• Lance August

#CTFringe17 - Bunny and the Magic Hat

The P4 studio at UCT's Hiddingh Campus offered a calm and relaxed atmosphere, until a wave of ecstatic and excited children arrived to see Bunny and the Magic Hat. The popular children's production is showcased as part of the 2017 Cape Town Fringe Festival. The children displayed a level of excitement that had to be tamed by their parents, but, who wouldn't be excited to see the magic, chancery and tricks that followed?

The production was produced by Shrinkray Puppets, a company which was founded in 2013 who aims to create high-quality puppet theatre for all to enjoy regardless of the social, cultural or economic conditions that the audience comes from. It was directed by Jessica Mias-Jones, a former stage and costume designer at the Baxter Theatre, who further went on to work on UBU & the Truth Commission and John Kani’s Missing. The production showcases the talents of Andy Jones, the magician, and Sivuyile Gaji, his assistant.

The performance started with a magic act. The magician skillfully amazed the audience with magic tricks involving colouring books, rope and chocolate, amongst other things. Apart from the "ooh's" and "ah's" that both parents and children alike would let out, the show allowed for audience interaction where the magician would invite children on to the stage, to assist in tricks.

The set was visually appealing and appeared to be following a box often used for puppetry. This was accompanied by a simplistic lighting design, and refreshing and modern sound design, incorporating sounds that the audience is familiar to. All these elements assisted the production's progression from the magician performing magic tricks, to the introduction of Bunny, the rabbit.

The second part of the production's journey took on an act of puppetry, through the following of Bunny's journey. Bunny, a lovable rabbit, discovers that he had the talent of sorcery and magicianship. He, however had a very hard time trying to tame the extent of the tricks that he innocently performs. This is even further impeded by his hunger and his dire need to find food. Through his accidentally wreckless magic tricks, a myriad of scary yet funny furry characters are introduced which makes this production well-thought, well-executed and impressive.

Bunny and the Magic Hat is sure to have audiences on the edge of their seats. The production has a limited number of shows left at Ithemba Labantu Community Centre in Philliipi, and Jolly Carp in Retreat. The production is only 35 minutes long, so you needn't worry about keeping the little tots attentive for too long. Tickets are available at www.capetownfringe.co.za.

#childrenstheatre #theatreforchildren #puppetry #capetownfringe #communitytheatre #bunnyandthemagichat #andyjones #jessicamiasjones #bunny

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