Review: THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES is on tour

A South African take on the classic tale

By: May. 31, 2024
Review: THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES is on tour
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I do love a fresh twist on a classic fairytale! And THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES from The Drama Factory definitely delivers. It's vibrant and fun, with laughs for young and old.

You get all the classic parts of the story - a vain emperor who thinks only of himself, a kingdom suffering, a youngster who decides to get the better of this emperor by pretending to weave a fabric for a cloak that only the best of the best can see. Then you get all the fun, modern twists - our youngster is a TikTok star and the Emperor wants to learn how to go viral on the platform, and you get plenty of jokes about load shedding!

The show features only two performers, both playing various parts. Actors Jessie Diepeveen and Henu Badenhorst switch between characters with ease. They have given each character a distinct voice and physicality and a lot of thought has clearly been put into clever costumes and props, so there's never any doubt as to which character is on stage before you.

As any good fairytale should, THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES holds up a mirror to society. It warns you of the evils of power and money, and how pride definitely comes before a fall. In addition to the usual morals of this story, there's plenty in the piece about the pitfalls of social media and what can happen to you if you get too obssessed with trending or going viral. And all of this is wrapped up in a beautifully entertaining piece that's suitable for all ages. It really is a wonderful creation from writer/director Sue Diepeveen.

The production is heading off on tour now, with their next stop being the National Arts Festival in Makhanda. THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES is on at Victoria Theatre 22-29 June, with tickets available on the NAF website.


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