A tale of love, sex, fleas and God

The book inspired Muizenberg actor David Muller, left, and director Celia Musikanth, right, to start working on a script for the stage.

It still comes as something of a happy surprise to Muizenberg actor David Muller when he looks around and sees he has a family.

This is a man who started late – he was 48 – and before then, he says with understatement, “You know, I was an actor. I was a naughty boy. I keep on expecting someone to knock on the door and say they are my child.”

This is one of the reasons he was so taken with Bruce Clark’s book Love Sex Fleas God (Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad) which he and fellow thespian and director Celia Musikanth have adapted into a play which has its premier at Rosebank Theatre on Wednesday August 31, at 8pm.

But it is also because change is possible. You just put your head down and do it. This is a message he thinks all parents and want-to-be parents would be interested to hear.

Bruce Clark has written a tale of redemption. Of having a caustically witty, willingly neglectful mother, a reckless wastrel who moved from place to place and husband to husband. To survive, Bruce began stealing and entered a downward spiral, arriving at the “worst hour of the worst day of my life. I was lying at the police station on the floor.”

His mother was a Scientologist and one of the things that it imbued was the ability to not fear anything. For Bruce, the worst had just happened. Just move on.

“He just bit the bullet and did it,” said David. So all those who are wondering whether they could be parents or how to carry on being parents can identify – just do it, one step at a time. And it would inspire hope for those who had troubled childhoods.

“He gets over his anger by having an amazing, loving wife,” said David. A bit like David’s wife, actually, who has oodles of compassion to share. And an actual job.

“It’s a beautiful transcendance from squalour and a toxic childhood to fatherhood,” he said.

As often with David, his plays have an educational value. In this case, helpful for those dealing with neglect and abuse or struggling with parenthood. In others, it is science. His Imagining Einstein entertainingly made the theory of relativity actually understandable.

And once again he has Celia Musikanth, former powerhouse behind the Masque Theatre. She’s directing pro bono and has been directing his one-handers since 2012, including his Schalk Lourens performances, that Herman Charles Bosman creation who has almost become his alter ego. David has others who are doing the artwork for advertising pro bono too. And of course, actors doing their own plays are pretty much pro bono until they break even after performing.

And because he thinks this play – with its uplifting, educational message – needs a broader message, he is doing some fund-raising through thundafund (http:// www.thundafund.com/project/sexfleasgod) where he lays out his fund-raising milestones such as: “R15 000 – I could make sure my director gets a a fee for putting up with an actor like me” and “R30 000 – I could not only pay my starving director but I could pay for the rental of the rehearsal venue as well and pay the marketing person” – and the wish list continues, an example of David just putting his head down and doing it.

* The play runs for 10 days from Wednesday August 31 until Friday September 9. All evening shows start at 8pm with one matinee at 3pm on Saturday September 3.

Tickets from R60 to R100 are available on Webtickets or by calling Liz on 072 316 6133.