Review: Theodore Jantjies and Maurice Paige deliver dynamic performances in the madcap and zany Platform 9: Coming Home- the third and final instalment in the Platform 9 comedy franchise- a love letter to Cape Town- and coming home to the Mother City- if one can only get a train

Platform 9: Coming Home   

Venue:  Golden Arrow Studio at Baxter Theatre
When: December 13, 2022 to January 7, 2023
Time: 7pm
Ticket prices:  R144-R180
Featuring: Theodore Jantjies and Maurice Paige
Director: Christo Davids
Language: Afrikaans and some English  

Cape Town is another country – in relation to Joburg. This is conveyed with hilarity in Platform 9: Coming Home, with fabulous voice-over announcements about making sure that one has secured one’s passport for entry into the Cape. Yes, we agree. The Mother City is a beauty. In a sense, Platform 9 is a love letter to Cape Town (arriving home, finally, maybe if the train departs). It is a tribute to the lingo (Afrikaaps- Afrikaans with a Cape flava), to people, humanity, diversity and community, friendship, connections – and tolerance. Platform 9 is a love letter to South Africa- a celebration of our humour and resilience –our need to focus on the journey – even when the train is delayed – yet again. The road may be long but keep calm; laugh, chat, ignite stories and sing. This is what Theodore Jantjies and Maurice Paige do in Platform 9. They play multiple characters and conjure up capsule stories/sketches.  I don’t want to give away the narrative threads but it involves a love story with roadblocks, a guard with a hush-hush secret and “a blind man on his way to Parliament to correct the injustices of the past.” Yeah, we can relate to that – a terrific metaphor for navigating our way right now– isn’t it?

Jantjies and Paige are mega TV soapie stars and it is a treat to see them on stage, directed by Christo Davids, who is also a huge star. Jantjies and Paige morph seamlessly between characters and situations, and ooze charisma but they also bring out tremendous pathos in the characters. I laughed and was very moved. They deliver dynamic performances.

Jantjies, Paige and Davids are united by friendship which goes back to childhood. Platform 9 is the third instalment in the comedy franchise. Coming Home features a knockout version of I Gotta Feeling by The Black Out Peas, which got the audience singing along. There were lots of fans in the audience. They were swooning throughout the show – amazed at seeing their idols, Jantjies and Paige on stage.

Davids as director is delighted that they have been able to present Platform: Coming Home. He says: “After a seven year absence from Platform 9 and many challenges in between, we finally found the time to close a story that we started 10 years ago. It is not every day that you get a chance to do a trilogy and for that I am humbled and grateful. Platform 9 has its origin in our friendship from childhood. Three boys from a small town had a dream and we got the opportunity to follow through. Theodore and Maurice, besides being two of my best friends, are also, in my opinion, two of the best actors in the country. Writing for and directing them is a privilege that I don’t take lightly. Platform 9: Homecoming is a celebration of our 30 year old friendship. It is an ode to our ‘komvandaan’. It’s filled with a lot of heart and love. I wish the audience enjoy the experience.”

Platform 9 is wonderful opportunity to see Jantjies and Paige on stage in this upbeat show with zany characters but which has soul and warmth. Note: There is a performance of Platform 9 on New Year’s Eve- Saturday December 31. After the show, there will be an after party (from 10.30pm) in the Baxter foyer with a DJ. Patrons who have tickets for Platform 9 or one of the other shows on at the Baxter, may attend the after party. If you do not have a ticket to a show, you can book for the party at Webtickets. The other shows, on at the Baxter on NYE are: Marc Lottering’s Aunty Merle – Things Get Real and Alfred Adriaan’s Unfit & Forty. It is a fantastic way to bring in 2023- by celebrating -with watching entertaining and upbeat shows. The Baxter’s Restaurant – Prashad will be open on NYE so combine a show with a meal. Book for Prashad via the Baxter on 0216857880.

Platform 9 is mostly in Afrikaans but even with less than proficient Afrikaans, I was able to follow the stories as much of it is in Afrikaaps, the voice overs are in English and there is terrific physical comedy which fills in the language gaps. Go and see it. It is a 45 minute upper of a show. I loved it.

Situational comedy: Theodore Jantjies as Lovey (the ballerina) and Maurice Paige as Mo. Pic- supplied.
Friends and creatives: L-R: Maurice Paige, Christo Davids and Theodore Jantjies- friends from childhood in Cape Town – before they were famous. Davids reflects: “Platform 9: Homecoming is a celebration of our 30 year old friendship. It is an ode to our ‘komvandaan’. It’s filled with a lot of heart and love …” Platform 9: Coming Home is on in Cape Town at the Baxter, December 13, 2022 to January 7, 2023. Pic- supplied.

✳ Images supplied.