As most of our readers are well aware traditional gender roles are changing partly due to this thing known as a male defecit and it is becoming increasingly common for the woman in a relationship to be more educated/career-driven than the man. Naturally, as a result of this trend, with women becoming breadwinners and being eager to get back to work after popping out those screaming kids it falls (or should do at least) to the father to pick up much more of the child-rearing. I admit we do sometimes get a bit carried away from time to time with our bitching and moaning about men these days being nothing but a bunch of good for nothing lazy mama’s boys but there are also some guys who’ve successfully managed to embrace change and do pull their weight in a relationship. And LOVE, SEX, FLEAS, GOD is actually a play about one of the good guys.
As the title indicates this play provides some insights into the life of a Stay-At-Home-Dad named Bruce whose job it is to take care of his two kids Angus and Anastasia while his wife works as a big shot banker and brings home the bacon. Based on an autobiographical account this stage adaptation tells us the story of how initially Bruce is rather shocked to hear those dreaded words ‘I’m Late’ and learn that he is going to be a father (after all his family all thought he was gay even when he got married!). But he comes to accept his new role and tries to embrace the pulling power that comes with having cute baby Angus as his wingman.
Once you move past the comedy element of the show, the audience learns that in order to become a good parent Bruce has had to overcome the issues from his own toxic childhood. It turns out that his Mother was brainwashed by Scientologists and was forever swanning off on Scientology missions and returning with a different man on her arm while Bruce and his sister were left to be brought up by their Scottish grandmother. To make matters worse in addition to an overwhelmingly absent father, much of Bruce’s extended family are nothing more than a dysfunctional bunch of perverts.
Despite his turbulent childhood and even a stint on the streets, Bruce doesn’t use this as an excuse to shirk his responsibilities as a Father. I think this story is also a reminder of how self-indulgent most millennials are these days. Many of us delay settling down to focus on our own self-development – travelling, career, puppies, etc. While I still stand by my belief that this a good thing for most people, the truth is that for there are also some cases where parenthood can be an overwhelmingly positive thing in a person’s life and exactly what is needed to give them some purpose and direction.
The character of Bruce is portrayed brilliantly by David Muller in this one man production. Props are minimal, consisting of nothing more than a blue blanket, a teddy bear and a few pieces of Lego (my date and I suddenly felt inspired and ended up going down a rabbit hole doing some quick google research on the history of Lego before the show kicked off!). The lack of paraphernalia and other distractions on the stage allows the audience to focus on the dialogue.
LOVE, SEX, FLEAS, GOD is playing at the intimate Alexander Upstairs until the 29th April 2017 and with tickets priced at just R90 (R80 online), it is well worth watching. People who’ve had kids of their own will probably identify with much of what is said and I think the show could provide some inspiration to those considering a career in parenting.