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Aristophanes’ The Birds heads for Kirstenbosch open-air Theatre

Published: 28 November 2011

Artscape and the Siyasanga Cape Town Theatre Company brings Greek classic, Aristophanes’ The Birds, to life in the tradition of The Bacchae and Oedipus The Tyrant seen in the lovely Kirstenbosch open-air Theatre on 20 December and run until 15 January 2012.

Two elderly Athenians, Euelpides and Peisetaerus, fed up with human treachery and greed, can no longer stomach living in the city amongst their fellows. So they travel out into the country and team up with the birds and, after changing into birds themselves, they build a city with and for the birds. This is to be the perfect habitation, Cloudcuckooland. Along the way they meet all sorts of birds, have lots of adventures, avoid a number of dodgy humans who try to get in on their act, and then they live happily ever after. Lots of laughs and good sense abound in this timeless comedy, together with songs and dancing.

An added bonus is that performances are at 07:00. No, you’ve not misread anything…0:700, dawn in the manner that the Ancient Greeks used to go to their theatres. Remember they had no lighting and it got too hot later in the morning to sit outside in their gigantic amphitheatres. So, pack up a picnic hamper to feast on after the play, which runs a mere ninety minutes, or book at the Kirstenbosch Tea Room for breakfast (021 – 797 4887).

The production is played in the Ancient Greek tradition and makes use of beautiful and evocative masks.

Roy Sargeant directs, with choreography by Nhanhla Mkhwanazi, costume and mask designs by Keith Anderson and original music by Michael Tuffin. Jeroen Kranenberg and Nhanhla Mkhwanazi star in the play with Francis Chouler, Armand Aucamp, Riaan Visman, Wiseman Sithole, together with the Siyasanga Acting Company, Michael Inglis, Zondwa Njokweni, Lee Roodt, Frans Hamman, Anele Situlweni and Melissa Haiden.

Tickets can be booked via the Kirstenbosch Box Office on 021 – 761 2866, or at the gate leading to the theatre from 06:30 before each performance.

Bring a sunhat and a cushion. For more information contact 021 – 799 8783.

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