A true theatrical treat

2011-12-08 00:00

THE heroine in the Playhouse Company’s festive-season offering Cinderella, is no put-upon, I need a hero kind of girl — instead she is feisty and determined to make her dreams come true.

Playing the title role is Nondumiso Tembe, who delivers Rogers and Hammerstein’s lyrics with purity and conviction, and is especially good in the soulful In My Own Little Corner.

Tembe also works well with her handsome co-star Ryan Flynn (son of the late Bill Flynn), who plays Prince Christopher. Their duet, Do I Love You ­Because You’re Beautiful?, is a ­delight. Flynn’s prince is idealistic and determined to settle for nothing less than the love his parents King Maximillian ­(Cobus Venter) and Queen ­Constantine (Marion Louden) enjoy.

But even while you’re rooting for young love to triumph, it’s the over-the-top performances delivered by Durban actresses Lisa Bobbert, Clare Mortimer and Krystle Temmerman (who play Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters) that make you laugh out loud.

Bobbert steals pretty much every scene she’s in. She orders her daughters around like a ­parade-ground sergeant and despairs of them ever finding suitable (that is rich) husbands to keep her in the style to which she’s become accustomed.

Mortimer’s dry and somewhat ditsy Joy is a far cry from her usual dramatic performances and is great fun to watch. She even has a go at wearing ballet point shoes. It’s wonderful to see one of the province’s best actresses having such a good time on stage. She’s well matched with Temmerman as the awkward Grace and their duet, Step-sister’s Lament — which is performed while clinging to a statue of cupid — was one of my favourite moments in the show.

I also loved Darren King as Lionel, the prince’s long-suffering steward; and soprano, Lauren Dasappa, who was a hit with the audience as the fairy godmother with Indian roots.

Add to that colourful costumes and sets and the accompaniment of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Lykele Temmingh, and what you get is a true theatrical treat.

 

• Cinderella runs in the Playhouse Opera Theatre until December 31. Booking is at Computicket.

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