Frolicking kids’ fun

2012-01-10 00:00

FRESH from his award-winning success with the delightful children’s production Fantastical Flea Circus, Clinton Marius is preparing to debut his latest child-friendly production, i-Puppeti, at the Musho Festival of One and Two-Hander Theatre in Durban from tomorrow until January 15.

i-Puppeti is described as a fun and frolicking­ show for primary and pre-primary school children, which explores the many types of puppets and puppetry, including sock, hand, stick, string, shadow and giant puppets.

Asked why he had decided to create the show, Marius, the writer and creator of Lotus FM’s hit daily comedy soapie, Lollipop Lane, said: “Fantastical Flea Circus was the first children’s show I’d done. I felt out of my depth, but then it was so well received and went on to win awards, so I felt I should explore the genre­ a bit more.

“I find it so satisfying to write something for children. They want to be delighted. They’re not like adults who sit down in the theatre, cross their arms and go: ‘Impress me’.”

Marius, who grew up in Pietermaritzburg, says his use of puppets was deliberate as he was keen to encourage children to get into puppetry and more importantly the various puppets helped teach children­ valuable lessons, including self-acceptance, friendship, listening to parents­, eating healthily, exercising, how damaging bullying can be, and that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

i-Puppeti stars two of Lollipop Lane’s much-loved performers, Shika Budhoo (The Fantastical Flea Circus, Shika-land, Spice ‘n Stuff, Jimbo) and Mpume Mthombeni (Tin Bucket Drum, Amagamma Amathathu, Brer Rabbit and Friends, Godspell).

Marius said he was thrilled with his cast: “I really wanted to work with women­ this year and I knew both girls really well because they’re in Lollipop Lane.”

The writer-director is also working on another new theatre piece — Knock, Knock — which Mthombeni will star in.

The show will be directed by Karen Logan­ and looks at the issue of vigilantism and witchburning. Marius hopes that it will be staged at the Playhouse Women’s Festival later this year.

Meanwhile, he’s concentrating on i-Puppeti­ and says that after the show’s premiere at the Musho Festival (it will be staged at 10 am on January 14 in the Catalina Theatre) he’s hoping to take the show to schools and theatre venues in Pietermaritzburg­ and the midlands.

Tickets for i-Puppeti are R50 (R30 for pensioners and children under 12) at 031 305 6889 or at www.strictly tickets.com

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