On Monday night I headed on over to Alexander Upstairs for the opening performance of “We Didn't Come to Hell for the Croissants: Seven Deadly New Stories for Consenting Adults” (just referred to as Croissants by the theatre cool kids), and within hours of opening it sold out! So this is a ‘scene it’ write-up about what you will be missing if you don’t already have tickets booked; in essence, a kind reminder to never let an awesome Alexander Bar staged show slip through your easy online booking finger tips again.
Now to get back to the brilliance that is Croissants… a show that showcases the 7 deadly sins, as told through the 7 different perspectives of 7 incredible SA playwrights: Tertius Kapp, Rosa Lyster, Lebogang Mogashoa, Nicholas Spagnoletti, Louis Viljoen, Justin Oswald, and Jemma Kahn. Each of the writers embrace one of the sins, and these are then told by Jemma Kahn, with the assistance of Roberto Pombo.
In style, Croissants is a throwback to the Japanese art of storytelling known as Kamishibai, as first used by Kahn in “The Epicene Butcher and Other Stories for Consenting Adults”. The Epicene Butcher was in itself a theatre smash hit (I saw it 3 times!), with Kahn skillfully drawing the audience into a slightly more risqué form of theatre, assisted by the silent but cool presence of Chalk Boy.
This time around Chalk Boy has been replaced with a slightly more animated and talkative Roberto Pombo, with his added touch of unique musical stylings. I’m not saying that Chalk Boy didn’t have his own type of charm and appeal, but Pombo brings such an intriguing playful persona to the stage, that he is undeniably a key component to the sell-out success of Croissants.
Jemma Kahn once again is just absolutely fabulous in every way. I honestly can’t gush enough about her as a performer to truly do her justice. She is to be applauded for the edgy, creative trendsetter that she is!
'But what about the sins?' you ask.
Not knowing which sin is linked to which story from the get-go actually makes it really fun trying to figure out which sin (pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, sloth) each of the playwrights embraced as the stories are revealed to the audience.
Not to give too much away, some of the highlights for me personally were “The Slothful Tale of Erasmus Blank”, that kicked off the ‘fairytales’ for adults, that perfectly showcased Spagnoletti’s witty wordsmith way with words, and “The Tragedians” by Louis Viljoen that in his trademark style lulls you into a false sense of 'understanding' and then lets you free fall off what others would leave as a cliffhanger into an exhilarating disturbing twist of events. Not to take anything away from the amazingly dark and deadly indulging stories of the other brilliant writers, these two just stood out to me as particularly genius in hooking the audience from the first graphic novel like picture moment.
As there is some semi nudity, strong language, sex references and well, because deadly sins and all, some less than serene stories on ‘display’, this is not a show you bring your kiddies to. So if it comes to show at Alexander Bar again, which I truly hope it does, grab a few consenting adult friends and make it a wicked night of theatre fun! You won’t regret it.