Following its successful tour to New York last year, local theatre-goers can see Tin Bucket Drum at Cape Town's Kalk Bay Theatre. This beautiful production (which combines elements of magical realism, shadow puppetry, Kabuki theatre, and live percussion) tells the story of a spirited child who will not be silenced by an oppressive world.
Photo by Jesse Kramer
"When I was eight years old my father built me a wooden puppet box," said writer and designer Neil Coppen. "It folded down to fit in a car boot, so I could tour around children's birthday parties and share my stories for pocket money. Although I am now much older, I still feel like in many ways, I have the opportunity to travel with my puppet box to share my stories in places as far apart as New York and Cape Town."
So many elements of this production work well together. Mpume Mthombeni gives a dynamic and versatile performance as the girl and other townspeople, while percussionist Wake Mahlobo keeps the rhythm alive. All this is set to Coppen's rich script, which flows off the tongue like spoken poetry, bursting with vivid images and layered with powerful metaphor. All in all, Tin Bucket Drum is a sound that will not be silenced.
Tin Bucket Drum is at Cape Town's Kalk Bay Theatre until 8 September. Tickets are available from www.kbt.co.za.