Mother Africa

mother africa small

Mother Africa

Her Majesty’s Theatre

Mother Africa is a combination of acrobatics, drumming, contortion, side show trickery and dance, all which looks spectacular to us – yet comes naturally to the performers in this production. Consisting of performers from a mixture of countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Africa and more, Mother Africa is well into its world tour after its creation in Germany. The format is highly entertaining though at point’s drags a little as some of the numbers tend to go on a bit long. Each of the performers is exceptionally talented in their own right and pushes the limits of their particular skill. The contortionists Teame Ersie, Lazaraus Mwangi and Hassani Mohammed are by far the most impressive. Weaving and twisting their bodies into all kinds of un-natural looking poses which have the audience gasping in disbelief. Closely following them is a family of acrobats whose special talent is twirling napkins, balls, tables and even children on their feet whilst balancing on their backs! Ethiopian Yonas Alemu, still only a child, successfully attempts a record 30 back flips balanced precariously on the feet of Tariku Degefa.

The Costuming is heavily influenced by the African roots but looked a little garish at times and seemed more westernised rather than traditional. Sound quality was a bit of an issue in the dress circle at Her Majesty's theatre. It appeared the speakers were all aimed into the stalls, making some of the songs very quiet and the lyrics muffled. The sound did improve in the second act. Promoter Retfar Entertainment produces a lot of Australia's touring cultural music entertainment acts and recently brought drum Tao to Adelaide. There were however, a few significant differences in the finished quality of this production. Mother Africa has all the makings of a high quality entertainment production; a little polish would reveal the diamond in this piece.

Paul Rodda

5 Aug 2010