Expect exotic themes, delectable brunch dishes and destination-inspired cocktails
"Kaapse Stories from the Mother City" at The Rockwell Dinner Theatre
Dinner theatre in De Waterkant: A musical history experience about Cape Town and her people.
Whether you’re a local or a temporary visitor to Cape Town, 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. This popular dinner experience, which has surpassed 1000 shows over five years, has moved from Richard's Bistro to The Rockwell Dinner Theatre in De Waterkant.
District Six in a Green Point dinner theatre
The dinner theatre’s location is The Rockwell Hotel in De Waterkant, a neighbourhood that boasts a fresh and vibrant atmosphere, which 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!”
Entering the venue, you 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 melodic sounds of the grand piano 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 the maestro of the evening extends so sincerely. He takes to the stage and insists that we acknowledge and greet our table neighbours. Thanks to his laid-back charm and hospitality, he 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 a testimony to how comfortable the cast makes its patrons feel.
Grandpa Joe, or known to everyone as ‘Pa Joe’ takes us on a journey of extraordinary events along with his family, legally adopted or otherwise. His brother Bernie, uncle Charlie and his precocious granddaughter Genevieve, along with many other interesting characters who display exceptional hidden talents. The roars of laughter heard from the crowd is attributed to the delightful sense of humour has, while being filled with pride and resilience.
Directed by award-winning director, Basil Appollis, this unique and quality production uses its strong emphasis on entertainment to allow both international and local guests to discover the colourful history of the Cape and its vibrant people.
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 have been uncovered and brought to the show.
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 ‘Pa Joe’ and the team conduct 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 biryani to Boerekos.
While foreign tour groups are making Kaapse Stories 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.
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.
TICKETS FOR THE 2017 KAAPSE STORIES FROM THE MOTHER CITY AT THE ROCKWELL DINNER THEATRE
"Kaapse Stories from the Mother City"
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays; 7pm for 7:30pm till late.
Tickets cost R480p/p and include a 4-course meal, welcome drink and the performance. Booking can be made through Computicket or by calling the venue on +27 (0)76 144 4809.
Tickets for this event are available online via Computicket.com. Tickets include a glass of sparkling wine on arrival, dinner buffet and show. For more information visit our Kaapse Stories from the Mother City event.
Keen to catch more Mother City performances? Read our overview of theatres in Cape Town and don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up-to-date with what's happening in our pretty city. Plus, subscribe to our weekly newsletter for a seven-day weather forecast and more.