Press: London theatre company Complicite brings hit production Lionboy to the Baxter for five performances only in March

 

World-renowned British theatre company Complicite will make its South African debut when it comes to the Baxter Theatre for five performances only, with Lionboy, a revival of their hit-production for families and young people, from 18 to 21 March, at 7pm nightly with a school’s performance on 19 March at 11am.

 

Adapted by Marcelo Dos Santos and inspired by Zizou Corder’s bestselling trilogy of novels, Lionboy fuses storytelling, circus and live percussion in an adventure for everyone aged eight and up. Zizou Corder is the pseudonym of Louisa Young and her daughter Isabel Adomakoh Young.

 

“We wrote the books when I was very young, and I was only a child so I made up a lot of friends and adventures for me and mum to share. Becoming an author at such a young age was exciting. Suddenly we were travelling to all the countries we’d been published in, signing books and even going onto television”, explains Isabel

 

At its heart Lionboy teaches children and young people to search for the truth. It tells the story of Charlie Ashanti who lives in a future where phones are powered by the sun, cars are banned and companies are more powerful than countries. Charlie is a perfectly normal boy, except for one thing: he can speak to cats. So when his parents are kidnapped, he sets off on a rescue mission – with a little help from a floating circus and its pride of performing lions.

 

Audiences and the media have raved about the production. Mail on Sunday called it “a roaring success,” while The Times said, “with a sense of magical possibility ... liveliness, invention and effortless appeal.” The London Evening Standard agreed, saying “a wonderfully imaginative adventure” and Financial Times described it as “a hugely inventive and enjoyable show.”

 

This revival production is directed by Complicite associates Clive Mendus and James Yeatman. Adding to the charm and appeal of Lionboy is the fact that most of the cast perform multiple characters. They are made up of Femi Elufowoju, jr (Maccomo/Aneba Ashanti), Victoria Gould (Madame Barbue/Magdelen Start), Martines Imhange (Charlie Ashanti), Lisa Kerr (Pirouette/Ninu), Angel Lopez-Silva (Rafi Sadler), Eric Mallet (Sergei), Clive Mendus (Chief Executive), Dan Milne (Mr Ubsworth/Major Tib/King Boris) and Stephen Histock (Composer/Percussion).

 

Fresh from its performances at the Hong Kong Arts Festival and the National Theatre of Korea in Seoul, the company is delighted to be coming to South Africa for the first time with this short season which will mark the end of the world tour.

 

Complicite has been regarded as physical theatre pioneers who have dazzled audiences for over 30 years with their performances at festivals and in theatres all over the world. The London-based theatre company was founded in 1983 by Simon McBurney, Annabel Arden and Marcello Magni under its original name Théâtre de Complicité.

 

The company's work has been influenced by maestro Jacques Lecoq and therefore its distinctive style of visual-and-devised-theatre, places emphasis on strong, corporeal, poetic and surrealist imagery. The company uses extreme movement to represent their work. Their productions often involve the use of technology, such as projection and cameras, as well as lyrical and philosophical contemplation of serious themes.

 

Some of their major productions include The Master and Margarita, A Dog's Heart (with De Nederlandse Opera and English National Opera), Endgame, Shun-kin, A Disappearing Number, Measure for Measure, The Elephant Vanishes (performed in Japanese and adapted from the work of the writer Haruki Murakami), The Noise of Time (about the Russian composer Dimitri Shostakovich), Mnemonic and The Street of Crocodiles.

 

This production of Lionboy is presented by Complicite, in collaboration with the Baxter Theatre Centre and Assitej South Africa.

 

There are only five performances for this season, from 18 to 21 March at 7pm with a school’s performance on 19 March at 11am. Tickets cost R110 (Wednesday and Thursday) and R120 on Friday and Saturday. Booking is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at www.computicket.com or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet. For discounted corporate, schools or block-bookings, charities or fundraisers, contact Sharon on 021 680 3962, email sharon.ward@uct.ac.za or Carmen on 021 680 3993, email carmen.kearns@uct.ac.za.

