BWW Review: THE THREE BLIND MICE is Laugh-Out-Loud Fun at Cape Town's Fabulous Gate 69
This is my second trip to Gate 69 and I have thoroughly enjoyed both outings. From the welcome hugs and kisses at the door to the delicious food and the laugh-out-loud entertainment, this place is an absolute treat. Their latest offering in their annual adult pantomime series, THE THREE BLIND MICE, is so much fun. On a day when I really needed a laugh, I got that and so much more. I left feeling lighter and happier thanks to some first-class entertainment.
THE THREE BLIND MICE is a familiar story to pretty much everyone. However, the gorgeous Trolley Dollies have put their own fabulous spin on this old nursery rhyme. The production was written and directed by Christopher Dudgeon, who also plays one of the titular mice alongside Brendan van Rhyn and Rudi Jansen. Dudgeon is also responsible for bringing MACBETH, THE THREE LITTLE PIGS AND NON-SPECIFIC to the Gate 69 stage, and long may he continue to bring us more fun and laughs.
But back to the story of this production. We are introduced to the world by Ballas (wonderfully played by Luke Jansen), the farmer's dog who lives outside in his kennel and saw the events unfold. He is our narrator for the show and adds some great laughs. I loved keeping an eye on him the whole way through and saw that he kept involved with the show even though he wasn't part of the action, reacting to everything that happened in character. In fact, there were lots of great small moments in the show that you could easily miss. It made me so happy whenever I did spot one of them, and you can see moments like that come from a cast that clearly knows and trusts each other, plus a great director.
But again, back to the story... The farmer's wife (beautifully played by Tessa Denton) is fed up with life and offs her husband. Then, when she gets bored with life again (and a little gin soaked), she welcomes in the three blind mice to her home. Unfortunately, they end up upsetting her and she attacks them with a knife. The next bit you'll find familiar but not, because she does go for an appendage with her carving knife but it's not the tails that she gets first (although she does eventually cut those off too). The mice then come back - looking totally fabulous - and plot to get their revenge on the farmer's wife and her new cat (played by Kyle Jardine in the most amazing outfit and wig).
All of this is set to music of the 70s and 80s, and sung brilliantly by the entire cast. It's hard to pick a standout moment, but I do think Molly's rendition of Jolene has to be up there. And the choreography was impressive. Dancing in high, high heels while singing always impresses me. I was so excited when I saw Marc Goldberg's name as choreographer. I'm a big fan of the two ballet's that he created, and was interested to what he would do in a completely different setting. The big finale really had everything - comedy, big moves and lots of pizzazz. This was a great combination of Goldberg's choreography, Melissa Van Der Spuy's musical direction, and the fact that the Trolley Dollies really know how to pull off a show stopper.
The set, the costumes and the wigs were perfection. I absolutely loved the set. It looked like it was all just painted onto flats at the back and was supposed to give the illusion of a kitchen with its black and white design. And yet, the fridge door opened and there was a working TV in it. Loved it! In terms of costumes, wigs and the mouse headpieces, I could go on and on forever about how much I loved them. Instead, I'll just pick one: the cat's wig. I haven't laughed that hard at something so brilliant in I don't know how long. Hats off to Tessa Denton who was responsible for designing all of the above.
If you're looking for a night out of good food and even better entertainment, this is one you don't want to miss. It's totally OTT and very, very naughty (a dirty sense of humour is a must), and plain fun. The team of Christopher Dudgeon, Brendan van Rhyn and Rudi Jansen is marvellous and their chemistry on stage is fantastic.
PS. Thank you for those hilarious moments where the actors cracked themselves up on stage at their own jokes. I'm still giggling at those moments.
Photo credit: Pat Bromilow-Downing
THE THREE BLIND MICE is on at Gate 69 until 21 December 2019 on Wednesdays to Saturdays at 8pm. Recommended arrival time is 6:30pm to meet Cathy Specific on the red carpet. Seats cost R520 to R599, which includes the show ticket and a tasty gourmet tapas offering. Booking is through www.gate69.co.za or 021 0351627. Strictly PG18.