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THERE is a new dinner and theatre venue in town, and to date it is one of the best-kept secrets in the Mother City. Richard Loring’s Sea Point Supper Stage boasts that a visit here will allow visitors to add “quality entertainment to their Cape Town itinerary.” This is certainly apt.
The live show, Kaapse Stories from the Mother City, happens around the tables between courses, and not only on a dedicated stage. So a visit here is actually more about the entire experience of eating authentic Cape cuisine, sitting in a well-designed room while enjoying the shenanigans of a few local artists. And, while said experience is not entirely unfamiliar to locals, it is one that will delight overseas visitors with its narratives about life in the Cape, from the apartheid era and beyond.
Loring, producer of the successful African Footprint production, has teamed up with tourism entrepreneur, Roland Seidel, to launch this new establishment. The 200-seater Supper Stage is upstairs, and the venue also boasts a throwback to 50 years of Loring’s involvement in the show business industry with a picturesque 45-seater bistro on the ground level for daytime visitors . The Bistro opens its doors at 7.30am.
“Richard’s Supper Stage and Bistro was established to create a space that is a sustainable business, as a source of employment for between 60 and 70 people in the food and beverage industry, and of course, to employ local talent to star in the shows,” Loring says.
Kaapse Stories is written and directed by Basil Appollis. Using narrator Mr Klentjies, played by Royston Stoffels, it tells the story of the Cape Town-based Klentjies family as they travel through the years, sharing their yarns of happiness and woe. It would not be fitting to tell more – this is one of those journeys best left to the discoverer to learn about for him or herself. There are some poignant moments and the voices of some of the performers will blow you away.
The production is a cabaret with an interactive element. About the actual choice for the story and its development, Loring says: “It is always going to be a work-in-progress. Theatre should be like that – organic. It will be tweaked and changed as it goes along, but most important for us when we first came up with the concept and started putting it together, was that it remained authentic and that it is told in a correct and inclusive manner.
“The story represents an intimate portrayal of the rainbow nation. For me it was important to create a setting for this story to be told as naturally as possible, and even if an audience member takes one piece of new information home with them, I would have achieved my goal,” adds Loring.
Kaapse Stories, the content of which is largely aimed at the international market, will run for a few months, but the venue also has plans to host play-readings, jazz bands and comedy evenings.
Does he have plans to draw more international visitors to Richard’s Supper Stage? “Having already promoted the venue at a Berlin Indaba, my partner Roland, along with three cast members, also attended the Durban Indaba. We have also been hosting Cape Town Tourism, tour operators, hotel concierges and event planners in order for them to pass on to visitors our unique supper and show experience,” he says.
In his view, Loring encourages patrons to “come visit Richard’s, because apart from offering authentic cuisine, my collaboration with award-winning colleague Basil Appollis on a vibrant new-style revue from the Mother City, while uplifting the spirits, offers an amazing insight into the diverse community of Cape Town.”
l Richard’s Supper Stage is on the corner of Main and Glengariff roads in Sea Point. Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays from 7pm. Tickets are R400, inclusive of the three-course buffet. Call 021 434 4497, or 076 144 4809 or e-mail germandt @richardscapetown.co.za