Review: Energetic and enjoyable new musical – The Octaves – premieres in Cape Town

The Octaves – musical

When: October 14 to 23, 2021
Where: Artscape Tickets:  R175-R275

It is not easy to create a new musical and more so during Covid and lockdown. A big round of applause to Imaan Anders who conceived, wrote and developed, The Octaves – the musical.  It is as an aspirational story, with music providing a safe space as students express themselves and explore their identities –gender, sexuality, family, community. They navigate and grapple with conflicts of cultural affiliations- and parents who are not exactly on the same page. The cast is energetic; infusing their characters with verve and beautiful voices. I was wowed by the charismatic Kirby Jochems who gives a knockout rendition of My Favourite Things – from The Sound of Music. It was great to see the talented Luke Buys on stage again. I last saw him in the chorus in David Kramer’s Danger in the Dark –in October 2019 – at the Baxter – shorty before Rona brought live shows to a standstill.

The live band in the orchestra pit, is terrific and takes its cues, at points in the narrative, from the performers, on stage. The Octaves is Shamieg George’s first choreographic gig in a theatre context– an impressive feat –with physically charged sets. This is the first staging and the musical could benefit from polish. The young people in the audience loved the show. They laughed, applauded throughout, obviously relating to the narrative and stories on stage. The Octaves is on at Artscape, until Saturday, October 23, at 7pm. There is also a 3pm show on Saturday.

The Octaves – premiere season- Artscape- Cape Town- October 2021  

Creative team

Creative director:  Iman Anders
Co-director: Madeegha Anders
Musical director: Ashur Petersen
Choreographer: Shamieg George
Project manager: Kaylin Khan  

Cast- characters – followed by performer’s names  

Areeba – A’eesha Petersen and Crystal Finck (understudy)
Bongi – Bulelwa Mbenya 
Mr Adams – Jethro Thomas 
Mrs Adams – Nuraan Boltman 
Dean Gerald Meyer – Tristan Schouw
Tina – Jessie Geduld  
Marko – Luke Buys 


Band leader and keyboard 1 – Devonish Hendricks 
Keyboard 2 – Rodney Buys and Vinashco Williams 
Guitarist  – Shaun Francke  Bassist  – Darren Kaptein 
Drummer – Keagan Links         
The Octaves – the musical – front left: Shannon Roode; front right: Gabriela Dirkse; front centre: Luke Buys; back left: Mickyle Richards, back right: Maxine Malgas. Pic: Yazeed Jainodien. Supplied.

❇ Featured image: Bulelwa Mbenya (Bongi) and Luke Buys (Marko) in The Octaves. Pic: Yazeed Jainodien. Supplied.