JHB: Cartoon theatre to blow your mind

cartoon-theatreTheatre lovers, creative directors, event conceptualisers, directors and animators, make sure to Czech this out! The Black Light Theatre of Prague is bringing Life is Life, its madcap ultra-violet cartoon spectacular, to Johannesburg in March, giving audiences a mind-altering visual treat that will be hard to forget. Bookings at computicket or the theatre office.

This acclaimed “cartoon theatre” show from the Czech Republic will be staged at the University of Johannesburg’s Arts Centre from 18 to 22 March 2009, for five shows only.

František Kratochvil’s Black Light Theatre of Prague features a 10-member company from the Divaldo Metro, based in Prague, which is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and culture-rich cities in the world.

Using simple graphic lines, created with special ultra-violet light effects, Life is Life engages and challenges the imagination for 90 minutes, astounding, surprising and delighting with its ingenuity. A single line can become a chair, a car, a cloud or a horse – without using a single word, the Black Theatre performers magic up a wonderland of poetry, humour and irony.

The show has its origins in the “black cabinet” tradition, which involves characters dressed in black moving against a black background and therefore becoming imperceptible to the human eye. Among Czech theatre practitioners, this illusionist practice has evolved into an artform that strives to express messages in an unusual way.

Recognising the potential of the black cabinet technique, sculptor and graphic designer František Kratochvil incorporated drawing with comedy to free the line of its creator and take on a life and personality of its own. The result is cartoon theatre – a non-verbal form of stage craft that enchants children and adults, intellectuals and ordinary people in search of out-of-the-ordinary entertainment.

If you loved the quirky Swiss illusionists Mummenschanz at the same venue last year, chances are the interactive animations, dance and pantomime of Life is Life will be right up your alley.

Catch this family-friendly show at the UJ Arts Centre in Auckland Park, on 18, 19, 20 and 21 March at 8.15pm, and on Sunday, 22 March, at 2.30pm. Tickets are priced from R150, with discounts for students and senior citizens. Book at the theatre box-office or at Computicket.

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