Children, enthralled, see theatre for the first time

The kids wriggled in their seats with delight: this was what they had all been looking forward to!

Seated in the quadrangle of the Mofulatshepe primary school, hundreds of children watched a production of Die Ashoop Prinsessie on Friday morning, shouting answers to the actors, singing and dancing with pleasure.

The play was about junk that had been thrown on the town scrap heap - but it was also about accepting differences and embracing them.

It is one of several performances specially aimed at children, forming part of this year's programme. The Platteland Preview has a strong outreach component and we aim to expose children who would otherwise never get to a theatre, to the performing and visual arts.

Earlier this year, as part of our crowdfunding initiative, many supporters of the festival saw a video starring learners who had been to shows during our earlier festivals, and they heard their enthusiastic responses. For many of our backers this was an ideal they could identify with, and the challenge to 'sponsor a child to see theatre for the first time' proved irresistible.

We thank all those generous backers - without you today's special performance would not have been possible.

Just ask five year old Ethan Nkhata, seen in the last picture above, with some of the actors after the show.

Ethan, who sat in the second row from the front, said afterwards that he loved the show, 'especially the man wearing the boxes and smelling the flowers; he was the best'. He also loved the woman dressed like a Ninja, he said, as well as the playing cards they were given afterwards. The picture of Ethan in the Ninja's arms was taken by his proud mom, Fidias Nkhata.  

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