I’ve done that Cape Town thing again and gone to see a show a day before it closes. So, this rave will have no effect on this run, but at least it will prepare for the show’s run at The Intimate Theatre in May next year. Hopefully this will be good pre pre-publicity.
The Electric Juju, for those who don’t know, is Rob van Vuuren’s one-man masterpiece, odyssey and heroic morality tale. We chatted to him briefly after the show, when he was all showered and nice and clean, and he said his three major influences were Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchet and Clive Barker, all influences that Big Friendly picked up. He also told us that there is going to be a graphic novel of the story. I think that’s genius.
The Electric Juju is Rob at his magnetic best. This intriguing story of the fight for possession of a Giant’s heart and the accidental and innocent heroine Susan is grippingly told with liquidly slick flowings from detailed character to character in split second changes. Rob is the master of creating a character with a shift of the body, the slide of vocal pitch and accent and the smallest hand gesture. He miraculously changes from inside to look totally different, which is amazing since those electric blue eyes and strong features are hard to disguise.
Rob fills the bare stage with himself and a giant heart and they move about the stage telling the gripping story. The telltale signs of directors Helen Iskander and James Cunningham are in the use of big things and their baby ‘puppet’ versions to create depth and landscape and a certain epic other-worldness. Other than that, oh and great creepy lighting and a brilliant sound track, I felt like what the directors had to do was manage and steer Rob‘s crystal clear vision.
I am sure you can tell that I loved it. Big Friendly was besides himself, and whispered to me after the show that Rob was his new hero. Big Friendly and I also were in raptures about Brother Number that Rob did with James Cairns in the middle of the year and I loved Rob in Chris Weare’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. If we are to talk about the genius of Rob van Vuuren we can’t leave out TMAS although I must confess to not having seen an installment this year.
If this sounds like the ramblings of an obsessed Rob fan, let it be tempered with the fact that it is a shared homage to talent (by me and big) and we were also delighted to meet Rob’s most lovely fiance last night!
Oh, and important as ever, this all happened at The Kalk Bay Theatre where we also delighted in a magnificent meal before the show. There is a whole new set up in the kitchen and you can choose what you want from a small but excellent menu. Delicious, fresh and tasty!