I hope I am not reading too much into last night’s Song And Dance audience. It was tiny, but it spanned the Cape Town demographic absolutely. White, coloured and black were the flavour of the 20 odd people who laughed, chuckled, guffawed and wheezed through the show, from beginning to end. I also sat there with a face splitting grin, and laughing my head off; I find this play completely hilarious.
But my inner delight is that it feels like this piece has transcended certain racial, cultural and language barriers, and can truly be enjoyed by all South Africans. This is the amazing achievement of the director and cast, whose style and interpretation of comedy is broad and deep. I don’t think I have ever seen performances quite like these; totally true to the material, totally original and creative, totally committed and enthusiastic and totally hilarious.
Don’t get me wrong. I think it is a massive challenge to sell this play. It needs to be said. A white, suburban theatre going audience does not generally choose to see a play with an all black cast. There is this vibe that it’s “not for them”. A black audience in Cape Town is rarer than hen’s teeth. Matched with the Kalk Bay Theatre being situated off the beaten track, it is a double challenge. And then coloured audiences in general seem to throw all their support at coloured work; Mark Lottering, Joe Barber, Loukman Adams.
But last night, all jumped into the pot. All. And we kicked back and laughed. Together.