A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

miscellaneous news
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

A CIRCUS ADVENTURE (article first published : 2006-04-5)

A long-standing member of the Durban entertainment scene as an actor, singer and pianist, Anthony Stonier makes his directorial debut in a charming theatre piece for children which he has also written. A Circus Adventure is running at the iZulu Theatre at Sibaya and features award-winning actor Rowan Bartlett alongside other adult pantomime regulars, Julia Clarence and Marc Kay. The show also introduces the amiable Sean de Klerk.

Fairly lost on the apron of the large iZulu Theatre – they’re performing in front of the Steve Hofmeyr set which is hidden behind the curtain - the show is aimed at children between the ages of four and 12 years. Given the vastness and steep raking of the iZulu and with the barest minimum of props – one box which at times sprouts a couple of banana leaves – and very little lighting, it is to the performers’ credit that they keep the youngsters fascinated.

We meet a snoring Bubble (Rowan Bartlett) at the beginning of the show, only to discover through his woeful tale that he is all alone and has lost his circus – bad news for a clown! Rowan gives his usual vigorous performance, extracting much humour from the script to the delight of the youngsters. Bubble – who hates broccoli and spinach, by the way - is about to search for his circus friends when along comes a pretty young princess (Julia Clarence) who has run away from her wicked stepmother to join a circus.

So, now – we have not one, but two, characters in search of a circus. Adding to the mayhem is a magic talking (‘cept this is a secret!) tiger energetically played by Sean de Klerk. All the way from India, the tiger’s name is Mr Tamil and he has the capacity to sleep through a whole brass band parade. This over-attention to sleeping means that he is easily trapped and before long, he’s captured by an evil ringmaster (nicely played by Marc Kay) who always gets his explanations wrong – his hands or body do one thing, while his words say the opposite.

There are lots of fun moments in the show, with Anthony Stonier’s comedy experience coming to the fore. It’s harmless and good natured fun and entertainment for all cultures.

It is also a boon for Suncoast visitors to be secure in the knowledge that their youngsters are being entertained in a safe environment for an hour or so. Suncoast management should think seriously about creating a smaller venue to house this kind of entertainment.

At the end of the performance, I felt more could have been made of the fact that the story itself had come to an end and a new “journey” is being undertaken with the invitation to the audience to meet the characters who then show them how to juggle and make balloon animals. There is face painting and lots more in this 90-minute programme of entertainment.

I look forward to seeing this little show at another venue in the future where it can introduce sets and props to add to the atmosphere.

A Circus Adventure is presented by Sue Clarence Promotions and runs until April 17 at the iZulu Theatre at Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom with shows at 11h00 and 14h00 each day. Tickets R35 (group discounts available). Bookings through Sibaya box office on 031 580 5555 or Computicket. – Caroline Smart




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart