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Richard's Supper Stage presents "Kaapse Stories"
Dinner theatre in Sea Point: A musical history experience about Cape Town and her people.
Whether you’re a local or a temporary visitor to Cape Town, Richard’s Supper Stage & Bistro’s “Kaapse Stories from the Mother City” is a show aimed at you. It doesn’t matter whether you live up the road or across the Atlantic, this musical revue uses well-loved South African and international songs to give insight into Cape Town’s (Kaapse) history and celebrates the resilient, colourful people who live at the foot of Table Mountain.
District Six in a Sea Point dinner theatre
The dinner theatre’s location in Sea Point, the heart of a historically Jewish area and now a neighbourhood that boasts more Rainbow Nation integration than the rest of the Atlantic Seaboard, is a logical choice. The “Kaapse Stories” concept looks to bring the children of the Mother City and her guests together, to sample the restaurant’s culinary delights and enjoy great local talent. Co-owner Roland puts it this way, “We want people to have a good time, and take a piece of Cape Town and the people of Cape Town with them. Not the views, but the people!” Upon entering the venue, the ‘District Six Staircase’, on which each step bears the name of one of that fateful area’s streets, leads us to the supper stage. At the top of the stairs we are greeted by smartly attired, smiling staff. I can't help but carry an overwhelming, “For me? You shouldn’t have,” feeling as we enter the elegantly adorned dining area. There is a waft of a delicate aroma – a promise of the meal to come - that catches the nostrils. The walls bear iconic images of Bo Kaap and more street signs of ‘The Six’, while the strains of the peculiarly Cape banjo perfectly accompany the flute of bubbly on offer.
Once everyone is settled, the first two of four courses are served. A generous Greek salad, followed by a smartly composed starter, which manages to capture two characteristic Cape flavours: a Malay samoosa and snoek paté (glorious snoek!), served with roasted vegetables. Having despatched a bite or two, we relax into the warm welcome that host, Richard Loring, extends so sincerely. He takes to the stage with a welcome song and insists that we acknowledge and greet our table-neighbours. Thanks to his laid-back charm and hospitality, Richard has the audience eating out of his hand. Now the stage is truly set for the show to begin.
Strike up the band!
“Kaapse Stories from the Mother City” gently attempts to blur the line between spontaneity and vocal precision. You begin to wonder who is in the show and who has a dead normal restaurant job, as staff members unexpectedly burst into song and reveal themselves to be integral to the performance cast. The show is infused with joyfulness and a hefty dose of comedy. Many moments of the performance are interactive, and the unbridled audience participation is testimony to how comfortable Richard’s makes its patrons feel. Suffice it to say, the performance holds plenty of surprises, and I couldn't help but run the gamut of emotions. I was delighted, I belly-laughed, I shed a tear, I danced in my seat, but above all, I was spellbound by the magical voices and soaring talent that Richard and Roland have uncovered and brought to Sea Point.
A theatrical buffet
The experience beautifully balances the disciplines of running a restaurant and producing a show. Nothing is overstated, and ‘sincerity’ seems to be the maxim by which Richard and his accomplices have developed the evening’s experience. The presentation of the food is incorporated into the performance, and like the multifaceted talent on display in the musical revue, the theatrical buffet is equally well rounded. It boasts an ample mélange of flavours that represent many of the Mother City’s culinary influences, from Breyani to Boerekos. While foreign tour groups are making Richard’s a compulsory stop on their itinerary, locals too are flocking to this amiable live performance venue to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries and immerse themselves in a uniquely Cape Town experience. On the night we were there, we shared the evening with a birthday, as well as a 30-year wedding anniversary party. Richard's is a great choice for a special occasion because the dinner theatre mix allows time to chat and share a meal, as well as enjoy fine entertainment.
Dinner and theatre, or supper and stage, can be a captivating combination in the right hands (and voices). While devouring the delectable desserts – classics such as melktert, koeksister and malva pudding - we were even granted the delightful opportunity of meeting the performers and enjoying their obvious afterglow of having hit just the right, sweet note.
Monday - Saturday, 7pm for 7:30pm till late.
Tickets cost R435pp and include a 4-course meal, welcome drink and the performance. Booking can be made through Computicket or by calling the venue.