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SCENE IT: A whole lot of charm to be found in FIREFLY at the Baxter Theatre

Barbara Loots


Romantic and nostalgic FIREFLY, currently onstage at the Baxter Theatre, promises to lure audiences back to the theatre in celebration of the charming theatrical clowning style associated with Sylvaine Strike and Andrew Buckland.

FIREFLY was originally introduced to audiences as FERINE AND FERASE when filmed by Jaco Bouwer and televised as part of the Toyota US Woordfees digital programme on DStv in October 2021. The production walked away with the best festival production bragging rights at the Fiesta Awards held on 27 March 2022. This collaboration by Sylvaine Strike, Andrew Buckland and director Toni Morkel, is currently enchanting audiences as the Baxter Theatre until 9 April 2022.

The duo of Strike and Buckland (who also co-wrote the play) light up the stage with their quintessential clowning style. They’re onstage chemistry is undeniable and they clearly have a theatrical shorthand that allows them to act in effortless unison.

FIREFLY explores the loss and rediscovery of love through metaphorical fire in a bare-bones theatre context – mostly motion and verse – with almost no set. This story unfolds with just the aid of two performers, a trio of moons and the presence of pianist Tony Bentel, artfully playing into the mood of the production.

The story is cute and romantic. The telling thereof is physical theatre driven and staged as a play within a play: two travelling performers (confronted by their own broken hearts) tell the folktale of two quirky couples from opposite sides of a river (known for sucking dreams into a black hole), drawing the audience into the mystery of whether hope of a happily-ever-after can be completely “gone-gone”. It may not be everyone’s cup-of-clowning-tee, but I adored it and immersed myself in the bubble of escapism that it creates.

FIREFLY, driven by a sense of longing and magic, does its utmost as a celebration of elements of classical theatre to capture the imagination in the space where betrayal and desire meet under the moonlight – cue Clair de Lune.

You have until 9 April 2022 to go and experience the charm of FIREFLY at the Baxter Theatre with tickets available online via Webtickets.


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