Musical theatre:  Singing a delicious tale of love, in Standard Bank Ovation Award winning, A Long Story Short, written, performed and directed by Saxola (Sax) Ketshengane- on The Fringe, National Arts Festival

What: A Long Story Short Language: English Where: The Fringe, National Arts Festival When: Available until August 31, 2021 Direct booking link: Ticket price: R40 Duration: 35 minutes  

For those who are yearning for musical theatre, do not miss A Long Story Short, performed by Saxola (Sax) Ketshengane. He has also written the script and is responsible the direction. This solo piece won a Standard Bank Ovation Award at The National Arts Festival 2021. The awards recognize innovation and excellence and A Long Story Short, is all of that- an enchanting and beautiful show. A Long Story Short is tagged as “theatre” but I would describe it as a musical theatre revue. We see Saxola (Sax) Ketshengane talking about his life – dreaming the “incredible dream of having a family.” He asks- when the “right” time is and when is it “the right one”. Relating his pursuit of love, he sings songs from musicals and romance songs. Watch and be dazzled by this acclaimed musical theatre performer – threading for example, Harry Connick Jr’s A Wink and a Smile with crooning about Maria, from The Sound of Music. It is the kind of story one tells at dinner parties- or used to when we had dinner parties – before the pandemic. It is when someone asks about how people connected and the stories pop up and we sit, entranced. Saxola (Sax) Ketshengane relates his long story of finding love– in 35 minutes. The story is woven with the delicious voice of this veteran musical performer.

Ketshengane’s musical theatre credits include: Sarafina The Musical (2013), Legally Blonde -The Musical (2014), Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 -The Musical (2015), Seussical Jnr -The Musical (2016), Calling us Home (2017), Janice Honeyman’s Pinocchio Pantomime (2017) and Snow White Pantomime (2018). My only complaint: It is too short. I wanted more of this charming performer. The script has been pared down to the essence of conveying his story, paired with music. Excellent filming and camera work. Ahh, I yearn for the days of musical theatre – in theatres- live performance. However, the great aspect of online theatre is that there is generally an option to rewind and/or one has a number of opportunities to click on a ticket link and watch again. I watched this show, three times. Yeah, that is how much I loved watching. I look forward to the day when I can see this artist on stage, in a musical or perhaps in an expanded version of this show. Life, as Ketshengane croons, is a “bowl of cherries” – evoking the famous Judy Garland song and the immortal lyrics- “Life is just a bowl of cherries…Don’t take it serious … Life’s too mysterious …You work, you save, you worry… The sweet things in life to you were just loaned… You live and you laugh at it all.”  Wise words. It is about laughing – no matter who has ghosted or taken you for a ride (watch the show). Often, what you are looking for, is right there, in front of you. A Long Story Short is a tonic. Fabulous.