African Adventures was on at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre a while back and it won the Naledi Award for Children’s Theatre back then. It returned all too briefly to The Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City in mid-December 2013 (11-13 December to be accurate).
I was once again charmed, as were the three young people with me for this wonderful theatrical treat looking at one of the great scourges of our time, rhino poaching. The stupidity and futility of poaching is explained without any of the trauma, making it suitable for even the tiny tots.
The actors become animals using their bodies together with puppetry, and we meet Lynette, a Posh Giraffe, as well as Malcolm, a Funky Monkey as they go about their quest to help their two rhino friends, Ricky and Rachael, survive in the wild despite the efforts of some evil poachers, Frik and Murdoch. En route we meet Olivia Ostrich and Tommy and Taliep, the terrible meerkat twins.
The characters are charming and the message is one of conservation and anti-littering, simple enough for the smallest child to understand and sufficiently meaningful to enchant the adults.
Presented by Paisley Productions, African Adventure, Family Musical, was seen at The Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City on 12 December 2013. Music was by Mark van den Berg, and it is absolutely wonderful, as was the entire production. Sadly I was not given a cast list so as to be able to acknowledge all the cast members.