Find­ing your sta­tion in life


Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODTHEATRE - ROBYN CO­HEN

IT’S HOL­I­DAY time and in­vari­ably, whether you are on a day trip or full-on va­ca­tion, there are bun­gles. Some­one for­gets the egg mayo sand­wiches at home. The pass­ports have ex­pired.

Christo Davids has used the in­ter­ac­tions of two men who miss their train to Joburg as the set­ting for his de­li­cious com­edy, Plat­form 9. Davids di­rects the two- han­der, which is per­formed by soapie stars Mau­rice Paige and Theodore Jan­tjies.

Jan­tjies plays a chef and Paige an as­pi­rant rap­per. As they sit, con­tem­plat­ing their op­tions, they in­ter­act with a mix of char­ac­ters who stroll on to the plat­form, in­clud­ing a hawker, a pas­tor and Luvvie – a guy in a pink tutu, who is on his way to Joburg to pur­sue his dream of be­com­ing a bal­le­rina.

There’s singing and some awe­some dance moves. Plat­form 9 is mostly per­formed in Afrikaans but there is some English.

On the night I at­tended, the au­di­ence went wild. It was like a rock con­cert. Paige ( Calvin in Isidingo) and Jan­tjies (Xan­der in 7de Laan) are huge TV stars and it’s strange to sees them pranc­ing around and mor­ph­ing into their char­ac­ters.

Davids said the re­sponse had been rap­tur­ous. “I wrote the show 18 months ago and we’ve had two suc­cess­ful runs at the Joburg The­atre and Port El­iz­a­beth Opera House as well as at Aard­klop, the KKNK and other fes­ti­vals. Now we have come home.”

It is very much a home­com­ing for Davids, Paige and Jan­tjies, who grew up in Hei­del­berg near Mos­sel Bay.

“The three of us have been liv­ing in Joburg for six years and we de­cided, ‘Let’s do some­thing.’ Mau­rice and Theo have both been on the sex­i­est men lists. I’ve never been on that list. That’s why I have to use my brain,” he said.

In­deed, Davids has a law de­gree on his il­lus­tri­ous CV and in ad­di­tion to his award-win­ning the­atre work, he plays Er­rol in 7de Laan.

With Plat­form 9, he said, he wanted to cel­e­brate Cape Town and its peo­ple. “It’s a come-and-laugh show.”

As to what hap­pens next to th­ese two blokes in Joburg, the next in­stal­ment, Plat­form 9: Park Sta­tion opens at the end of next month at the Suideoost­er­fees.

It’s been a hec­tic fes­ti­val sea­son for Davids. As well as di­rect­ing Plat­form 9, he is per­form­ing in Lara Foot’s su­perb Scrooge, which is at the Bax­ter un­til Jan­uary 25 and stars Marc Lot­ter­ing, Shaleen Surtie- Richards and An­drew Buck­land.

A big shout out to the Bax­ter for as­sem­bling a daz­zling fes­tive lineup. There are four other shows on at the mo­ment: Nik Rabi­nowitz (stand-up com­edy), My Word! (trib­ute to Richard Rive), Wrongly Ac­cused (com­edy) and Hansel and Gre­tel (chil­dren’s the­atre). Each is a gem.

The foyer is dolled up with dec­o­ra­tions and there’s soul food and good cof­fee on of­fer at the Bax­ter Restau­rant, run by Theresa Peters. On New Year’s Eve, shows start later than usual and af­ter­wards there will be sparkling wine/orange juice, en­ter­tain­ment, a bal­loon drop and a count­down in the foyer.

It’s been a won­der­ful year of the­atre with po­tent pieces telling sto­ries of South Africans, such as: My Word!; Woman in Wait­ing, Thembi Mt­shali’s jour­ney from do­mes­tic worker to in­ter­na­tional star of stage and screen; and Hayani ( Venda for home), in which Atandwa Kani ( son of John) and Nat Ram­ab­u­lana ex­plored what home means to them and their mem­o­ries of grow­ing up in this coun­try.

My pick for new South African play of the year goes to Civil Part­ing, Ni­cholas Spag­no­letti’s re­la­tion­ship com­edy about the break-up of a mar­riage of two men.

● Plat­form 9 is at the Bax­ter’s Golden Ar­row Stu­dio un­til Jan­uary 25. Tick­ets are R100 and R180 on New Year’s Eve. Book through Com­puticket on 0861 915 8000.

TWO-HAN­DER: Theodore Jan­tjies and Mau­rice Paige in Plat­form 9.

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