As a child of 43 I wasn’t sure that this was the show for me but the title intrigued my inner child and I have loved other productions by Contagious Theatre. The Boy Who Cried Ninja is based on the children’s book of the same name by Alex Latimer.
The show revolves around a boy called Tim who has the strangest things happen to him and usually results in him getting into trouble but it isn’t his fault and nobody believes him. After a series of these encounters with a ninja, a crocodile, an astronaut and an octopus, resulting in Tim having to rake the leaves as his punishment, Tim comes up with a plan to show that he hasn’t been making up stories.
Taryn Bennett plays Tim, and is completely believable as Tim, to the extent that children in the audience engage with her completely on their own level. It is a complete joy to watch as the youngsters in the audience talk back and interact with Tim as one of their own, with one young boy in the audience even challenging Tim to a race across the stage.
I was unaware of the book until I heard about this production when it was staged in Sandton in December last year, as a bonus, the author Alex Latimer was in the audience for the performance I chose to see. The joy this show brought to both the audience and the author of the book was a pleasure to witness. As a result of this production, Santa will be adding this book to my niece’s Christmas stockings in a couple of years.
If you are at the festival with children, then I recommend this be added to your list of shows to see.
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