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May 23, 2012

Take a trip down memory lane with Petersen and Kramer’s Kat and the Kings

Treat your family to Petersen and Kramer's Kat and the Kings at the Fugard Theatre this winter. Photo © DIVA PR

The David Kramer and Taliep Petersen award-winning musical, Kat and the Kings, has come home to the Fugard Theatre in District Six for the first time this winter, and what a warm welcome it has received!

Nearly every show since its launch, on May 10, has been sold out, with the cast receiving standing ovations and good reviews... praise which is justly deserved.

Growing up on the Cape Flats,  watching the VHS version of the original 1996 production was a given, but nothing prepared me for seeing Kat and his vocal group live on stage on Saturday, May 19, 2012.

Through the memories of modern day old Kat (Danny Butler), the audience is transported to the 1950s – an era of Elvis, polka-dot skirts and bobby socks – and introduced to the dashingly handsome and talented Kat Diamond (played with a youthful exuberance by Dean Balie).

Kat and his three equally gifted friends, Ballie (Carlo Daniels), Bingo (Grant Peres) and Magoo (Zak Toerien) spend their days singing harmonies and playing card games outside of the Westminster Cafe in the multi-cultural District Six. Under the tutelage of Magoo’s pianist and songwriter sister, Lucy (Amy Trout), the four teenagers form the acapella group The Cavalla Kings and seek fame and fortune, eventually reaching the pinnacle of their stardom in Durban.

As we follow the meteoric rise and ultimate demise of the quintet, and sing along to the now famous ballad Lonely Girl, it’s easy to see why global audiences have fallen in love with this Kramer-directed production.

The set design by Fleur du Cap winner Saul Radomsky, and the 50s style costumes by Illka Louw are perfect down to the last prop and stitch, however, it is the cast, accompanied by a live band, who truly captivate you. Butler impresses with his stamina and never loses pace with the tireless choreography of his younger cast mates, while Balie admirably fills Jody Abrahams' shoes, the original young Kat.

Perfect for a winter family outing, this musical keeps audiences young and old thoroughly entertained for hours.

Tickets for Kat and the Kings, which runs at the Fugard Theatre in District Six until July 31, are available at Computicket.

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