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Monday, January 20, 2014


Short, sharp and sweet. (Review by Keith Millar)

Short, sharp and sweet is an apt description of this concise and entertaining one hander seen at the Musho! Festival at the Catalina Theatre on Saturday evening.

Written and directed by previous Musho! Audience Favourite Award winner, Samson Mlambo, it tells the story of a young rural man who is determined to complete his schooling. He gets up at 4 o’clock every morning and walks 10 kilometres to get to school. He is a good scholar and should succeed, but there is one big problem. He can’t afford the school fees.

The young man tells his story as he is getting ready for school in the morning. He introduces several characters who play a part in his life. We meet his drunken uncle, a very camp mathematics teacher, neighbors and school friends among others.

While he tells his story he is constantly paying attention to his pair of shoes which are the most splendid and brightly shinning pair I have ever seen. They are magnificent, and he explains that they must “shine like a star for a brighter future”.

In an effort to raise enough money for school fees he starts a shoe shining business and so is given his nick name of The Shoe Man.

Mlambo’s play is ultimately a feel good story about the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. However, he does use the opportunity to make a few succinct comments about the government’s lack of service delivery.

The role of The Shoe Man is played by an engaging and affable Reggie Ndlovu. He plays the part with much gusto and energy and keeps the action rollicking along from beginning to end. He was particularly amusing with his use of vocal sound effects to depict actions such as the shoe polishing ritual, or the maths teacher writing on the blackboard.

The Shoe Man is a good-humoured and topical story which kept the rather raucous audience fully entertained throughout. With its feel-good nature and its positive message, this production could serve as a very good motivational resource.

The Musho! Festival is presented by PANSA with support from Twist Theatre Development Projects, The KZN Department of Arts and Culture, The Daily News, BASA and the Arts and Culture Trust (ACT). For more details of the rest of the programme visit – Keith Millar