If I have said it once I have said it a thousand times – theatre is indeed magical. I sit there before a show, in anticipation, and when the lights go down, I am still invigorated by the thought of where the “players” will be taking me this time. And, whether brilliant or terrible with a capital “T”, said production can still stimulate one’s thoughts.
Questions such as: Why do I think it is good/bad? Am I perhaps just a nit-picker? Why did the rest of the audience love it so much then? Am I perhaps getting old, more arrogant, and less tolerant? Do I not understand all that happened before me? etc etc invariably play on my mind…stay tuned for these and other important introspective questions.
Part of getting older, wiser and fatter is the ability to discern, to filter, to know when context needs more exploration. Point is: the gamut we are working with when going to the theatre ranges from the dearth to the grandiose.
Then, lastly, there is the category of theatre that simply says: do not judge me! I am not an actor or a dancer or a singer, but I am going to act, dance and sing – and nobody’s going to stop me, and I am going to entertain you come hell or high water!
That said, I spent my Wednesday last in the morning at 10am (nogal) at Pinelands North Primary School – watching their school production. And what an absolute delight it was. Firstly, because it is 10 in the morning, and most of my contemporaries are hard at work in an air-conditioned office with a computer in front of them, with phones ringing in their ears. Or, better still, preparing the Q2 report (that being Quarter two report, which is confusingly from July to September and not April to June as us mere mortals know it to be, because of the financial year-end being in March and all…phew!). And, the boss wants it on her desk by COB (that is “close of business” for the corporately uninitiated). Exhausting, not to mention ponderous!
Secondly, what a pleasure to see a whole school – I mean an entire school – teachers and all – and every learner, participating in a vibrant production – where they act, sing and dance to thunderous audience elation. And everything is done with such class (no pun intended). The professionalism and unabated vigour with which these kids took to the stage is what reminded me of how we ought to behave as adults – on and off-stage: in all shapes, sizes and colours. And they looked like one united front of what we should be duty-bound to be as South Africans.
There were no hair issues, and race issues and size issues – not even able-bodied versus the para-Olympics…As they say in the modern classics: They were all there, “doing their thang, shaking what their mammas & pappas gave ‘em”. And I loved it. I wasn’t there wearing my critical, cynical, capricious hat. I was there to lap it all up…and so I did.
I had to go from Pinelands to Winelands – to a meeting in the Wellington/Paarl area thereafter. Needless to say I drove there completely relaxed, snug as a bug singing along merrily to some of my favourite tunes playing on the car’s stereo. Thank you, Pinelands North Primary.