A kiddies concert

I have by now become accustomed to Durbanville Preparatory school’s annual concerts.  This year was no exception.  And it matters not what concert they come up with, there is space for everyone to participate.

On Friday night we sent to see one of the series of concerts.

Roar!  (Lion King).

We arrive early and get our seats with a good view.  Excitement abound.  A family ranging three generations moves into the seats in front of us.   The father takes place in front of me. Now I have only a view of his bulk in front of me.  With a bit of gymnastics I can see past him.  But it is a bit like going  to the drive-in and to have to park behind the only tree in the middle of the parking area.

The concert kicks off with the majestic music of Circle of Life.  The props and costumes are cunningly done.  Giraffes, leopards, zebras, and of course the lion clan.  It is a sea of movement, colours and sound.  The kind of stuff that gives you goosebumps.

The elephants remind me of my first encounter with the world of performing arts.  In my first grade I was a mouse in the consert.  We were dressed up in overall kind of suits, with mouse faces of carton to be stapled behind our heads with pantyhose.  I can’t remember much of the concert.  As you can imagine, the grade 1 mice would not have had the most exciting part in the concert.  I do remember, though, that the teacher accidentally put the stapler right through my friend’s ear.  She then accidentally put the other stapler through his other ear.   She said it was an accident.  Yeah, right.

But I digress.

Some of the songs deviates slightly from the script, with tongue in the cheeck use of other songs.  Such as the SABC news jingle for the Morning Report.  Some Afrikaans music and Mango Groove songs render a very African and Afrikaans character to the play.

There is so much to see, with so many actors and constant movement.  Sometimes one misses the good stuff.  Like the young Nala pulling faces behind the back of Zazu, the annoying bird.  And the hiena’s laughter remains infectuous.

Sometimes the greatest fun happens in the background, albeit unintended.  Obviously the main characters had been chosen based on their ability to act.  Leaving those making up the background numbers sometimes, well, less than expert actors.  So, concentrating on the background actors really render some gems.  Here one would dance in the wrong direction, or be totally off rhythm. Some of the boy fireflies clearly were not comfortable dancing with the girl butterflies. I see a great future (although it may turn out to be an impossible feat) for local dance schools to prepare some of these boys for their matric farewell dance ten years from now.

The scene where the buffalos take out Mufasa is so well executed.  In spite of the buffalos remaining on one spot whilst simmulating movement each with two painted buffalo heads in their hands, it is a lively and realistic scene.

In scene 7 we meet Pumba and Timone.   It must be great fun to play these two oddballs. The two actors clearly enjoyed themselves, their faces telling the story more vividly than any dialogue could.    All the costumes were expertly done.  But I felt a tinge of jealousy for Pumba’s costume.  Man, how cool was that.  I can just imagine myself walking through the local mall dressed in that suit.  But then again, given the current spate of mall robberies I’ll probably get shot before I can get near a jewellery store.

The music and choreography are brilliantly paired.  On Waka-Waka we had Rafiki and two unidentified grade one actors doing a brilliant rendition of Shakira at her best.  And eventually, on the beat of “Everybody does kung fu fighting,” Simba rids his world of Scar, with the play ending with Kate Perry’s “Roar”.

I even went home with the following pearl of wisdom:

“Put your behind in your past”, advises Pumba, with a little fart to drive home the point.

Hakuna Mutata, ek sê.


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