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The Rock-itt : May 2010
RHYTHM SAFARI The children must have felt they were in Paradise as they entered the theatre. On every seat there was a Djambe -- a goblet shaped, skin covered, hard wood African drum. Djambe is derived from a saying "Anke dje, Anke be" which translates as "everyone gathers together" and this is what the children and their families did on Tuesday 13 April at the Glen Street Theatre. Inside the upended drum was a coloured groove tube. Quickly the children found that hitting the tube against the drum made a nice sound and soon bedlam reigned. Rhythm Safari, the first production of Kids Play for 2010, was advertised as "the drum is the sound of fun" and the children were obviously already having fun (or enjoying themselves). The theatre darkened, the drums ceased in anticipation. Across the back stage curtain the universe was sprayed from which our world came hurtling forward this faded and one heard the song of Africa and light fell on Simbo, a master drummer. He hears the call from his ancestors that he should "listen to his heart" and the musical adventure begins. Rhythm Safari leads Simbo to experience the pulsating beat of the drums in Spain, Asia, the Caribbean, Brazil, New Orleans and culminating in his return home to Africa, where he plays his Kora, a 21 stringed harp/lute which is usually reserved for storytellers or oral historians, so one realizes he'll pass on his travel experience to the next generation. The groove tubes were in four separate colours and set out in four separate sections of the auditorium and the accompanying drums for each section were also different. When the audience were taught how to play both instruments one could hear the different sounds of each section. When all four sections were brought together like an orchestra they produced a wild, fabulous sound everyone whole heartedly joined in the fun. The children, depending on age, enjoyed the sounds and the hands on beating of the drum while the adults and older children enjoyed the dexterity of the seven expert percussionists, musicians, singers and dancer on stage who continually encouraged the interaction between themselves and the audience. It was full of thunder of drums and patter of groove tubes and a load of fun till the curtain fell. After the performance many small drums were sold. I personally am looking forward to the company's first CD.