theatre in Joburg’s Maboneng district trawls the very fertile grounds of women’s magazines to create a riotous show that had me wincing and laughing hysterically from the Ed’s Letter to the Last Word.

Hayleigh Evans and Rachael Neary are excellent in this rapid-fire satire that was written by Gwydion Beynon (of Epicene Butcher fame). It is part of POPUpstairs, the festival of Joburg shows at Cape Town’s Alexander Bar

As the title suggests, there is very little delicacy here as a cracking script takes aim at all the silly self-conscious staples in your common or garden variety women’s magazine

Sometimes seeming like a bit of an inside job (to this former magazine journalist anyway) the snipes work equally well when applied to dedicated readers too (you know who you are).

Your favourite columns will likely be here. Who doesn’t occasionally have a giggle at the Agony Aunt? Then there is the whimpering wish-I-was-a-star journo interviewing Charlize Theron. And what mag would be complete without How to please your guy and Achieving earth-shattering orgasms (separately). Fashion advice is bang on trend with this issue’s hot tip being black people and LGBTs as social accessories.

A little detour through the weird landscape of a tragedy ‘showing’ on a social media site near you is as excruciating as it is funny. The story looks horribly familiar as we watch the family of a terminally ill child become obsessed with telling the story. Soon the ‘miracle’ they seek is a million billion facebook likes or a trillion Twitter followers. Shining a light on social media’s way of magnifying the trivial and trivialising the enormous gives us all a chance to laugh a little at ourselves .. or at least at some of our facebook friends (we’d never be like that).

The ladies’ silhouettes shown on stage as they dance and change behind a sheet lit up from behind is a cunning and playfully provocative device that creates a little sexiness and keeps the pace and rhythm up between pieces.

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