I hardly ever see anything twice but last night I saw A Town Called Fokol-Lutho again, after seeing it first in Gtown. It is a delightful, quirky, funny, rude and strange little piece, with cute original stories and lovely singing (and delightful direction by Tara Louise Notcutt and design by Juanita Ferreira). And it is very odd. Made odder by the really odd, fantastic and unsettlingly moving Jervis Pennington.
Now everybody seemed to know Jervis and The Soft Shoes except me. Of course I had heard of them, but had no memory of who they were and what they had done. I guess because at the time (1983 and my first year at UCT) I was listening to more alternative SA music; The Malopoets, Ella Mental, Via Afrika, Roger Lucey, and even Happy Ships.
Jervis has written and composed A Town Called Fokol-Lutho, and he appears in it too. He looks every bit older than he did when he was the poster boy for South Africa’s first boy band. He is surrounded by some fine young Cape Town talent and he is definitely the odd one out, but, his presence is vital, and special. I am so moved by him on stage. And heart wrenched. In a good way. There is something infinitely humble and really creative about his presence (I have no idea if it is true), and he brings a totally different edge to this deeply original little show.