 

World-renowned British theatre company Complicite will make its South African debut when it comes to the Baxter Theatre for five performances only, with Lionboy, a revival of their hit-production for families and young people, from 18 to 21 March, at 7pm nightly with a school’s performance on 19 March at 11am.

 

Adapted by Marcelo Dos Santos and inspired by Zizou Corder’s bestselling trilogy of novels, Lionboy fuses storytelling, circus and live percussion in an adventure for everyone aged eight and up. Zizou Corder is the pseudonym of Louisa Young and her daughter Isabel Adomakoh Young.

 

“We wrote the books when I was very young, and I was only a child so I made up a lot of friends and adventures for me and mum to share. Becoming an author at such a young age was exciting. Suddenly we were travelling to all the countries we’d been published in, signing books and even going onto television”, explains Isabel

 

At its heart Lionboy teaches children and young people to search for the truth. It tells the story of Charlie Ashanti who lives in a future where phones are powered by the sun, cars are banned and companies are more powerful than countries. Charlie is a perfectly normal boy, except for one thing: he can speak to cats. So when his parents are kidnapped, he sets off on a rescue mission – with a little help from a floating circus and its pride of performing lions.

 

Audiences and the media have raved about the production. Mail on Sunday called it “a roaring success,” while The Times said, “with a sense of magical possibility ... liveliness, invention and effortless appeal.” The London Evening Standard agreed, saying “a wonderfully imaginative adventure” and Financial Times described it as “a hugely inventive and enjoyable show.”

 

This revival production is directed by Complicite associates Clive Mendus and James Yeatman. Adding to the charm and appeal of Lionboy is the fact that most of the cast perform multiple characters. They are made up of Femi Elufowoju, jr (Maccomo/Aneba Ashanti), Victoria Gould (Madame Barbue/Magdelen Start), Martines Imhange (Charlie Ashanti), Lisa Kerr (Pirouette/Ninu), Angel Lopez-Silva (Rafi Sadler), Eric Mallet (Sergei), Clive Mendus (Chief Executive), Dan Milne (Mr Ubsworth/Major Tib/King Boris) and Stephen Histock (Composer/Percussion).

 

Fresh from its performances at the Hong Kong Arts Festival and the National Theatre of Korea in Seoul, the company is delighted to be coming to South Africa for the first time with this short season which will mark the end of the world tour.

 

Complicite has been regarded as physical theatre pioneers who have dazzled audiences for over 30 years with their performances at festivals and in theatres all over the world. The London-based theatre company was founded in 1983 by Simon McBurney, Annabel Arden and Marcello Magni under its original name Théâtre de Complicité.

 

The company's work has been influenced by maestro Jacques Lecoq and therefore its distinctive style of visual-and-devised-theatre, places emphasis on strong, corporeal, poetic and surrealist imagery. The company uses extreme movement to represent their work. Their productions often involve the use of technology, such as projection and cameras, as well as lyrical and philosophical contemplation of serious themes.

 

Some of their major productions include The Master and Margarita, A Dog's Heart (with De Nederlandse Opera and English National Opera), Endgame, Shun-kin, A Disappearing Number, Measure for Measure, The Elephant Vanishes (performed in Japanese and adapted from the work of the writer Haruki Murakami), The Noise of Time (about the Russian composer Dimitri Shostakovich), Mnemonic and The Street of Crocodiles.

 

This production of Lionboy is presented by Complicite, in collaboration with the Baxter Theatre Centre and Assitej South Africa.

 

There are only five performances for this season, from 18 to 21 March at 7pm with a school’s performance on 19 March at 11am. Tickets cost R110 (Wednesday and Thursday) and R120 on Friday and Saturday. Booking is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at www.computicket.com or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet. For discounted corporate, schools or block-bookings, charities or fundraisers, contact Sharon on 021 680 3962, email sharon.ward@uct.ac.za or Carmen on 021 680 3993, email carmen.kearns@uct.ac.za.

 

 

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