Somewhere Over the Rainbow
There’s a secret little world of fantasy and fairy tale, which unfolds every Saturday morning in Constantia, Cape Town. And if you have not treated your children to a visit to the Rainbow Puppet Theatre, at the Michael Oak Waldorf school, then you are missing out!
There are few options these days for young children that do not involve a whole load of violence, foul language and adult understanding. In fact many of the so-called children’s shows and movies these days seem to cater more for adult humour? The Puppet Theatre makes a welcome departure from that, and shows run every Saturday morning at 10h00 and 11h15.
To date we have watched The Frog Prince, Prince George and the Dragon, the Easter Rabbit, Rumplestiltskin, Hansel and Gretel and probably a host of others that I have forgotten, since shows change on a monthly basis. The stories are never longer than 45 minutes and are beautifully told by a narrator, while the puppet characters perform the story, with accompanying sounds effects, behind her.
The atmosphere is created at the outset in a lovely little room, panelled with stars and flowers and dimly lit with candles. Each show commences with the singing of “Somewhere over the rainbow”, presumably the theatre’s ‘brand song’. Oggi, the resident hedgehog, begins each show by telling a little of what is to come and warning of any potentially scary parts, such as the witch in Hansel and Gretel. The theatre is recommended for four-year-olds and up, but my three-year-old has always enjoyed it, bar the odd scary part spent on my lap!
The stories are punctuated by songs and rhymes, and the puppets themselves are cleverly handled to do everything from carrying items to smacking each other – none of the old Punch and Judy slapstick is found here! I am always amazed by the scene changes, complete with wings and backdrops, which make it feel like a ‘real’ theatre, only in bonsai form.
Entry is R15 for all, which will increase to R20 from January 2010, their first price increase in ten years! Tea, coffee, fruit juice and the odd home baked biscuit are on sale before the show. I must confess that most shows we have attended have all begun late, but that is probably to allow for latecomers, and always finishes on time. Birthday parties can also be hosted at the puppet Theatre, with the garden of the Waldorf school providing a lovely outdoor area in which to play.
Contact & Address:
Address: Constantia Waldorf School, Spaanschemat Rd, Constantia, Cape Town.
Telephone: +27 (0)21 783-2063 or +27 (0)21 794-2103
Times: Saturday mornings at 10h00 and 11h15. Please call to confirm show.