Rapunzel – Untangling the Truth  

Where: 37 Main Rd, Muizenberg, Cape Town, 7950, South Africa  
When: December 14-23, 2023 and then from January 4 until 14, 2024
Tickets: From R120
Bookings: Quicket – https://qkt.io/Rapunzel  
Discounted block bookings -more than 10 tickets: e-mail manager@themasque.co.za  
Box office: The Masque Box Office is open from 9am to 2pm every Wednesday
Wheelchair access: Yes
Secure parking: Yes      

Rapunzel – Untangling the Truth is the 3rd festive season fairy tale, staged by the Masque in Muizenberg and is a lot of fun, with an enthusiastic and energetic cast having a blast on stage. The annual fairy tale romp at the Masque is about re-imagining fairy tales, with a contemporary and millennial zing and framing them with relatable references and popular songs. There are always elements of panto and musical theatre is the Masque fairy tale mashups and Rapunzel riffs off multiple genres, with a zesty musical playlist. Musical director Aidan Lewis  (he played the Prince Charming in The Masque Theatre’s Cinderella, 2021) has put together a terrifically eclectic combo of songs such as Larger than Life (Backstreet Boys), This is How a Dream Come’s True (Shrek), Don’t Stop Me Now (Queen), It’s My Life (Miley Cyrus) and the rousing Shut Up/Raise your Glass (Moulin Rouge)

This is a community theatre production and some of the performers are stronger than the others but they work together well as an ensemble. Stand-outs for me are Jaime Uranofsky as Mother Gothel and Wayne Ronne as Lady Daphne. Uranofsky nails it as the evil Mother Gothel – embracing her horribleness and yet making her alluring and seductive. She is a terrific singer and dancer and the red gown that she wears is glam, under her cape. She is like a Super hero in the Rapunzel story – on the dark side of Super Hero.  Ronne’s Lady Daphne is delicious and camp and dons a fantastic costume.  [Disclosure – we are family friends with the Uranofsky family].

On media night, the show started just after 8pm and curtain came down at 10.45pm. I understand that it is difficult to edit down when one has a lot to say and Untangling the Truth is a complex story – with twists and turns. There are awesome lines in the script (by director, Matthew Kingwill), which are very much relatable in terms of contemporary times and which bring on much laughter as we see the fairy tale dudes talking about book club and social media.  It is hilarious and wonderful for the older contingent of the audience to have a meaty text to crunch on. However, the Masque fairy tales are geared for young audiences and a show which is over two hours long is too much for small fry to sit through, so hopefully it can be trimmed.  The story wraps up beautifully – with a message of celebrating who we are and accepting each other, being inclusive for all. It is very moving and uplifting.

On the night that we attended, the audience went wild – with whoops of appreciation and applause. This is the impact of community theatre- the performers and creatives who are passionate about theatre and who do it for the love of theatre – with no remuneration. In tandem, they are assisted by countless people as support –constructing props, making costumes, organising, making things happen. So when one attends the end of the year fairy tale at the Masque, it is not just the show, but it is a celebration of the community – the community of community theatre. That is fabulous.

Congrats to the Masque for providing a vital platform for community theatre – and for giving a space for actors and creatives to express themselves on stage- irrespective of their training and experience. It is interesting to note that many of the performers and creatives have qualifications in theatre and musical theatre and some have done professional theatre (ie they have being paid). I love it that they come together at the Masque and make theatre for the community. The Masque’s annual fairy tale is emblematic of the joy and fun that they bring to making theatre – for the love of it – to entertain audiences. Note: Dress up and get with the fun. The young audience members (and others) are invited up on to the stage, at the end of the show to meet Rapunzel, the royal family, Ryder, Mother Gothel and Lady Daphne.

Untangling: Jaime Uranovsky Roux Nel Andrew Munnik in Rapunzel – Untangling the Truth– at the Masque Theatre, Cape Town, Dec 2023 and Jan 2024. Photo by Joshua Lopez. Supplied.

Wayne Ronne, Roux Nel, Andrew Munnik and cast in Rapunzel – Untangling the Truth– at the Masque Theatre, Cape Town, Dec 2023 and Jan 2024. Photo by Joshua Lopez. Supplied.