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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

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‘From Koe’siestes to Kneidlach - With Kids!’ is a riot

Chantal Stanfield on stage in From Koe’siestes to Kneidlach - With Kids. Supplied

Chantal Stanfield on stage in From Koe’siestes to Kneidlach - With Kids. Supplied

Published May 7, 2022

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Actress, dancer and puppeteer Chantal Stanfield returns with the highly-anticipated sequel “From Koe’siestes to Kneidlach - With Kids!,” currently on at the Theatre on The Square, Sandton.

Stanfield says she’s waited two years to tell this hilarious, bizarre, funny, yet true story of what happens when a girl from the Cape Flats falls in love with a Jewish boy from Joburg's East Rand.

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Directed by Megan Choritz, the production highlights cross cultural, religious and racial issues, with love at the centre of it all.

The show picks up a few years after the mixed-race, happy couple gets married and rides off into the Shabbat sunset. Now there's a “beige” baby on the way with a myriad of cultural, religious and familial issues to manoeuvre in a very comical way.

“The two food items in the name of the show reflect the two cultures represented in the inter-faith, intercultural, inter-everything marriage,” explains Stanfield.

“Koe’siestes, not to be confused with the twisted, Afrikaaner treat koeksusters, is an aromatic, syrupy, coconut-dusted Cape Malay doughnut. Kneidlach are Jewish soup dumplings made from matzo meal.

“My co-producer at Theatre On The Square, Daphne Kuhn, came up with that name when we started talking about the very first show! Now, the addition ‘With Kids’ to this new sequel speaks to navigating all the cultural, religious and racial issues but with a pregnancy thrown in.”

Chantal Stanfield on stage in From Koe’siestes to Kneidlach - With Kids. Supplied

The show is entertaining and informative, and a truly “local is lekker” narrative with a twist.

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“This show speaks to all South Africans; you don't have to belong to a specific culture or religion to enjoy it and have levels of relatability.

“With my upbringing as a brown child during apartheid, going to former ‘whites only’ school, and then being in a vastly representative industry, I have had the good fortune to be able to see who people are beyond the restrictions we place on ourselves.

“I celebrate what makes people unique but I also believe that there is so much beauty in our diversity."

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With over two years of the ongoing global pandemic and lockdown restrictions, the arts and entertainment space continue to feel the pinch.

Reflecting on some of her experiences and the impact of the pandemic, Stanfield says, “Before this show opened this week, the last time I was on stage was January 2020 before the pawpaw hit the fan.

“That's a huge knock financially, never mind creatively and spiritually. So much of an artist's process and life is about collaboration, in rehearsal rooms, in front of the camera etc. So to have that stripped away and forced into a solitude of sorts is hugely depleting and depressing.”

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With that said, patrons are encouraged to go back to theatres and enjoy thrilling live shows because this is the only way to get the arts industry “back on track and fully alive again.”

“From Koe’siestes to Kneidlach - With Kids” is currently on at the Theatre on The Square until May 21. Tickets are available at Computicket for R180.

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