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Magical festive shows for kids

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FESTIVE FARE: A scene from Lara Foots Scrooge, also on the Baxters line-up.

The festive season is not just about giving and receiving presents, it’s also about spending time with the family, and sometimes that means doing something on the artsy side, like taking the kids to the theatre, writes Theresa Smith.


THEATRE during the end-of-year holidays is very much family-oriented, and it doesn’t get any more Christmassy than A Christmas Carol.

The Baxter chief executive, Lara Foot, makes a welcome return to the director’s chair with Scrooge, her adaptation of Charles Dickens’s much-favoured story.

The family classic has already previewed at the Baxter and will run until January 23.

The Flipside Stage the Baxter will present Fred Abrahamse’s Hansel and Gretel (see review on page 5) until tomorrow.

The Lilliput Players have just returned from a trip to Qatar where they performed three of their most recent shows.

Elton John Duffy, founder of the Children’s Theatre Company, says the trip showed him that Capetonians are very lucky with the number of children’s works available when compared to the Arabic state.

While the theatre they used was state-of-the-art and very organised, the ticket prices were expensive in comparison and the response by the audience showed that people do not get much by way of entertainment aimed at families.

In Cape Town they will be performing Cinderella for the first time in 20 years, and this time around they are doing it pantomime style.

Duffy was going to reprise that first show he did at the Baxter, but then his original musical notes were stolen, so he had to rethink the whole idea.

They will perform Cinderella at the Nassau Theatre, on the grounds of Groote Schuur High School on Palmyra Road in Newlands, until Saturday, December 21 at 10am (excluding Sundays).

Lilliput Players will perform Red Riding Hood at Cavendish Mall until December 21 at 2pm in the empty shop opposite Edgars on The Link side.

Tickets for both shows are R50 from Computicket or Shoprite/ Checkers stores.

The Lilliput Players will also present a free performance of Keep on Dancing at noon in the Edgar’s Court until December 21.

Jungle Theatre will present an updated version of Hoerikwaggo at the Kalk Bay Theatre between Thursday and Saturday (see page 2 for details).

Then, Pedro the Music Man returns to Kalk Bay Theatre with a new summer storytelling show, Baby Monkey’s Bananas and Other Stories. The show is aimed at children aged one to five and includes four separate stories.

Supported by fellow performer Portia Mntuyedwa, they tell stories and make music while inviting children to help them make sound pictures and play instruments.

Baby Monkeys Bananas and Other Stories at Kalk Bay Theatre on December 21, 23 and 24 and 27 plus January 3, 4 and 6 to 11 at 11am. Tickets: R50 from www.kbt.co.za.

Cape Town City Ballet’s (CTCB) new production of The Tin Soldier lends itself to the Christmas season because it starts off with a little boy being given the present of a new tin soldier by his guardian. Choreographer Robin van Wyk has drawn on members of the Junior CTCB as well as all the principals from the senior company to spread some festive cheer between tomorrow and December 24.

Winnie the Pooh moves from the foyer into Artscape Theatre proper until December 21 at 10am.

Directed by Cheryl Abromowitz, the children’s play sees the friends from the Hundred Acre Wood look for the woozle, celebrate Eeyore’s birthday, find food for Tigger and go on an adventure to discover the North Pole.

Tickets are R70 from Computicket or Artscape Dial-A-Seat at 021421 7695. No kids under one year old and no prams.

Between Friday and January 14 GrandWest will host all manner of buskers in the Hendrick Broom Gardens to keep children entertained. The day will start at noon with face painting and mimes, craft making and entertainers will keep it up until 8pm.

Older children looking for geekier pursuits might be keen to check out Da Vinci – The Genius on exhibition at Chavonnes Battery Museum on the Clock Tower precinct at the V&A Waterfront until February 9.

While the exhibition is inter-active, it’s more about encouraging you to explore more than it is a comprehensive look at every single bit of work Da Vinci ever made, which would be impossible.

On the cinematic side Disney’s Frozen will be big favourite, but for something a little closer to home, The Labia Theatre on Orange Street will be screening Felix, the award-winning story of the boy who wants to follow in his jazz-mad father’s footsteps and become a musician.

Both start December 20.

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