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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Kickstart's The Emperor's New Clothes: Review

(Many thanks for this review by Carol King)

Kickstart have done it again. In arrangement with DALRO (Pty Limited), they have brought magic to the stage once more. Together with the music of Stephen Flaherty and the lyrics and book by Lynne Ahrens, the show is a wonderful mini musical - just perfect for the school holidays. It is also a show that does justice to the talents of everyone involved.
The musical is based on Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale which is concerned with a vain and selfish emperor who is obsessed with his outer appearance. Ahrens and Flaherty change the story somewhat and present the emperor as a 14-year-old who is insecure in his new role as leader. He is a bookworm and has to learn whom he should trust. Making friends with the lowly scrub boy along the way, the young emperor comes to realise that clothes do not make the person and that friendship and telling the truth are important. In typical musical style, the story is told through both the spoken word and song.
Directed by the talented Steven Stead and with the amazing set design by Greg King, the stage transports the audience into the world of the emperor. Roland Perold takes on several roles - musical director, vocal arrangements and the character of the Swindler. He is ably supported by Lyle Buxton (William, advisor to the emperor), Marion Loudon (Deena, the clothesmaker), Mthokozisi Zulu (Arno, the scrub boy) and, of course, Daniel Anderson in the title role as Emperor Marcus lll. Amahle Tembe, Roshanda Lewis and Keryn Lynne Scott take on the roles of the three villagers. All the actors have an amazing presence on the stage and the audience can easily relate to the characters they portray.
The duration of the show is 65 minutes - definitely a mini musical. But it is a show that keeps you entertained throughout and wanting more at the end.
The show runs from 14 June - 7 July at the Sneddon Theatre. It is a must for holiday entertainment.