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Friday, January 15, 2010


Delightful behind the scenes experience in a French restaurant performed by Gaetan Schmid using mime, physical theatre and amazing sound effects. (Review by Maurice Kort)

The 2010 Musho Festival, the fifth in the series, is dubbed the Musho Mini Festival this year because of its reduced size to only four days, January 14 to 17. This is as a result of many of the previous sponsors not coming to the party, for various reasons. The festival opened last night with a capacity audience with a great “first night” buzz.

The play was Rumpsteak, a one-hander in this festival of one and two person theatre, hosted at the Catalina Theatre, Wilson’s Wharf, by the Performing Arts Network of South Africa (PANSA), named “Musho”, Zulu for an enthusiastic praise response, similar to “Bravo!” The Musho Festival covers various forms of theatre, mime, physical theatre, drama and comedy.

Rumpsteak, directed by comedy mega-star Rob Van Vuuren, departed in so many ways from the traditional and what one could expect, being a respectful nod to mime, physical theatre and comedy. To start with, the performer, Gaetan Schmid, was hovering around the stage and in the background during Festival Director Emma Durden’s welcoming speech in which she mentioned the lack of sponsorship. Emma Durden also paid tribute to Pentravel, the only sponsor - not forgetting the Catalina Theatre which had generously waived all charges for the festival. This departure from the norm by Gaetan Schmid is actually most endearing and he forms an instant rapport with the audience.

Gaetan Schmid then clarifies that, as the play will be in French, an explanation is required of the various French terms which will be used. These refer to the various French culinary delights, from entrées and fish and meat dishes to their accompaniments and desserts. These he details in a most hilarious and charming manner, as only the French can do - despite his claim that he is Belgian, and the French always claim the best of Belgium as French, giving Jacques Brel as one of several examples. I found this preamble to his enactment of the busy chef behind the scenes of a French restaurant the best part of the show but his chef routine, also depicting smooth waiters, is a tour de force combining mime, physical theatre and an amazing compilation of sound effects, expertly recorded.

There were a couple of minor technical glitches on the opening night but Gaetan Schmid handled them most professionally and amusingly.

Because of the shortened length of the festival most of the seven productions on offer have only one performance, so study the programme (on or and don’t miss out. Rumpsteak is one of the only two which will have a second performance, on January 15 (tonight) at 20h00. If you read this in time, rush to book at the Catalina Theatre on 031 305 6889 or email Tickets are also available online at or on their website at or at / Tickets R50 (R25 pensioners and students R25) and there are special three show deals or a five ticket special. – Maurice Kort