A satirical, political murder mystery

2015-07-07 15:52


Three Blind Mice 

Director: Tara Notcutt 
Starring: Rob van Vuuren, James Cairns, Albert Pretorius 

Three stars 

Following the success of Three Little Pigs, Three Blind Mice sees experienced director Tara Notcutt and acting trio Rob van Vuuren, James Cairns and Albert Pretorius return for another nursery rhyme-inspired take on local news headlines. 

The story is a whodunnit crime thriller that manages to make biting commentary on our flawed judicial system by using animals like cheetahs and hyenas to depict news headliners such as Oscar Pistorius, the Waterkloof Four and Schabir Shaik. There are even pigs as cops and Gerrie Nel as a great white shark. 

If it all seems a little hard to follow, that’s because it often is. 

Although very funny and extremely well acted, Three Blind Mice is also a little convoluted. 

There is reference to Nkandla and Jacob Zuma, except number one is a white, AfriForum type farmer, and Nkandla is just a farm. 

During a post-performance discussion, Van Vuuren said they liked the idea of convoluting Zuma with a white farmer and that they thought it would be interesting. 

I don’t think it really works, but I appreciate the fact that they went abstract with their references instead of bludgeoning us over the head with straight analogies. 

The play has a simple message: only the poor end up in jail, the rest wheedle, pay and lie themselves out of it. 

The comedic chemistry between Van Vuuren, Cairns and Pretorius is what makes this work worth watching. Van Vuuren has been on the theatre and art scene for 20 years, and is starring in and directing a plethora of works this year. He is an energetic, expressive and extremely fun actor to watch. 

The three lampoon the type of “gym boytjies” you might find on Joburg’s West Rand, and this ends up being powerful commentary on machismo and masculinity. 

Three Blind Mice is successful in jabbing evenly at all sectors of society – be it our corrupt president or racist white Pretoria youths. If you can get through some of the confusion, this is a great work of satire that you won’t regret seeing. 

» Catch Three Blind Mice on July 7 and 8 at the Rhodes Box Theatre at 3pm and 8pm

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