I have always loved the magical art of storytelling – that theatre is indeed this treat come to life is one of the reasons I fell in love with it as a child. This festive season, these two of my favourite things comes alive as one with Janice Honeyman’s charming Bangalory’s Back at the Baxter Theatre!
Starring the esteemed director and Zoleka Helesi (Mies Julie, Zabalaza Theatre Festival) and Marty Kintu (Blue/Orange, War Horse), Bangalory’s Back is a reimagining of the very first children’s television show, Bangalory Time, which Honeyman presented from 1976 to 1977.
Using the twirling tell-tale tree former fans of the TV show may recognise, Honeyman and her cast mates bring to life five vivid tales of bravery, kindness, friendship and loneliness. A mixture of song, dance, puppetry and audience participation keeps the energy of the show flowing and ensures that little wandering minds are fully entertained for the duration of the hour-long performance.
The colourful set, so artfully put together, immediately catches your eye upon entering the theatre and is filled to the brim with cute props that the cast uses in their storytelling.
With five incredible stories being performed, it’s quite difficult for me to choose my favourite but the one that truly stood out for me was that of Simphiwe and Nikiwe, a modern African version of Hansel and Gretel set in Gugulethu and Cape Town.
Kintu and Helesi shine in this sketch, realistically portraying the feelings of despair at being lost and the joyous relief at being found by their parents without scaring their young audience. If nothing else, Bangalory’s Back drives home some important lessons to both parents and children in a colourful and safe medium.
A word of advice to parents – the Baxter Theatre has its usual cool drinks and beverages’ stand at the Studio but if you know your young ones are fussy eaters and drinkers, be sure to bring along their favourite treats.
One of my favourite new additions to the Baxter Theatre this season is the colourful décor. From the illuminating dangling stars and Christmas decorations in the foyer to the very colourful balloon rainbow that moves between the Studio, Concert Hall and Theatre each night, it makes for a perfect background for that must-have theatre photo!
Moms and Dads, if you’re keen for your own Baxter Theatre treat, book your tickets for Remembering the Lux and Platform 9 to Park Town. Both shows are pure festive season delight!
Bangalory’s Back runs at the Baxter Theatre until 10 January, 2016. Tickets are R75 and are available at Computicket.