25 November 2013

South Africa: Review - Brothers' Tale Will Make Your Blood Run Cold


David Kramer deserves huge kudos for being the only man to have ever persuaded British playwright Willy Russell to allow one of his scripts to be adapted to a different setting. And better yet, it really works.

Transporting Blood Brothers from grimy Liverpool to Cape Town's District Six works so well that you'd think the musical was written specifically for that setting. By David Kramer himself, no less, since the music, the lyrics and the style all bear those distinct Kramer touches that made his previous shows like District Six and Kat & the Kings so successful.

Yet it's so localised that a Joburg audience may have trouble interpreting the Cape-tinged Afrikaans that permeates the script. I'd have stood more chance of deciphering a Liverpudlian accent than these colourful characters, although I didn't miss any of the plot, just some of the pithier quips and clashes.

The story remains the same, and it's a timeless, placeless tale of twins separated at birth because the mother can't afford another mouth to feed.

The highlight is undoubtedly Bianca Le Grange as the mother, upon whose slim shoulders the success of the show largely rides. She not only carries it,...

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