HIFA Day 4

8 05 2008

Another 10 o’clock show lets me off the press briefing; it’s The Silent Knights. Two final year schoolboys from St George’s College they put on nine short mime acts. I probably last watched mime as a schoolboy too in the days of scratchy films of Marcel Marceau! These youngsters are talented and the capacity audience is appreciative.

Next up is my friend Jeanette Micklem (concert pianist) who accompanies Daniel Lager, a German counter tenor. I would guess that a counter tenor is equivalent to a mezzo soprano, yes, he sings like a woman would. He’s a big man with a voice to match and shows off a bit dropping all the way to a baritone (but not with the same power). Now I really do enjoy classical music but on this one I am again out of my depth but I am getting good at dodging the issue. It is a great recital!

In the afternoon I catch Wings, a show by a contemporary Norwegian circus group.

“We have it all at HIFA 2008; comedy, performance art, dance and music of all types. Some is serious and thought provoking. Some is abstract and difficult to understand and some is just pure escapist entertainment. Wings at the Tetrad Reps Theatre on Lion Lager Day by Circus KhaOom which is a contemporary circus group based in Oslo, Norway, was just such entertainment.”

“It is a simple and effective story line of a dream had by an overworked businessman and the “bird inside him”. An interesting blend of circus and dance the act is accompanied by ethereal music supplied by Egil Stemkens on double bass and Ørnuluv Snortheim on guitar who work up to a suitably dramatic crescendo. The juggling, tumbling and trapeze work is slick and cleverly woven into the theme. Matia Salmenaho, whose strength is literally fantastical and matched by his juggling skills, and Egil Stemkens who specializes in aerial and silk work, are the performers who entertain so ably. This is a show for all ages and it will appeal to the child in all of us as it did for the child in me.”

My gold bracelet pass gets me into any show I like but I take a pass on freshlyground, a South African pop/rock group that has had everyone buzzing all week. I am not good in crowds and this is a packed one by any definition.


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