Defending The Caveman

Previewed 9 February 1999, Opened 17 February 1999, Closed 11 September 1999 at the Apollo Theatre
Previewed 3 February 2009, Opened 6 February 2009, Closed 5 April 2009 at the Leicester Square Theatre
Returned 2 February 2010, Closed 21 February 2010 at the Leicester Square Theatre

A major revival of Rob Becker's award winning comedy Defending the Caveman in London starring Mark Little and directed by David Gilmore - back by popular demand!

Neighbours star Mark Little returns to London with his hysterically funny look at men, women and the battle of the sexes. This very popular comedy Defending the Caveman was written by Rob Becker over a three year period during which he made an informal study of anthropology, prehistory, psychology, sociology and mythology. Winner! Best Entertainment! Olivier Awards 2000!

Defending the Cave man originally opened in San Francisco in 1991 and soon moved to Dallas. After a year in Dallas played at a number of other US cities before opening on Broadway in 1995. After running two and a half years, playing 702 performances at the Helen Hayes Theatre, Defending the Caveman entered the record books as the longest running solo play in Broadway history. The original London production, starring Mark Little, opened at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue in February 1999 and played a successful seven month season.

"In 1996, this became the longest-running solo play in Broadway history. It's hard to see London indulging such merely likable, lightweight fare for so long, but then look at the Reduced Shakespeare Company. Perhaps an extended lecture-cum-stand-up routine about why men (hunters) are uncommunicative, grubby simpletons, while women (gatherers) are fast-talking, mystical beings, is just what the capital needs. And Little, under the direction of David Gilmore, has certainly done a fine job of making the play his own." The Sunday Times

"Rob Beckers's one-man play Defending the Caveman is written by an American and performed by an Australian, Mark Little, but it transfers pretty seamlessly to a British setting... Mark Little plays a blokeish but keen-witted man who holds forth on the differences between men and women - social, sexual, domestic, you name it. Some of the pop anthropology is a bit dubious, but most of the detailed observations are shrewd, funny and good-humoured." The Sunday Telegraph

"Stiffen the sinews, fasten your safety belt and prepare for a startling revelation. Men and women are... different. Sharing the same dictionary while speaking different emotional languages, neither party is on message for 24 hours a day, or often, for even that many minutes. Wow. This less-than-novel thesis brought comedian Rob Becker a Broadway record for one-man shows, running, two and a half years. Curmudgeons may conclude that Americans are easily amused. But replacing Becker for the West End version, Mark Little - the erstwhile Joe Mangel of Neighbours - delivers the just-for-laughs lecture on men remaining prehistoric hunters at heart (fierce concentration on the job in hand accounting for many males' inability to do two things at once, or so he claims) with such engaging zest that one overlooks the lack of originality. Instead, he compels laughter with his mock-earnest researches and personal case histories illustrating the root of slobhood and the wellsprings Of feminine distaste for it. Little's skills as actor and stand-up comedian in his own right give him and the script an edge. He's a master of hilarious body language and facial signals, engagingly laddish and plain engaging, so that the wistful lament, sharp at times though free of rancour, keeps men and women chuckling. There's plenty of attack, but no sex-war aggression. And in confederacy with director David Gilmor, he gives the piece cunning timing and changes of key, so that 90 minutes slip by without lulls. Caveman may not run for two and a half years over here but it's enjoyable enough for Little to consider putting his summer holidays on hold." The Daily Mail

"'I stand before you in defence of the caveman,' implausibly declares the affably suburban Mark Little, and, aided by a quaint apotheosis involving the ghost of some sage Flintstone, enunciates an answer to those who say there are two genders, "women and assholes". He comes up with the not-too-original notion that men are still hunters, taciturn slobs myopically obsessed with achieving their ends, and women are gatherers, meaning lovers of shopping, chattering and stopping to examine their feelings. Yet to say that his 'defence' sometimes comes across as self-flagellation, or that he trades in stereotypes, or that it is hard to evolve an anthropological theory that embraces (say) Roy Strong, Vinnie Jones and St Simon Stylites, is to take it all a bit solemnly. At times I felt I was travelling with a monomaniac cabbie who could bang on about gender politics from London to Sydney if only the sea were tarmac. But often I succumbed to the show's good nature, as did those around me. We all recognised something of ourselves in its observant humour." The Times

Defending the Caveman in London at the Apollo Theatre previewed from 9 February 1999, opened on 17 February 1999 and closed 11 September 1999. Returned to London's Leicester Square Theatre previewed from 3 February 2009, opened on 6 February 2009 and closed 5 April 2009, returned from 2 to 21 February 2010