Last week, Gasant Abarder attended the world premiere of the musical “Calling Us Home” at Artscape. The set of double tickets was left for him, with the name “Gasant Alexander” on the envelope. It turned out to be a fabulous night out, and Abarder wasn’t the only one dressed in casual attire.
The New Face of Theatre
The theater scene in Cape Town is evolving, with producers dabbling in multimedia and narrative to reach a wider audience. The Star Theatre’s “Maxeke: This work is not for yourselves” told the story of Charlotte Maxeke using puppetry, music, and narrative. The play was based on the doctoral dissertation of Dr. Thozama April, a fellow at the University of the Western Cape’s Centre for Humanities Research (CHR).
An Emotionally Charged Performance
At the world premiere of “Calling Us Home” at Artscape, Abarder was captivated by the story of Grace, a woman sent to the US from an unnamed African country by her soldier brother. The vocal performances left him with goosebumps, but the production could have done with a generous edit of 45 minutes to an hour.
A Fantastic Night Out
Despite the high price of snacks, the full house cheered and gave standing ovations. Ordinary folks like Abarder were thrilled to be back in the audience after the pandemic.
Theatre in Cape Town is Evolving
Theater in Cape Town is making a comeback, with cutting-edge, risky shows that aim to please both longtime theatergoers and newcomers with compelling stories. Provocative works like “Maxeke” and “Calling Us Home” are setting the bar high.
The Future of Theatre
Theatre in Cape Town may be changing, but its heart remains the same. The thorns among the roses will always be there, but the packed houses and enthusiastic audiences show that the future of theatre is bright. As Abarder said, “long may it continue!”