Friday, November 6, 2015

Kids comments rock.

Recently I received feedback for our run of Making Mandela at the Gauteng Schools Festival earlier this year.  We had four shows in totally and the wonderful thing about performing for kids is the quality of their real time feedback.  If they love you, you know.  If they hate you, you know.

Our first show was wonderful but I second show bombed.  Frankly.  The kids hardly responded.  When this happens you absolutely know that it is your fault.  Entirely.  We were not 'on it' and we lost them.  Our timing was out.  Our responses predictable.  Essentially kids responses are honest and there is very little politics involved (even if it challenges them).  One could say this about all theatre audiences, but with a play like this, that tells the story of Nelson Mandela's childhood, it can be a bit more tricky.  There isn't really a more-neutral adult audience.

Us... regrouping.
So after our second show we regrouped.  Reminded ourselves of the fundamentals.  Rhythm.  Pace.  Contact.  Character.  Play... this being the main one of course 'Have Fun.'  The actor's number one job is to have fun and share this with the audience.  We bounced back.  Our second two shows totally rocked.  So much so that in the simple scene of the young Nelson giving his girl friend Mathona a flower, the kids response was so huge that the two actors eventually started laughing with the them while maintaining the integrity of their characters.  Moments like is why live theatre is so vital.  So incredibly special.  So with that here are comments from randomly selected kids after all four shows.

·         Was racist but very funny
·         Very nice concept and great acting
·         A very different take on Mandela’s life. Exquisite
·         Beautifully crafted and executed
·         Professional , slick and theatrical
·         Thrilling and inspiring
·         Wow, performance that was truly breathtaking
·         Good
·         Amaze balls-Wow- a bit long though
·         Good use of space
·         One of the greatest plays I’ve ever seen
·         Lots of Zulu which I didn’t understand 
·         Very hilarious and enjoyable
·         Nothing cliché or expected
·         Was awesome, just needed more English
·         Beautiful
·         Very informative and educational. Perfect if anything
·         Riveting! Amazing use of the stage
·         The ending was not well acted out
·         Physical energy and lighting brought it all to life
·         Thought provoking and enjoyable
·         It was really awesome and funny
·         I am always amazed by the talent in our country. Wow!
·         It was informative and very interesting
·         The characters were portrayed extremely good
·         Most of the play was good but was a bit too long in duration
·         I loved the interpretation by the cast
·         I found it beautiful and enlightening 
·         Very professional and well rehearsed
·         My most favourite production from the entire festival
·         Thought provoking
·         Well acted and entertaining
·          Comical. Bit to racial
·         It was good acting some parts of it was confusing
·         Good! I didn’t understand the Zulu though
·         The story sort of drags but other than that a fantastic show
·         Racist(mildly) but interesting and new insights about Mandela’s life
·         Voice projection could be a bit higher
·         Needed more English, was slightly bored
·         I felt it was a little bit too long, however, I also felt like I was in another world
·         I loved the use of the masks
·         I was proud to be African but ashamed to be white

This last comment is my favourite.  Because I really feel that too.

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