Lynita Crofford breathes vivid life into a series of blogs about looking for love and sex by a single woman over 50 in Violet Online. The show is funny enough to entertain you whether you’re male or female, single or happily/unhappily married. By LESLEY STONES.
It’s incredibly difficult to write humour well. It’s not too hard to generate a slight chuckle, but writing a piece that makes you laugh out loud is a rare skill.
Thankfully Lynita Crofford is better at acting than I am at imagining, because in Violet Online she breathes vivid life into a series of blogs about looking for love and sex by a single woman over 50.
Blogs that I’d read with just a wry smile now had me laughing freely. The very crude swearword that even foul-mouthed me will cringe over in print now serves its purpose perfectly.
Crofford hasn’t changed the words at all, but she fills the stories with sparkle and zest in her facial expressions and matching movements. She’s fun and feisty and the perfect vehicle for these stories, if you can forgive her for looking a little too young.
Stories about middle-aged dating or online escapades are far from rare, but this has a freshness of spirit that only comes from being successful and confident in your own right. Not all the time, of course, with some of the stories ending in disappointment or tears.
It’s almost like turning the tables on typical lad’s tales of conquests and near misses, but without the boastful braggadocio such tales from a male perspective often have. What makes this touchingly funny is that these are occasional triumphs in between the sadness and loneliness that can stalk a life even if it’s full of activity. Teenagers, dogs and whisky on your own are not enough if you’re a person whose heart is still beating.
Many of the stories involve her conversations with the girlfriends she meets at the coffee shops where she hangs out to do her work. She talks of waxing, primping and preening, and the Botox Barbies who look beautiful, but fake.
Crofford had chosen the pieces well and with the guidance of director Megan Furniss she delivers a varied mood from raunchy to reckless to occasionally wrecked.
The set is simple and effective, with a violet sofa for flopping on, crying on and bonking behind, and a violet table and chair where Crofford sits with her laptop, sending out messages and her searchlight to the world.
Behind her a screen shows some of those witty ‘ee postcards’ that feature drawings of old-fashioned people thinking very modern thoughts. That works well, giving us a giggle between the monologues.
She talks of sexting, the different types of men you meet online, and Sexy Scrabble, which sounds enormous fun. One of the wittiest moments is when her grammar-Nazi side emerges, and she reads the appallingly rude messages from some online daters, and freaks out not at their uncouth content, but at their thick inability to use an apostrophe correctly. I’m with you there, girl.
You can relate to the wisdom she is trying to instil into her own brain as she shares it with all of us. “I have to remember not to get carried away” and the poignant one every singleton has felt when a great new romance falls flat: “I wasn’t in love, it was the possibility of love …”
Not surprisingly the audience was full of the type of women you might meet in Violet’s suburban coffee shop. There were a few men in the crowd, and they were having a good time too. Violet Online is funny enough to entertain you whether you’re male or female, single or happily or unhappily married.
If you happen to be a single man, get yourself a ticket. It’ll be an excellent place to chat up women of a certain age. DM
Violet Online runs at Sandton’s Auto & General Theatre on the Square until November 7. Tickets from Strictly Tickets.