Fun children's show

2008-04-10 00:00

Childrens Theatre:

Bobbin and the Mystic Pathway

Hexagon Theatre

LOOKING for something to do with the children over the last weekend of the holidays? The Drama and Performance Studies Department on the local university campus and the Hexagon Theatre are presenting Geoff Bamber’s Bobbin and the Mystic Pathway, a cheerful romp with a wicked witch, a Bollywood-style dragon slayer, a Pied Piper (of Polokwane as well as Hamelin in Peter Mitchell’s version) and assorted other characters. There’s even a village idiot, a reassuringly politically incorrect designation in these careful times.The cast are students and, ably backed by Justin Southey and his music — he also wrote the lyrics — they delighted the audience at the first performance yesterday.

There is a big cast, some more assured than others, but the play is energetic, fun, and looks good with attractive costumes on a bright

set.

The witch Phlegma is set to terrorise the town, and the council decides to seal the mystic pathway, the only route in and out. A reluctant Bobbin is given the job of keeping it closed, and defeating the witch, with the help of the village idiot and a group of stranded

travellers and the hindrance of the local rapid response team. At the back of Bobbin’s mind is a feeling that there is something not quite right about the witch, but only at the end does he come up with the right secret weapon.

Nobantu Khumalo’s Bobbin, Richard West’s idiot, narrators Marianthe Kaldelis and Zamani Mcina and Catherine Wagner as Phlegma all do a good job, with Phlegma managing to give the smallest members of the audience a satisfactory scare.

There were one or two moments, particularly in the songs, where diction became an issue, but in

general Bobbin offers good entertainment for the pre-teens — much better than hanging round the mall.

Margaret von Klemperer

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