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Sunday, September 24, 2017


An excellent and thought-provoking piece of theatre. (Review by Caroline Smart)

One of the highlights of the recent Hilton Arts Festival was the inclusion of two plays from the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town - Karoo Moose and The Inconvenience of Wings.

I managed to see Karoo Moose and was extremely moved by its message and impressed by its presentation. Lara Foot is a highly acclaimed playwright, director and producer – and justifiably so.

The talented cast which included Bongile Mantsai and Zoleka Helesi, along with Chuma Sopotela, Mdu Kweyama, Thami Mbongo and Mfundo Tshazibane display their extensive versatility in performing key characters as well as doubling up to play a number of additional roles. I was particularly enchanted with the actors playing children – kneeling, using children’s voices and holding up tiny outfits.

To quote the programme notes: “this is a story of pain, redemption and hope. It cleverly and creatively combines traditional African storytelling and magical realism and has already garnered 18 prestigious local theatre awards. In an impoverished village in the Karoo, a young girl, Thozama, struggles to survive. Her life is changed forever after her father uses her to pay his gambling debt.”

Interwoven with this, is the story of the moose that is running wild around the countryside. A strange choice of creature for South Africa but it is said that the moose was on its way to a zoo but escaped the truck. Thozama ends up killing the moose but at the same time using it to wreak her own vengeance on the man who has abused her.

Amid the pain, turmoil and suffering, there is much humour as well as an endearing love theme.

The actors don’t leave the stage which is surrounded by a multitude of props. I was fascinated by the use of palm fronds to create the moose’s antlers and create rain sounds. The birth of Thozama’s child was brilliantly handled.

An excellent and thought-provoking piece of theatre. – Caroline Smart