Madagascar, the stage production – My View by Robyn Sassen

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Robyn Sassen

A freelance arts writer since 1998, I fell in love with the theatre as a toddler, proved rubbish as a ballerina: my starring role was as Mrs Pussy in Noddy as a seven-year-old, and earned my stripes as an academic in Fine Arts and Art History, in subsequent years. I write for a range of online and print publications, including the Sunday Times, the Mail & Guardian and artslink.co.za and was formerly the arts editor of the SA Jewish Report, a weekly newspaper with which I was associated for 16 years.
Robyn Sassen

WARNING: THIS SHOW FEATURES THE USE OF STROBE LIGHTS

Madagascar

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STEAK comes from where?! A monkey (Bradley Hartmann) explains hard jungle truths to domesticated Marty the Zebra (Thokozani Jiyane) and Alex the Lion (Luciano Zuppa). Photograph courtesy People’s Theatre.

IF YOU ARE complacent about feeding your youngsters a hefty uncritical dose of colonial platitudes, dished out by adult performers dressed in furry onesies, look no further. With lashings of strobes, pepperings of shrieks and frantic chases around the auditorium, Madagascar is a wild experience. It might not be every child’s proverbial cup of tea, however.

The exercise of translating a film-length cartoon into a live theatre performance is a strange one, on so many levels. Granted, it is part of a highly successful franchise opportunity, but from a creative perspective, or a philosophical one, it feels odd. This is simply because of the enormous differences in energy in the two approaches to storytelling, which effectively…

To read the complete post please visit https://robynsassenmyview.com/2019/07/20/wild-beasts-caught-in-a-franchise/

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