• Lance August

#CTFringe17 - Butlers and Bloopers

The Bindery Lab, situated at the University of Cape Town’s Hiddingh Campus, served as a fitting small and intimate space to host Butlers and Bloopers, a production staged as a part of this year’s Cape Town Fringe Festival. The production is produced by Slick ‘n Sleeve, and directed by Justin Wilkinson.

The production attracted a vibrant, buzzing and excited audience. What added to the electric atmosphere was the fact that the theatre space was packed. Audiences were greeted with pizza provided by the series’ official sponsor, Butlers Pizza. This made a Saturday evening visit to the theatre, a fitting one.

Butlers and Bloopers is the tenth edition of this murder-mystery series, and has made its mark as a show and series where the audience’s participation has an impact on the outcome of the story. In the past, audiences were stunned by previous instalments of the franchise such as Butlers and Babysitters, Butlers and Billionaires, Butlers and Blackmail, and Butlers and Broadway, to name but a few. These were performed predominantly at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

The production features Allana Aldridge, the only hen among the crows. Also featured is Rameez Nordien, who is known for his work in Finders Keepers, and television series, Homeland. Alongside Allana and Rameez, is Khalil Kathrada who has previously worked on Finders Keepers, Dominion, Kidnap and Ransom and Tannie Dora Goes Bos.

Artistically, the production was a pleasure to watch, and it required the cast to play diverse and multiple roles. They, of course, displayed their myriad of complex characters with care and thought. Butlers and Bloopers, like the Butlers shows which preceded this one, was reliant on audience interaction to a great extent. Through voting, the audience, in “majority rules” style, got to determine the flow of the storyline.

The production made use of traditional “every-day” theatre costumes and props. The intentional tacky wig choices added to the comedy. The stage went frenzy as a theatre director’s worst possible nightmare(s) come true through Butlers and Bloopers. The ever-changing narrative was quirky and witty, which left audiences in stitches. The lighting and sound designs were executed flawlessly, and despite the intentional wrong course that the storyline followed, the audience was still treated to a fun, enjoyable, lighthearted and professional theatre experience.

Seeing a Butler’s production is quite a unique experience, and as an audience member, be prepared, because anything can happen. Safe to say, that audiences are ensured of timeless and quality performance, especially given the fact that previous Butlers shows have made the Top 30 Fringe productions list at the National Arts Festival.

The production only has one viewing left, which takes place on Sunday, 1 October at 18:00, at The Bindery Lab, at UCT’s Hiddingh Campus. Tickets are available on www.capetownfringe.co.za.

#binderylab #universityofcapetown #nationalartsfestival #CTFringe2017 #Musicaltheatre #comedy #butlersandbloopers #khalilkathrada #rameeznordien #allanaaldridge #justinwilkinson

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