The play within a film that South African director Henk Pretorius builds Leading Lady (2014) towards shows the minutest promise during a laborious rehearsal process. Unfortunately, it is revealed to be a predictably laughable am-dram production in a barn which has the audience of a dozen locals – all familiar to the cast – in raptures, gleefully chanting the leading lady’s name. Imagine The Vicar of Dibley’s nativity play with any humour, whatsoever, removed.
Instead, consider a farce that makes a complete shambles of the British invasion of South Africa at the time of the Boer war. Whether the surrounding film ever shows any semblance of worth is doubtful and the only likely applause will be that of sheer relief when the 100 minute ordeal mercifully comes to an end. Katie McGrath plays Jodi, an aspiring actress living life as a teacher in London trying to impress upon disinterested teenagers the marvels of Samuel Beckett. Her hotshot American director boyfriend (Gil Bellows), who is chalkboard awful whenever he appears onscreen, overlooks his trophy girlfriend for the lead role in his upcoming masterpiece. Jodi flies off to South Africa to do some research, and to prove to herself that she is good enough, taking a copy of the script with her to act out with all her new BFFs.