Impempe Yomlingo (the South African Magic Flute) – The Young Vic

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Despite its somewhat sincere looking ads, Impempe Yomlingo is a Magic Flute well worth catching. First, the music is a blast – mostly performed on marimbas (I think it was about a ten marimba orchestra), but also with trumpets and even filled glass bottles – making the stiff sounds of some 200 years past come through fresh sounding and, well, pleasant on their own merits. The show was about 75% in English, and far more intelligible (even in South African) than most operas. More importantly, it was emotionally engaging, in part because several sub-plots and some of the more boring songs were cut out. The Queen of the Night had a gravitas (scary murderous powerful mom!) that Kenneth Branagh’s “psycho Tinkerbell” totally lacked; Papagena’s pink camouflage costume made tears run down my cheek. There were disco lights and dancing and people singing, in chorus, songs that had been formerly sung alone. I highly recommend it!

(This review is for the night of Tuesday, November 27th)

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3 Responses to “Impempe Yomlingo (the South African Magic Flute) – The Young Vic”

  1. toriabo Says:

    Your review is very good. I had the time of my life tonight watching this show… and hadn’t cried like that for quite some time! See it!

  2. Isango Portobello returns! £5 if you can go on September 14th. « Life in the Cheap Seats – Webcowgirl’s London theatre reviews Says:

    […] inbox today! Isango Portobello, the South African troupe behind the awesome (Olivier Award winning) Magic Flute of two years back, is coming back to London in September for a five week run of their new show, […]

  3. Review – The Mysteries (Yiimimangaliso) – Isango Portobello at the Garrick Theater « Life in the Cheap Seats – Webcowgirl’s London theatre reviews Says:

    […] been very excited about this show since seeing them two years ago in their Olivier award winning Magic Flute as well as the wonderful and highly original adaptation ofA Christmas Carol. I figured, hey, […]

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