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THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA (article first published : 2007-07-12)

If you are young at heart or – better still - have youngsters to entertain, make your way to the Durban Botanic Gardens to see the Actors Co-Operative’s production of The Princess and the Pea.

Directed by Garth Anderson, The Princess and the Pea has a cast of four talented young actors – Raeesa Abdul Karrim as the Royal Storyteller Scheherazade; Rory Booth as Queen Bess; Loyiso MacDonald as King Godfrey and Danville Ross as Prince William.

Clever puppetry was used to tell the story of Prince William from the Royal Kingdom of Sibaya, embarking on a journey to find a Real Princess. The puppets we meet are Princess Meemee, Princess Truly, Princess Kirrimambumbo and - wait for it - Princess Rosa Esmeralda Carmen Miranda Quantanamera Wa-hi-ha Quantanamera Quantanamera We-hi-ha Quantanamera Cu-cu-ru-cu-coo Paloma Cu-cu-ru-co-co-oo-ooo Palo-o-oma-a una Paloma Blanca la Cucaracha la Cucaracha la-di-di-di-di-di-di Delarosa (Princess Rosie for short!!!).

In this charming story for young people, the ever talented Raeesa Abdul Karrim is delightful as the fortune cooking-eating Princess Meemee from Nepaul. Raeesa has played parts in Lotus FM Radio Drama serials What We Want To See, Cookie in the Kitchen, Psycho Art, GrandAsia Lodge, Blue Alert and the soon to be aired The Waiting Room. In the Actors Co-Operative’s production of Cinderella, she played the wicked stepmother.

Rory Booth has featured in Feeling Good, Stagestruck, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Hamlet. Loyiso MacDonald has acted in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Great Shakes and Tata Ma Chance. Danville Ross also appeared in Tata Ma Chance.

The Princess and the Pea is amusingly staged (and very modern) with references made to Mugg and Bean, Spur, Milkylane, the Mixit chatline and a host of television programmes like Nip/Tuck, Bachelor, The Bold and The Beautiful and the Amazing Race, to name a few.

During the amazing race to find a real princess, we meet Princess Kirrimambumbo who has jumped the Comrades Marathon – yes, she jumped INTO a Kombi at the start of the race and jumped OUT of the Kombi at the end of the race!

A real princess has soft, delicate skin. So, when Princess Truly seeks shelter from the rain at the Royal Kingdom of Sibaya, what better way to do “The Real Princess Test”, than dash off to Pick n Pay to scratch up a pea or two and place it under a stack of 20 mattresses from Mattress King!

The 90 minute production of The Princess and the Pea was enjoyed by young and old alike, with lots of audience participation from the little ones. So mums, dads, aunts and uncles, grannies and grandpas, head down to the Curators Gardens at Durban’s Botanic Gardens on a journey that will take you up, up and away to see if it’s a bird (no), is it a plane (no), it’s Super Princess in The Princess and the Pea. The run has since been extended to July 21 and you can catch performances daily at 11h00 (no performances Sundays). Tickets R50 (R40 under 12’s and pensioners).

A colouring-in competition is held before the show, so families are advised to arrive early. Rugs, picnic blankets and cushions should be brought to this delightful al fresco entertainment. Tickets are available an hour before each performance, or on the Actors Co-operative’s 24 hour Booking Line 084 422 1 422. – Pauline Dalais




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