The National Children’s Theatre’s purpose-built outdoor/open-air ‘Imagination Theatre’, a development necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic but which has now become the perfect children’s theatre space for its unmatched serenity and truly family-friendly ambience is hosting its latest production Peter and the Wolf.
Written in 1936 by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev Peter and the Wolf has been described as a “symphonic fairy tale for children” and watching the National Children’s Theatre’s excellent adaptation one can see why it has been one of the most popular children’s show the world over and which has even been made into a Disney film.
Peter and the Wolf is a production which not only seeks to entertain young audiences but also educate them as one of its clever motifs is the fact that each of the characters including Peter i.e a bird, a duck and a cat has a corresponding orchestral instrument in the form of a clarinet, an oboe and a trio of French horns hence not only does it introduce young audiences to the various orchestral instruments it layers that with the sound each of them makes.
Featuring a hugely talented cast (some of whom were in the NCT’s previous production Fantastic Mr Fox) this much travelled children’s classic is expertly brought onto the stage in an accessible yet exciting way for the story is not simply about the triumph of good over evil but lessons which resonate with young audiences such as problem-solving, ingenuity and bravery.
Whilst the NCT’s adaptation does stay true to the original score and story, what makes it refreshing is how it is ‘South-Africanised’ without losing its essence making it very much local yet retaining the aura and magic of the original classic which has enchanted young audiences all over the world.
Peter and the Wolf written by Sergei Prokofiev, directed by Daniel Geddes and featuring Sandi Dlangalala, Harry Faulkner, Abby Molz and Ashleigh Butcher is on at National Children’s Theatre’s Imagination Theatre from 7 March – 18 April 2021.