On Friday evening I managed to be an awesome dad to our son as we attended the opening night of “Cinderella Kids”, the play, at the People’s Theatre in Braamfontein. It’s been a minute since I’d been to that part of Joburg, and the first time I’d taken our son to the theatre. It was time that we added a bit of culture to his educational programme.
If you’re not familiar with Disney’s “Cinderella Kids”, it’s an adaptation of the animated film “Cinderella” that we have grown up with and loved. A fairy tale that is bound to warm your heart and remind you to dream a little. Who knows there may be a fairy godmother listening….
As you might recall, Cinderella is endlessly mistreated by her stepsisters and stepmother and denied a chance to go to the royal ball. With a little help from a few friendly mice – and plenty of assistance from her fairy godmother, Cinderella’s dreams do come true. She goes to the royal ball where she meets Prince Charming and dances her way into his heart. Like all fairy tales, they fall in love!
“…I loved how the cat chased the mice” – our son, J
Engaging from the opening scene to the well-deserved standing ovation the cast received at the end. This is a stunning production by Jill Girard and Keith Smith to add to their 25-year repertoire.
Our four-year-old son was intrigued by the interaction between Lucifer the Cat played by Jaydene Marais, who’s been involved in theatre since she was 8, and the adorable mice.
Beautiful Kaylan Sabbadin plays the role of Cinderella. She was born and raised in Port Elizabeth and a graduate of the Tshwane University of Technology in Musical Theatre. Her stepsisters Anastasia (played by Genevieve Olivier a graduate from London Academy of Media, Film and Television) and Drizella (played by Tanja Franzsen a graduate from the School of Creative Arts in Sydney, Australia) managed to get the audience to loathe them because of how horrible they were towards Cinderella.
Alida Senekal, whom, many may know from her role as Petro Barn in the Afrikaans soapie Binnelander, played both the protagonist (Fairy Godmother) and antagonist (Wicked Stepmother). I admit I much preferred her as the Fairy Godmother… obviously, right?
The dashing Prince Charming is played by Thokozani Jiyane, another graduate from the Tshwane University of Technology in Musical Theather. Next time you see the African Bank “We are You” advert look out for our handsome Prince Charming who is featured.
The diversity of the cast is admirable. The King’s role was cast with Gregg Pettigrew who has enjoyed 30 years in the industry and has graced numerous cabaret stages of the world’s entertainment capitals.
You will love “Duke” played by Andile Magxaki for all his entertaining dancing moves and shenanigans when dealing with the King. He is such a comedian. Also from Port Elizabeth (there must be something in the water there?), he nurtured his love for acting under the mentorship of Robin William (no not that one … this one).
“We want the theatre experience to be an education…” – Jill Girard and Keith Smith
The production was certainly entertaining whilst also being educational for our toddler. Reiterating the message profoundly to our son that it’s not okay to bully others, nobody likes bullies. A stunning interactive performance by the cast. A performance well worth a trip to Braamfontein for both the young and old that is sure to warm your hearts this winter.
Cinderella Kids is running at the People’s Theater 5th June to 30th July, two shows daily during the school term mornings at 09h00 and 11h00 and on Saturdays, some Sundays, Public Holidays and during some of the government school holidays you have two choices 10h30 or 14h30. Tickets are R130 per person and you can make a booking through WebTickets or by calling the People’s Theatre directly on 011 403 1563 / 011 403 2340 or contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Runtime about 1h30 with a 15 minute interval
Note : – Don’t make the mistake we did and remember to take some cash with you for the snacks and refreshments that are available at the theatre and to pay for your parking after the performance (R15). Whilst there is an ATM available at the Joburg Theatre it was not functioning on Friday night so taking cash is the best option.