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Saturday, January 16, 2010


Report on the opening of the Musho Mini Festival 2010 and the production “Rumpsteak”. (Review by Shika Budhoo)

The Musho Festival 2010 opened with the one-man show Rumpsteak directed by Rob van Vuuren and performed by Belgian born, Gaetan Schmid. This year’s festival is a shorter festival running from January 14 to 17. Emma Durden, Musho Festival Director, in her opening speech welcomed guests, special invited guests and theatre patrons of the festival giving big thanks to Pentravel, the only company that came to the party in funding this year’s Musho Festival. The venue for Musho 2010 is the Catalina Theatre, at Wilson’s Wharf, offered to the festival free of charge by Catalina Theatre head Themi Venturas. The change in festival schedule means the majority of shows in the festival have only one performance with exceptions being the two shows, Rumpsteak and Iain ‘Ewok’ Robinson Is Live, as they are the shows respectively opening and closing the festival. This year’s festival programme, as usual, offers a range of theatre pieces from different genres and dealing with a variant of issues from show to show. Although a shorter festival, it promises audiences theatre that stimulates the senses and psyche. (See

Rumpsteak is a one-man show, entirely in French and extremely physical in presentation. This show takes us through the spontaneous as well as the routine activities in a French restaurant’s kitchen and front of house. Gaetan Schmid, a highly skilled physical theatre performer, along with a soundtrack of sound effects (the majority which sounded vocally formed and recorded) expressing the sounds heard in a typical restaurant; takes an audience member aurally and visually into this environment playing all the known characters expected in a busy business such as this. Jacqueline, the beautiful waitress with a distinctive hip swagger; Rocky, the dark and broody in-house butcher (meat-cutter); Jacque, the suave skilled and over the top barman as well as other devoted, dodgy and neurotic characters that can be found on both sides of the kitchen door in any restaurant.

If you’re worried about the language being an alienating element, don’t be! Before the show, Gaetan gives a mini French lesson on expected French words used in any restaurant. He performs the entire show on a square-tiled block centre stage and the lights are simply designed to depict the two locations, the kitchen and the restaurant front of house. Accompanying me to this show was a friend fluent in French, from Mauritius, and although she may have been the only one in the audience to fully understand the language and its link to the physically expressed, with all the subtle jokes in between, we both enjoyed the show somewhat equally, due to it belonging in the physical theatre category. In its presentation, the show does not distance the audience, and the performer with his jolly demeanour in the French lesson, leaves the audience confident with their knowledge of specific French words, you learn and end up knowing enough to understand and appreciate the play.

Rumpsteak has a second performance on January 15th at 20h00. Tickets R50 (R25 concessions). All-day tickets for Saturday or Sunday are R100. Call the Catalina Theatre on 031 305 6889 to book your ticket for this year’s Musho Festival. And check out for updates and a festival programme. -Shika Budhoo