Defending the Caveman, the one man show starring well loved Australian comedian Mark Little, is a witty exploration of gender roles and social opinion. Upon entering the theatre you are welcomed into Mark’s slightly cave-ish living room, complete with cave paintings and Flintstones style furniture. Mark’s spear is ready at hand–beside the remote.
As Mark entered the stage it was hard to tell if he was a character in the show or the host about to announce the show–and I got feeling he didn’t like his shirt. Although opening night may have started slowly, the audience soon grew comfortable with a stage show that crossed over into stand up comedy. Mark found a groove and got comfortable. Moments later laughter erupted as we started to identify with the scenarios plaguing Mark and his wife Cath. Hunters vs. gathers and negotiation vs. cooperation were common themes. Writer Rob Becker has obviously done his homework on the subject; the humor is based in anthropological study, the philosophy of gender, and real day to day life.
It’s a great laugh. It’s easy to relate to. And there is never a better time to laugh about what makes us different than right now.
Seeing this play reminded me of something I had read recently. Isn’t that funny how you come across something new and then you start seeing it everywhere?! My favorite philosopher, Ken Wilber, has some great things to say about gender roles and feminism.
“…we can learn to value the differences between the male and female value spheres. Those differences, even according to the radical feminists, appear to be here for good — but we can learn to value them with more equal emphasis. How to do so is one of things we might want to talk about.”
(1996, A Brief History of Everything)