Theatre review: This Moment, A Musical Cabaret, Masque, Muizenberg, Cape Town, December 2020

What: This Moment, A Musical Cabaret When: December 11-20, 2020 Where: The Masque, Muizenberg Ticket price: R100, discounts: Masque members, seniors, students. Booking: Computicket Running time: 1 hour 10 minutes (no Interval)       

This is a quickie review – in order to make TheCapeRobyn newsletter which delivers on a Friday morning. Director, Sheldon Cross, creative team, cast and crew have done a fine job in bringing us This Moment, A Musical Cabaret, in the festive season 2020, Covid.

It must have been extremely nerve wracking to rehearse this show, under these conditions – the surge in the pandemic -but for this company- formed by Stephan Fourie (producer)- in collaboration with Magnetic Storm– the show must and has gone on. Working with a shoe-string budget, somehow, this committed bunch of creatives has put on a beautiful show, which is very much about ‘this moment’ in this year of Covid.

The show started out as a revue – with musical theatre numbers – explained Fourie. It then evolved, with characters who are hoping to make it onto the stage, by overcoming rejection and other obstacles. The stage has been stripped back – using almost the full volume of the performance space – with a tiny backstage left for costume changes.  The fabulously detailed set creates bubbles for the protagonists. Terrific ensemble work by the cast and lovely voices, impressive lighting and design.

This is community theatre and each person has a day job. I was fascinated to hear that this is only the 3rd show for Megan Armstrong-Davies. She established and runs a children’s home in Khayelitsha. A while back, someone suggested that she should sing on stage. She did and here she is. And let us add – she is the mother of four. Note to casting directors: A voice to watch out for when the big musicals become a reality – post Covid. Another stand-out is Hannah Moerdyk (19). She is studying to be a chef at a well-known culinary institution in Cape Town. On the side, she is doing This Moment.

I was very moved by the songs – particularly the last three numbers: I know where I’ve been (Hairspray), The Show must go on (Moulin Rouge) and From now on (The Greatest Showman).

From I know where I’ve been:

There’s a road we’ve been travellin’
Lost so many on the way
But the riches will be plenty
With the price, the price we had to pay
There’s a dream in the future.

For these performers, it is about making the dream a reality. This show is being staged as fundraiser for The Masque Theatre. When Covid finally fizzles out, we will need theatres. If we don’t keep venues ticking along, then there will not be platforms to stage shows like This Moment. If you cannot get to The Masque or do not feel that it is ‘safe’ to go into a theatre ‘at the moment’, then buy a ticket to watch this show on Quicket. Link will go up on TheCapeRobyn, as soon as it is available. Support This Moment and the Masque. Bravo to all for staging this stirring cabaret – which evokes this strange moment we are caught up in – but it is a moment that we need to work with – and within – one song at a time.

Featured image: Megan Armstrong-Davies and Richard Whittaker in This Moment, A Musical Cabaret, at the Masque, in the festive season 2020, Covid. Supplied.

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