My Forever Friend is a new play for young children about the importance of friendship and self-esteem, at the Baxter this festive season. Families and young children between the ages of six and 12 years are in for a treat this festive season when a brand new play, My Forever Friend, opens at the Baxter Flipside from 10 December to 10 January, with two shows daily at 10:00 and 12:00, Mondays to Saturdays.
Based on the children’s book by Jeremy Daniel, this funny, moving and interactive audience experience which shows young people how to ‘be their own best friends’ is directed and adapted for the stage by Joanna Evans, with design by Merryn Carver and music by Aron Turest-Swartz.
Entertaining, off-beat and uplifting, My Forever Friend teaches children about friendship and the power of believing in themselves through music, story and the magic of mirrors, and is perfectly pitched as a fantastical adventure for the summer holidays.
Mimi (performed by Tarryn Wyngaard) is a typical seven-year-old girl who is nervous and excited about her first day of big school. She lives in a small, crowded flat with her parents and the only thing different about her is that her reflection in the bathroom mirror, whom she calls Copia (played by Nieke Lombard), has a life and a mind of her own. Things start going awry when Copia finds out that she can’t leave the bathroom and join Mimi at her new school. So when Copia discovers that they are moving into a big house in the suburbs, she is forced into action.
As part of developing the script and adapting the book, the cast and team workshopped the play while visiting two local primary schools over two weeks. “The young learners were totally captivated by the magical world created behind the mirror and they were able to relate to the worries and stress of starting big school,” says writer Daniel. “We were so excited and encouraged by their reactions.”
Director Evans agrees “It was really quite amazing how honest and responsive they were in the feedback sessions after seeing the play. One of the children told me it was the best play they had ever seen and another explained that they liked it because they also feel lonely sometimes.”
My Forever Friend is Jeremy Daniel’s first book and is published in English and Afrikaans by Tafelberg Publishers, an imprint of NB Publishers, with illustrations by Olivia Villet. Daniel is the former head writer of Takalani Sesame for television and radio, and worked extensively in children’s television during the 90s. The books will be on sale from the Baxter during the run.
Evans, who also directed Patchwork (aimed at children up to four years old) won the 2014 Imbewu Scribe competition for her script Four Small Gods and earlier this year was awarded the Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award for excellence for her production The Year of the Bicycle at the 2013 National Arts Festival.
The music for the play is composed by Aron Turest-Swartz, a founding member of the popular band Freshlyground.
My Forever Friend runs at the Baxter Flipside from 10 December to 10 January with two shows daily at 10:00 and 12:00, Mondays to Saturdays, except on 25 December and 1 January. There is no 10:00 performance on Wednesday 17 December.
Tickets cost R50 and there is a special family package of R175 for four tickets for any performance.
Booking is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at www.computicket.com or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet. For discounted block bookings, charities, schools, corporate bookings and fundraisers, contact Sharon Ward on 021 680 3962 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993 or email@example.com.
Press release provided by Jeremy Daniel.