Following a hugely successful premiere season earlier this year in Johannesburg, Chantal Stanfield’s From Koe’siestes to Kneidlach comes to the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio, from 19 December to 6 January, at 8.15pm nightly, as part of the exciting festive season line-up.
Audiences and media praised the production with The Star saying, “the narrative is so beautifully written that Stanfield has little trouble feeding the imagination of the audience” and the Jewish Report described it as “a fun night out and an entertaining theatrical diversion.” The Daily Maverick noted that “[Stanfield is] an engaging and vivacious actress. Her writing is sharp, funny and spot on, as she describes the comments and re-enacts the situations and scrapes that come with a cross-cultural relationship…”, while Robyn Sassen enthused that “her first person narrative in this true story [is] alternatively funny, deeply empathetic and critical, a joy from beginning to end.”
This one-woman “kosher comedy”, which is also penned by Stanfield, is based on real events and is directed by Fleur du Cap winner, Megan Furniss. It’s a sort-of boy-meets-girl love story with a twist.
From Koe’siestes to Kneidlach is a heart-warming and funny story that reveals first-hand what it is like to be a Goy (a Yiddish word used by some Jews to describe a non-Jew) – and a Coloured one at that – in the new South Africa. Stanfield tries to get to grips with a culture and heritage that is so vastly different to her own, yet sometimes surprisingly similar.
The bizarre, entertaining and true story of what happens when a girl from the Cape Flats gets involved with a Jew-ish boy from Joburg’s East
Rand raises all sorts of questions and awkward situations for the young bride-to-be. She navigates a world of new Jewish experiences- from meeting her boyfriend’s family at her first Shabbos (Sabbath) to late-night benching (not the gym kind)- as she wrestles with the confusion of her own identity. Then, there are other challenges like trying to learn and understand Yiddish (oy vey!), eating gefilte fish for the first time and, of course, dealing with decades-old faribels (grievances).
The drama involves a mix-up over things like what to wear to a bris (ritual circumcision of infant boy) and being questioned about her afro hair, amongst other cultural comedies of errors. Furthermore, she deals with things like the omnipresent voice of her mother, her gay best friend and her first Rabbi – all this while trying to find lasting love.
Chantal is a Cape Town-born actor, singer, dancer, voice-artist and stage and television performer. She graduated with a BA in Theatre and Performance in 2005 from the University of Cape Town and has since been performing both locally and internationally, on screen and on stage. She can currently be seen in the popular television series Getroud Met Rugby playing the role of Lindy Davids, team physiotherapist. Other television roles include that of Cecile Whittaker in 7de Laan, Dalene Philips in Montana and Prudence Plaatjies in S.I.E.S.
“The journey between these two cultures, experiences and backgrounds is best described in the title, playing on the similarities and differences of the two cultures” says Stanfield “Koe’siestes are soft, sticky Cape Malay doughnuts, lightly spiced with aniseed and cinnamon, dipped in syrup and covered in desiccated coconut while Kneidlach are Jewish soup dumplings made of matzah meal, eggs, water and fat, traditionally served in chicken soup and a staple on Passover. Also known as matzah balls. This story is about the joy and humour that occurred during this cultural coming together.”
The music for the production is by Paul Choritz with pre-show music compiled by RJ Benjamin and lighting design is by Megan Furniss and Alfred Rietmann.
Celebrate the transition into 2018 by booking for the show with the Baxter’s hugely popular New Year’s Eve bash which will take place in the foyer after the performance on Sunday, 31 December. The show will start at 10pm on the night and the ticket price includes entrance to the party where guests can sip on a complimentary bubbly or orange juice, a spectacular balloon drop, a DJ on the decks playing all the best dance songs and a revelry that will have audiences ringing in the New Year with a skip in their step. Book early to avoid disappointment.
Performances are from Tuesdays to Saturday at 8.15pm with a Matinee on Saturday 23 December at 4.30pm. Ticket prices range from R100 to R140 and New Year’s Eve R250.
Booking for From Koe’siestes to Kneidlach is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at www.computicket.co.za or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet. For discounted school or group block bookings, fundraisers or charities contact Sharon Ward on 021 680 3962 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993 or email her at email@example.com