Gritty comedy-drama, Bench premières at Kalk Bay Theatre

Popular writer, actor and comedian, Brent Palmer, presents the world première of his latest play, Bench, at Kalk Bay Theatre from 12 September until 7 October.

Inspired by the story of two small time crooks, Bench is a gritty, compelling comedy-drama that examines a day in the life of two hustlers.  Brent also performs in the production alongside acclaimed actor Adrian Collins, and the show, which enjoyed a successful reading at the Baxter Theatre earlier this year, is directed by Michael Kirch.

Bench tells the story of two local petty thieves, Hendry and Dwain, who are sat on a park bench, about to embark on their most daring job to date. This is the job they believe is going to change their lives and make them wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. When one of them gets a crisis of conscience and begins to question the job, the planning takes an interesting turn with surprising and unexpected results.

“I was inspired by the story of two small time crooks, and curious about what motivated them,” says Brent. “I wondered, what would these two hustlers speak about? What makes them laugh or cry? I was interested in their humanity; not just in our views of them as crooks.  I wanted to peel back the layers to reveal two absorbing characters, who, despite what they do, are able to hold up the mirror to all of us and reflect some of our own humanity; our aspirations and our disappointments. Of course, with a healthy dose of comedy thrown in!”


Brent Palmer is a London trained actor who has enjoyed an illustrious career locally and internationally in theatre, film, TV and stand-up comedy.  He has performed on stage in numerous Shakespearean and modern productions, while his international film credits include, The Flood, The Triangle and Mercenary for Justice with Steven Seagal and Leon Shuster’s Shucks Tshabalala.  Brent performs regularly as a stand-up comedian, and has also written and performed two one-man comedy shows, Credit Crunch and Corner Hope & Vrede. He has directed all of Nik Rabinowitz’ comedy shows over the past seven years and has most recently directed award winning comedian Siv Ngesi in his hit show “Race Card” which can be seen at the Baxter in October.


Adrian Collins’ extensive theatre work includes Hamlet, directed by Janet Suzman at the Baxter and Swan theatre in Stratford upon Avon, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Birthday Party, for which he received a Fleur de Cap nomination.  Adrian is a member of The Mechanicals theatre collective and most recently played the role of Edmund in King Lear.


Michael Kirch holds a Masters degree in directing from UCT.   Credits include directing a production of The Wizard of Oz for an all-Japanese audience, when, since English is not widely spoken there, the script was reduced to an absolute minimum, and Toto the dog became a Japanese speaking narrator who cleverly linked the show from one song to another. The Japanese national broadcaster NHK was so impressed they filmed the production and gave each of the cast members a video copy to take home.


Other projects include an adaptation of Dario Fo’s One was Nude and One wore Tails, called Nude/Tails.  Michael again took on a challenge and translated the play from its original Italian context and localised it in a contemporary South African political and cultural setting.  At this point he realised that he had a knack for the politics of comedy, as well as the comedy of politics, and has since worked with various Cape Town comedians to develop their shows.

To meet Brent’s character Hendry, visit,

Bench will be performed Wednesday to Sundays from 12 September until 7 October. Performances start at 8.30pm, except Sunday when they start at 8.00pm.  Doors open at 6.30pm and seating is unreserved. Dinner is served from 7pm when guests can enjoy a delicious two or three course meal created by Kalk Bay Theatre’s talented chef Hannah McMahon, with dessert and coffee after the show.  On Sundays guests can enjoy a selection of cheeses and glass of wine before the show.


 R95 [show only]   :   R245 [show + 2 course meal]   :   R295 [show + 3 course meal]

SPECIALS ON SEPT 13, 19, 20, 26 & 27  ONLY

R75 [show only]   :   R225 [show + 2 course meal]   :   R275 [show + 3 course meal]

Tickets on Sundays also cost only R75, or R170 for show, cheese selection and glass of wine

For all bookings and further information visit

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Christine Skinner

Tel: (082) 855 7277