This gem of a story, penned by American author E.B White, should depress sales of bacon and pork sausages for a bit. But maybe not – as Charlotte points out; humans have short memories! Whilst White was not a vegetarian himself he was apparently very aware that a farmer is one who betrays his animals at a certain point. Nuff said on that score…
So, to the show…
Director Greg King has produced another winner – if he was the Protea’s coach they would have won the World Cup already!
After a gnarly week at work I needed a ‘pick me up’ and this was just the thing. I am truly in awe of King’s ability to transport audiences out of the ‘real world’ into the magical world of theatre. Whilst this is essentially a story for children, the mastery of King and Company will enthral even those who know the tale by heart.
For those who aren’t familiar with the story, it is about true friendship and loyalty and how this becomes perfect when it is reciprocal.
Although it is a gentle tale, Mthokozisi Zulu injects some red bull into it’s veins in a high energy scene featuring a chase around the theatre – just the thing to get the youngsters out of their seats to enjoy the caper.
Greg King’s cast selection is spot on: experienced Lyle Buxton and Bryan Hiles, enigmatic Belinda Henwood in the title role, aforementioned Mtho’ Zulu as the energizer and strong man Teboho T-Bone Hlahlane in one of his most convincing performances in the part of Farmer Zuckerman. Cara Roberts is superb in her role as Fern, linking humans and animals with palpable empathy. Puppeteers Erina Rautenbach and Stephanie Jenkins add another dimension to the production, manipulating the superb puppets with skill.
Moments for grown ups? Yes – Lyle Buxton’s skit on Donald Trump is a show stealer!
Standouts – everyone! The cast gelled so comprehensively that none outshone his or her stage peers.
Standing ovation – absolutely; the audience were quicker to their feet than a politician can say “it wasn’t me!”.
Gone but not forgotten – Cellphone Man is still on holiday! His replacements are young and raring to get their careers in theatre on track! Nice touch by the Theatre Manager.
Recommended : absolutely – for young and old! Honestly – if you need a tonic that doesn’t come with gin, this is just the ticket !
Thank to the Publicity Matters Team, Illa and Sophie Thompson for gifting us the tickets.