Review: SPRING AWAKENING at Theatre On The Bay And Pieter Toerien Montecasino Main Theatre

Cape Town & Johannesburg 2024

By: Apr. 09, 2024
Review: SPRING AWAKENING at Theatre On The Bay And Pieter Toerien Montecasino Main Theatre
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Review: SPRING AWAKENING at Theatre On The Bay And Pieter Toerien Montecasino Main Theatre SPRING AWAKENING is a groundbreaking fusion of rock music and 19th-century German drama. Adapted from Frank Wedekind's controversial play and featuring music by Duncan Sheik and lyrics by Steven Sater, it was first performed in 1906 in Germany.

At its core, SPRING AWAKENING is a coming-of-age tale that resonates across generations. The play follows a group of teenagers as they navigate the turbulence of adolescence, longing for knowledge about the mysteries of womanhood, the trauma of abuse and the challenges of societal norms. This production breathes new life into a timeless story of adolescent rebellion, sexual awakening and the search for identity.

Beyond its musical prowess, SPRING AWAKENING remains as relevant today as it was upon its debut over a century ago. Themes of censorship, repression and the power of education resonate in a world where young people continue to fight for their voices to be heard.

The audience is greeted with a dimly lit, open stage design with its tilted platform & uneven shutters which is minimalistic yet effective, setting a timeless atmosphere that seamlessly transports the audience into the world of the characters.

LAMTA (Luitingh Alexander Musical Theatre Academy) students, both leads & ensemble casts, under the direction of Sylvaine Strike, deliver incredible performances that leave an indelible impression.

Supporting performances are equally strong with standout moments for me being the human tree, the tapping of dripping rain and the well-timed and choreographed “chaotic order’’ at times.

The supporting cast definitely deserves praise for their contributions to the production. In fact, I do not think I can easily single out any one or two of the performers as everyone from leads to ensemble were equally gifted in their craft and delivery.

I am still pondering the excellent delivery and clear message of this production. I immediately latched onto the storyline which is inescapable in this progressive world we live in.

The overall delivery of this production was well presented and cleverly crafted. Compelling us to use our imagination to see through the spoken words.

I particularly liked the use of 1 adult male and 1 adult female to portray the different roles of the parents, teacher, headmaster etc.

The minimal use of props, well the clever use of only benches and a ladder or two caused me to focus on the story instead of being distracted by displays and elaborate costumes. The scene changes were smooth and seamless, leaving little to no room for distraction.

Moreover, the seamless integration of props and set design adds an extra layer of distinction to the production.

The sound and lighting were perfect and set the tone for the era and the emotional moments.

Stage use was fully maximized. No props other than the benches and skilfully mimed props and clever use of sound effects just gave that added touch of creativity.

The vocality of each performer was absolutely stunning! Not to mention the brilliant choreography, simple dance moves but beautifully executed and delivered.

You cannot stop yourself from being totally drawn in and transported on this journey of all-round excellence so beautifully displayed by a group of talented creatives and performers.

The entire cast delivered stellar performances.

In conclusion, it is a must-see production that will leave audiences captivated and reflecting long after the final curtain call.

I cannot say that I have any gripes or any regrets other than to say I wish I could sit for a little while longer in this bubble of splendiferous creativity.

This was my first time watching a LAMTA show and going in I did not know what to expect from a “student cast” but truly very pleasantly surprised. Needless to say, this will not be the last for me.

I would highly recommend & definitely plan to see the show one more time.

SPRING AWAKENING runs from 08 March to 06 April in Cape Town and 12 April to 05 May in Johannesburg. Tickets range from R250 to R350 and are available via Webtickets   Please note that SPRING AWAKENING contains mature themes, partial nudity, sexual situations, as well as explicit language. It carries an age restriction of 13.Review: SPRING AWAKENING at Theatre On The Bay And Pieter Toerien Montecasino Main Theatre


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