Here follows a review I submitted for the kid’s show Snake Magic. I was restricted to less than 400 words, which was really hard.
"It has been a while since I saw any children’s theatre so when I was invited to review Snake Magic I took my nine year old friend Nathan with me for perspective (and support!).
I must admit that I was also relieved to be seeing something new and local created for children. I always shudder when I see the posters for Little Red Riding Hood and The Ugly Duckling.
The Kalk Bay Theatre really suits itself to children’s theatre of an intimate nature. The performers are so close and the upstairs makes for some interesting staging possibilities. We climbed into our seats and Nathan mentioned that he loved the music that was playing, a very African, acoustic sound.
Snake Magic is the story of Nikiwe, her trials and sufferings at the hands of her nasty brother and how she is saved and helped by the snakes after doing the snake prince a kind deed.
David Muller is a wonderful narrator. From the first word he spoke with his warm voice he drew us into the story of bad brother Themba and his good, kind and generous sister Nikiwe. Lindilwa gives a charming and spirited performance as Nikiwe and Mzi is fabulously bad as Themba, stately as the prince and delicious as the snake in the second half.
The story moves smoothly from narration to dialogue and into song and we the audience are taken on a magical ride from Nikiwe’s village, through the forest, into the palace, into the water, to life with the snakes and magically to Nikiwe’s own lavish house with the use of a few simple props and three lovely backdrops.
The things that Nathan enjoyed the most were the clever dual puppet of the King and Queen and how they switched with a flip of the hand, the songs, the bouncy old man and Nikiwe sitting in the tree. I delighted in the old fashioned language, audience interaction (which seemed a bit off putting for the performers though) and the simplicity of a tale well told.
The only thing we didn’t like was the interval.
Take the kids to this delicious show and get a programme for info on snakes and pumpkins!"
So that’s what I sent in. I hope they use it. I didn’t have space to mention that I loved the lyrics of the Pumpkin Song, written by Heather Mac’s daughter Amber, especially my new favourite word "dummelicious".