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Sunday, December 14, 2008


Pic: Clockwise: Tammy Saville, Nkosinathi Mngomezulu (Father Bear), Jabu Siphika, Denya Maslen; Nobuhle Khawula, and Louise Fraquet-Golding

Watch the fun begin when a sangoma and a fairy godmother muddle up the fairytale characters! (Review by Caroline Smart)

Little Red Riding Hood makes an appearance but leaves her hooded cloak behind as she bounces off to new adventures. Cinderella picks up the cloak to warm herself after she’s made her midnight dash from the Prince’s castle in the pouring rain. Seeing the cloak, the Big Bad Wolf mistakes Cinderella for Little Red Riding Hood and is set on capturing her for his dinner. Snow White gets carried off by the Wolf, Goldilocks eats the poisoned apple and Cinderella’s Prince keeps making splendid exits only to be heard crashing into something far off!

As for Goldilocks’ Three Bears – they land up in the middle of all this chaos when all they want is a good bowl of porridge – or three!

The reason for all this muddle is that sangoma Candy and her little dog Floss have been in a library pouring over books dealing with the ancient art of bone throwing. So engrossed were they in their task that they didn’t notice that it’s way past closing time and they’ve been locked in.

Candy, a delightful Slindiwe Nodangala, desperately summons all her powers to call for help but the only response comes from Cinderella's ditsy Fairy Godmother “call me Mumsy” played with panache by Tammy Saville. They make an odd couple – Candy in traditional dress, albeit with a quirky headdress with a chicken motif, and Mumsy all a-froth with white net, sparkles and fluffy feathers. Mumsy’s headdress carries a doll’s face as does her wand and her fluffy slippers have Dalmation spots. Undaunted, Mumsy assures Candy that “as they’re both in the same business”, they’ll get this problem sorted.

That’s when things go wrong, setting off a rollercoaster ride of mild hilarious chaos, only pausing when “Mumsy” hits a high note to “freeze” the action!

Choreographed and directed by David Gouldie and running in the Playhouse Loft over the festive season, Chasing Tales is inspired by Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes. Originally created by the Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company with designs by Greg King, this is a revival of a production done close on ten years ago.

The cast features dancers Louise Fraquet-Golding (Cinderella), Nobuhle Khawula (Goldilocks); Denya Maslen (Snow White) and Jabu Siphika (Little Red Riding-Hood and The Witch), each performing a different dance style from cowboy hoedown to Irish jig.

Dressed flamboyantly as a matador, Vusi Makanya was a muscle-flexing prince and the Big Bad Wolf was played with much gusto by S’fiso Magesh Ngcobo. An undeniable audience favourite were the Three Bears played by Nkosinathi Mngomezulu (Father Bear, who cries real tears) and Sindiswa Nxele (Mother Bear) with Louise disguised as Baby Bear.

At productions like these, it’s always heartwarming to watch the reaction of the children as the sound of their uninhibited laughter rings out or they shout comments of support or warning. This show is a fine way of introducing a young child to the magic of theatre.

Chasing Tales runs in the Playhouse Loft until December 20 with shows Mondays to Saturdays at 10h00 and 12h00. Early booking is recommended. Book through Computicket on 083 915 8000, or call Playhouse Box Office on 031 369 9540/ 369 9596 (office hours). – Caroline Smart