Oh no, Nataniël
In between taking over the world, Nataniël (bestselling author, columnist, cook, creator of the Kaalkop kitchen and lifestyle products, and star of the Checkers ads) also stages musical shows. They are some of the most exquisitely designed and delivered pieces of theatre you will see in South Africa. But not the latest one, I’m afraid.
Yes, After Animals is beautifully designed, with origami-like costumes and sets; yes, it is beautifully lit and the band is strong. But compared with his last show, the brilliant Rainbow at Midnight, the designs felt like gimmicks, not elements to drive the narrative.
Perhaps that’s because the production wasn’t quite ready for opening night; perhaps it’s because the stories show huge promise – starting the night the last animal on Earth is killed – but are too slight to carry the apocalyptic concept. Most likely, it’s because the all-male cast is focused more on the camp, balletic, gymnastic dancing than the singing.
You feel as though some of the vocalists are shouting at you and you start to squirm in your chair. I really missed the presence of singers who could match the lead, Nataniël – who is amazing, but only as strong as the weakest voices. I also missed the nuance of women’s voices. After Animals is on every Wednesday to Sunday at the Theatre of Marcellus,
Emperors Palace, at 8.30pm, until September 27. Ticket prices start at R128
A BEAUTIFUL APOCALYPSE If only Nataniël’s singers were as strong as his costumes