Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODTHEATRE -

SHALEEN Surtie-Richards hasn’t trod our boards since Shirley Va­len­tyn in Fe­bru­ary last year, but she is fi­nally back, at the Bax­ter, in Scrooge, romp­ing it up with Marc Lot­ter­ing, An­drew Buck­land and Christo Davids. The pro­duc­tion opens on Wed­nes­day and is di­rected by Lara Foot, adapted from A Christ­mas Carol by Charles Dick­ens.

“I nar­rate, I play sev­eral char­ac­ters – I am the spookie of Christ­mas Present – the nice ghost that eats all the time. I mean do I need that? I eat all the time – I’m al­ways on diet!” chor­tles Surtie-Richards.

“Lara (Foot) has done an amaz­ing adap­ta­tion. It’s in English with bits in Afrikaans and Xhosa. We have an amaz­ing choir with kids of ev­ery faith and colour. The great thing is that we all play our­selves – I come on as Shaleen look­ing for Marx – look­ing for An­drew – for Christo.”

The ac­tion flips be­tween present-day Cape Town and Kanal­dorp in 1901. (Kanal­dorp was the pre­cur­sor to Dis­trict Six).

“We come in and out – talk as our­selves and then we go into our char­ac­ters.”

Surtie-Richards is keen to dis­pel the per­cep­tion that Scrooge is a pantomime. “It’s not a panto. It’s the Charles Dick­ens clas­sic, but there’s lots of hu­mour and it’s very much for the en­tire fam­ily. There’s lots of fun, en­joy­ment, emo­tions.

“The bot­tom line is that Scrooge is a miser and it’s great to see him turn­ing from a yucky old man into a de­cent per­son. He be­comes a good per­son and that is what we want to see. It’s a celebration of the spirit of giv­ing. It’s feel-good the­atre – you leave with a feel­ing of good­will. It’s magic. I think Marc will change the way Scrooge is seen. He is hi­lar­i­ous and bril­liant.”

This is the first time in three decades that the Bax­ter is pre­sent­ing its own fes­tive sea­son pro­duc­tion and Foot has gone all-out. Nur Abra­hams (he was in Ra­dio Clas­sics, Vo­cal is Lekka) and the ter­rific Pose­letso Se­josin­goe (Zabalaza The­atre Fes­ti­val’s best ac­tress win­ner and for­mer Idols run­ner- up) are lead­ing the chil­dren’s choir un­der the mu­si­cal di­rec­tion of Camillo Lom­bard.

Set de­sign is by Pa­trick Cur­tis; light­ing by Man­nie Manim, cos­tumes by Mar­cel Meyer and magic il­lu­sions by Chad Find­lay.

The cast will take a breather on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 7, when there is a mati­nee at 3pm but no evening per­for­mance: Lot- ter­ing goes into stand-up mode with Marc Lot­ter­ing’s Com­edy Road­show at GrandWest’s Grand Arena that night.

● Scrooge pre­views on De­cem­ber 4-9 and opens on De­cem­ber 10. It is on at 7.30pm nightly and 3pm for mati­nees. Tick­ets R110-R170 and R180-R200 for New Year’s Eve which starts later, at 9.15pm. All the shows end about 11.30pm. There will be en­ter­tain­ment in the foyer, a bal­loon drop and a drink for all to cel­e­brate the New Year. The other shows are Plat­form 9, Wrongly Ac­cused and Nik Rabi­nowitz. Book­ings at Com­puticket at 0861 915 8000.


A-TEAM: Marc Lot­ter­ing and Shaleen Surtie-Richards in

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