#CTFringe17 - The Singing Chameleon
The Singing Chameleon is an award winning children's theatre production directed by Moses Lechuti and is adaptation from Gcina Mhlope's book of the same name. This inspirational and compelling retelling of a Malawian tale is brought to life by Tilsetso Ramanella and Tebogo Shuping. The production is incorporates singing and dancing and is also accompanied by smooth percussion with loads of interaction with the audience as this story is brought to life. The insecurity of the Chameleon as well as the unkind behaviour of the river community will strike a chord with both young and old.
Chameleon's well-deserved triumph at the end of the story is a welcome surprise - his belief in himself is restored and his song will touch the hearts of many and his spirit, inspire many more. Chameleon also reminds us not to allow the bullies to get us down and have negative effect on us in any way. He eventually goes on to use a portion of his music in order to defeat the dangerous, wicked Python, and in the end, becomes the hero in the community who once marginalized him.
This production is incredibly entertaining and very educational. It consists of a cast of only two actors who bring the story to life through narration, singing and dancing. After experiencing some harsh treatment by the other animals, Luck eventually comes knocking on his door when he meets Lark and the old man, Ntate Poulosi. Various emotions and events are set in place which transform him.
This production uplifts African storytelling and encourages children to believe in themselves as beautiful individuals who are capable of anything. Children's theatre plays like these, plays an important part in social transformation, as well as in teaching African norms and values, that are being eroded as a result of globalisation.
More about the author:
Gcina Mhlope was born in Hammardale in Kwa-Zulu Natal and has been performing on stage as well as on screen for well over 20 years. She has written many children's books as well as adult-audience poetry, short stories and plays, and has received numerous awards including the BBC Africa Service Award for Radio Drama, The Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival and the OBBIE in New York. Mhlope holds Honorary Doctorates from the London Open University as well as the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal.