Minstrel culture celebrated in Satin to Sequins

Minstrel culture celebrated in Satin to Sequins

The Cape Town heritage musical production Satin to Sequins – More than a Minstrel will be back at the Baxter Theatre for three weeks during November. The show will include brand new songs, some favourite classics and a cast including the likes of Loukmaan Adams (‘District 6 The Musical’, ‘Kat & The Kings’, ‘Aunty Merle The Musical’), Carmen Maarman (‘Aunty Merle The Musical’), Ashur Petersen(‘Like Father Like Son’), Tashreeq De Villiers (Cape Malay Choir and Minstrel comic singer), Shadley Schroeder (‘Blood Brothers’, Cape Malay Choir singer) and Junaid Isaacs (Authentic Minstrel, 7 Steps Minstrels member), aaccompanied by a live band who make up The Woodstock Darlings – a fictional minstrel troupe.

Alistair Izobell is the director and music director and Zakhele Nkosi choreographs (he created the choreography for ‘Mama Africa’ – the musical tribute to Miriam Makeba). ‘Satin to Sequins – More than a Musical’ is written by Riyaad Peters and Izobell and the show is produced by Oddball Concepts.

In his illustrious career of three decades, Izobell – who started off as child star in Kramer-Petersen musicals – has embraced his “Kaapse heritage”. For ‘More Than A Minstrel’, Izobell and Peters have written new songs and a new narrative for the show.

The original show was launched as a theatre production in 2014 at the Joseph Stone in Athlone and the producers (Oddball Productions) wanted to demystify minstrel culture and give audiences insights into the creativity of contemporary troupes and the vibrant living heritage that plays out in the streets of Cape Town. Now, with the fourth edition, ‘Satin To Sequins’, there is a overlap of art and life.

In addition to the music and dance, a strong narrative line has always been key to ‘Satin to Sequins’. “In the first version, it was about a boy living with his single mother, who wanted to change the way the minstrel troupes operate. He had big ideas for how this could be done”, said Aeysha Abrahams of Oddball Productions. “The story continues in ‘More Than a Minstrel’. We see Mr. Biggs’ son (played by Loukmaan Adams) and what life is like as he carries on this legacy of his father and his troupe. The Woodstock Darlings. We also see how ‘normal’ minstrels are as opposed to the negative stereotype usually associated with the minstrel culture.”

* Tickets are R135 to R150 and booking is through www.webtickets.co.za.