Have you always wondered, “Where are the feminist country songs?” Well, currently being performed at Kalk Bay Theatre with a thigh-slapping twist by the talented and hilarious Angels on Horseback songstresses, Genna Galloway and Alicia McCormick.
I sadly didn’t see the show when this Fleur du Cap winning cabaret was first staged in 2009, with Fiona du Plooy and Candice D’Arcy as the gals with spunk and attitude, but I am so happy that I got myself to Kalk Bay Theatre last Thursday to see the reloaded return of Angels on Horseback. I was even happier when I found out that Fiona du Plooy is now guiding Genna Galloway and Alicia McCormick through their hoedown paces as choreographer, so I kind of feel that I got to see a bit of the original version too.
Whether you see yourself more as a demure feminist or as a proudly ‘shout it from the rooftops’ gal power revolutionary, Genna and Alicia bring you country songs of sisterhood (very cleverly reworded and reworked) in a racy, lacy and liberating way. Addressing issues ranging from heartbreak to gender suppression, and naturally, country style justifiable murder too, this show has a very clear message for women about their very important place in this world.
This show will make you feel proud to be a woman, or as a man, proud to know strong women. Angels on Horseback is feminist theatre sticking it to patriarchy in such a witty way, that even a misogynist would experience an involuntary toe-tapping ‘you go girl’ moment of support in response to the message of the show: women demanding respect, reclaiming their place, and doing it for themselves!
Genna and Alicia are Cape Town’s theatrical answer to country singers Maddie & Tae and their “Girl In A Country Song” tongue-in-cheek commentary on the roles and labels both men and society assign to women. Both duos sassily give women their (country) voice back.
And if I, someone who has never really liked country music, loved every moment of this cabaret, then you know they performed their cowgal hats off. Well, full disclosure, almost every moment. Not even talent of their degree could make me love any Kurt Darren song, sorry gals. But that's just me personally, and you had me totally hooked on country with your hilarious Afrikaans Sonny song, with interpretative commentary translations! Brilliant! It is everything a good country cabaret should, and I never thought it would, be, but Angels on Horseback has converted me and I probably won’t flinch the next time I hear a Dolly Parton song… instead I will just imagine Genna and Alicia singing it with loads of attitude and a lyrical twist.
As far as their very-musically-pleasing-on-the-ear band goes, two things stood out: firstly, it was refreshing to see the two men (Musical Director Jono Tait on guitar and Wesley Wolhuter on cello and piano) support the leading Angels in the expression of their powerful message as a great example to others, and secondly, I have never seen a kiddies xylophone played with such commitment to character and timing. Apart from the Sonny number, Wesley Wolhuter xylophone 'solo' was possibly my favourite moment in this show of many highlights and hell-yeah moments.
Get your favourite gal pals together, and make an empowering theatre girls night out of it. Go see Angels on Horseback: Reloaded at the Kalk Bay Theatre before run ends 1 April 2017. Bookings are online at www.kalkbaytheatre.co.za. Oh, and do yourself a favour and book a table for a pre-show dinner at the theatre restaurant too, then order the deep-fried bar one dessert as soon as you get there… you can thank me later!