Baxter Theatre can always be counted on for a good theatrical night out but its latest offering, the revival of British Complicite's Lionboy is a true cirque du force!
A coming of age story, adapted by Marcelo Dos Santos and inspired by Zizou Corder’s bestselling trilogy of novels, Lionboy is a magical tale about a gifted boy named Charlie, who lives in a futuristic London, and sets out to find his kidnapped parents, scientists who are working on a cure for asthma.
In this city, phones are powered by the sun, cars are banned and companies are more powerful than countries. Our young hero, played by the impressive Martins Imhangbe, embarks on a dangerous and exciting adventure in the pursuit of finding his parents, armed only with his secret talent – the ability to speak to cats.
Once out in the big bad world, Charlie finds himself the target of the pharmaceutical company Corporacy, who want to stop his parents ‘research, and, using his feline language quirk, finds the most unlikely allies in street alley cats, a floating circus and its pride of performing lions. The race to rescue his parents, free the lions and defeat the villainous company is a thrill-a-minute and guaranteed to have the audience hanging on the edge of their seats!
It’s refreshing to see a world-class production of this calibre, and a children’s play for that matter, on the Baxter Theatre stage. Combining live percussion, powerful storytelling with its incredible lighting by Tim Mascall and Christopher Nairne and set design ( that moves seamless between a circus tent, laboratory and African field), Lionboy instantaneously transforming you to worlds unknown, adding to the belief that good will prevail and the search for the truth is always important in this heart-warming tale.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed with awe when an international cast performs in a production in Cape Town but I found Martins and his fellow stars to be humble, eager to hear feedback about their performances and very engaging. It makes me appreciate their performance so much more. Bravo to all of you!
Lionboy runs at the Baxter Theatre until Saturday 21 March, 2015. Tickets are R110 to R120 and are available at Computicket.