DIANE DE BEER
Nataniël’s LILY REFUSES TO LISTEN
With musician Charl du Plessis (piano), Werner Spies (bass) and Peter Auret (drums)
Costumes by Floris Louw
VENUE: Atterbury Theatre, Lynnwood
DATES: January 21 to 25
Book at iTickets
Nataniël starts his year exactly as he ended it – on stage with the laughter and merriment of his latest show, Lily Refuses to Listen.
This short run is specially for those who missed it first time round – or those who want to see it again. It is that good – and funny!
As always, he pitches perfectly, not only with the music but also with the mood that he creates in both stories and song.
Whether we are ending or starting a new year, nobody wants to hear any bad news. This is a time of reflection, of course, but rather than focus on all the sadness and misery in our troubled world, he finetunes his music and words sharply with both sweetness and hilarity, something no one does better.
From the moment he starts singing My Sweet Song, the music sets the tone with a slow swing, but as he slips into his first story, all of that changes dramatically.
The stories, all stand-alone, show Nataniël at his best as he lets rips with language and laughter, the perfect antidote for this time of year as we want to kickstart it, preferably raucously.
He gathers his usual wacky characters, all visualised with detailed descriptions, all determined to take your breath away.
It’s the way he conjures up a world we all recognise but in spectacular colours and with an exaggeration that’s tough to resist.
And with one of the show’s aims (New Year resolution perhaps) to get people to think about their lives and take courage to say no rather than too easily agree to something they really don’t want to do, he’s also quick to jump on anyone playing with cell phones, the bane of performers as the lights are clearly visible and especially distracting for those on stage.
That and people who keep chatting during the performance who are as much a disturbance to the performer as those in proximity of the culprit.
It’s about the performance, staying in the moment and giving a show that embraces everything this showman admires. And for him it is time to call them out. So pay attention, it’s the entertainment you’re there for, you and those around you.
The music is all about nostalgia with classics like Sweet Georgia Brown, a beautiful if perhaps not so familiar Beatles song, Golden Slumber, Ain’t no Sunshine, Many Rivers to Cross and more, a few original numbers elaborated with stories about some of the songs and their composers.
One of this singer’s many attributes is his amazing arrangement of classics to suit his voice but also to make it his own. It adds to a familiar tune and sometimes completely changes the meaning of a song because of the way we listen.
And finally, the costumes. It’s where all his shows begin, the design and creativity of the couture to lead into the stories and songs. Again, it is spectacular in all the colours of the rainbow with shapes that make your head spin and a desire to copy some of his detail.
If you’re not quite in the right place yet to begin the year, this is the perfect place to start. It will put your head in the clouds where it can stay for a while as you get into the rhythm of the new year and all it will hopefully stack up to be.