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Wednesday, September 18, 2013


(Mark Kay & Daisy Spencer)

Educational and entertaining piece should be compulsory viewing for all school pupils trying to come to terms with poetry. (Review by Keith Millar)

The Witness Hilton Arts Festival celebrated its 21st birthday this year and has without doubt come of age. However, it has lost none of its youthful exuberance and vitality. Hilton College remains a  joyful place to visit on festival week-end.

A production such as Greig Coetzee’s delightful Rhymes With Orange highlights this statement. This fresh and vibrant work is at once a gentle teenage love story and a celebration of the beauty of poetry. Coetzee has taken some of the matric prescribed works and some of his own favourites and created an upbeat, hilarious and innovative play which makes poetry both accessible and fun.

Romy (Daisy Spencer) is hard at work studying for her matric poetry exam. Her boyfriend Julius (Marc Kay) on the other hand is determined that they should forget studying and team up to become the next youTube Rap sensation.

As young people they are battling to establish their own identities and understand their relationship. They are also concerned about issues of the past such as Hitler’s holocaust, apartheid and Nelson Mandela’s incarceration.

Romy is also scared to commit to anyone because of her parents’ divorce. She wants to tell Julius that they can only be friends. He on the other hand is in love and wants to find a way to win her affections.

In each instance, poetry is used to illustrate the issue they are discussing. The inspirational words of Sylvia Plath, Shakespeare, Hillarie Belloc, William Blair, Cecil Day Lewis, Mongane Serote and Percy Bysshe Shelly amongst others are quoted during the story.

Daisy Spencer and Marc Kay are very talented actors and their performance in this production is sparkling, charming and energetic. Their delivery of the poetry is particularly noteworthy and is very well done. Direction is by the renowned slam poet Iain “Ewok” Robinson. 

Rhymes with Orange is both educational and very entertaining. It should be compulsory viewing for all school pupils who are trying to come to terms with poetry.

If you feel that your life feels like it doesn't rhyme anymore, maybe all that's missing from your soul is a bit of poetry”

-Keith Millar