Theatre postponed: Life & Times of Michael K and Kiss of the Spider Woman- June 2021 seasons at the Baxter, Cape Town, have been postponed to January 2022

Today – June 8, 2021- Lara Foot put out an announcement regarding the decision to put the brakes on the much anticipated June 2021 seasons of Life & Times of Michael K and Kiss of the Spider Woman. The productions are now scheduled for staging at the end of January 2022. This is obviously dependent on the pandemic situation. No one is able to predict what is ahead.

In an emotional letter, Foot reflects that two members of company crew have tested positive and in order to keep artists and patrons safe, the two productions- have been postponed: Life & Times of Michael K, directed by Lara Foot and Kiss of the Spider Woman, directed by Sylvaine Strike. I applaud the Baxter in postponing. In these uncertain times, we need full disclosure and that is what the Baxter has done. It has taken action. Once it was known that two people tested positive and that they had contact with the company, the curtain had to be brought down. Patrons are putting trust in theatre managements – that venues are safe as possible. Covid is ‘un-knowable’ and that makes it excruciatingly difficult to navigate in the live performance industry. Many people are asymptomatic. One is said to be the most infectious, a few days before symptoms manifest. If a patron exhibit symptoms, the day after attending a show; then that is another story. The same goes, if an actor goes on stage and the next day, he/she/they feels ill. The theatre management did not have that knowledge. The patron/actor did not know that the virus was brewing. But, in the current situation, the knowledge is there and the Baxter has acted prudently.

Creating theatre is like a birth process – birthing work. Director Sylvaine Strike is cautiously optimistic and with her signature positivity, she says she see it as a “delayed gestation”. Here is to live performance – to the future of possibilities. Thank you to Lara Foot and team Baxter for responding to this situation, with responsibility and care. The postponement has left creatives and patrons reeling with disappointment, but we look forward to seeing these productions, hopefully in January 2022.

Read Lara Foot’s announcement on Facebook Baxter page:

Social distancing/physical distancing at The Baxter. This photo taken April 2021, at The Kucheza Festival.© TheCapeRobyn/Robyn Cohen.

Baxter’s Back on Stage season, November 2020. Note- the spaced out seats. © TheCapeRobyn/Robyn Cohen