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Heartbreak for the Baxter …

We are heartbroken to report that the shows, Life & Times of Michael K and Kiss of the Spider Woman, have been cancelled … for now (they have been rescheduled for January 2022).

After the latest changes to the lockdown rules meant theatre audiences had to be dramatically reduced (from 250 to 100 people per show), the Baxter’s team wiped away their tears, rolled up their sleeves and contacted ticket holders to explain that the available seats were being assigned according to who booked tickets first.

They and were set to put on the shows for the tiniest of audiences. Any fool can tell that this is a far cry from sustainable but … well, you know, the show must go on.

Then, another cruel blow … two crew members tested positive for Covid and they had no choice but to cancel the shows. Now all there is to do is to pray that the sick people recover quickly and hope that this damn plague ends soon.

SOMETHING YOU CAN DO TO HELP

Here is something that will make you feel better and help the Baxter: Sign up to make a small donation to the #BaxterCoffeeAngels campaign. The idea is that each of us “buys The Baxter a cup of coffee every month”. For as little as R30 a month we can do our bit to ensure the theatre survives. 

Click here to become a #BaxterCoffeeAngel, or renew your subscription/add a little extra. Share this campaign with friends and family by sharing this link www.thebaxter.xyz/baxtercoffeeangels (there are options to share via WhatsApp, Email, Facebook or Twitter, at the bottom of that page).

Just the other day, things looked so hopeful … when I wrote …

So many reasons to love Lara Foot

Lara Foot

Dear Baxter Patron

I hope that you are all well and managing these extreme and isolating times. Firstly, I would like to express my deepest condolences to all those in our family of artists and patrons of The Baxter, who have suffered trauma over the last year, due to the Covid  pandemic. We send you love, light and courage, and hold you in our thoughts and prayers. 

Like theatres all over the world The Baxter and it’s artists have suffered grimly due to lockdown. For a theatre that always has three plays on a night right throughout the year, it has been extremely concerning for us to see our beloved theatre dark, night after night. It has seriously impacted our income, crippled the industry and created a well of depression in the arts sector.

But now, since we have a small gap in the spikes of Covid transmissions, one which I hope might last, it gives me immense pleasure to invite you back to The Baxter for a season of exceptional theatre in the month of June (with all Covid-19 protocols in place!).

Two extraordinary productions; Nobel Prize-winning South African author, JM Coetzee’s Life and Times of Michael K and Marcel Puig’s, Kiss of the Spider Woman. What a feast for serious theatre lovers!

JM Coetzee’s Booker Prize-winning, Life and Times of Michael K, is an international partnership between The Baxter, Theater der Welt Düsseldorf 2020, Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg.

I will be directing this production, which I have also adapted for the stage, in collaboration with the Tony Award-winning Handspring Puppet Company (from the hit production War Horse-fame), and it will have its world premiere in June, right here at the Baxter Theatre.

The production was commissioned to open at the prestigious Theater Der Welt festival in Düsseldorf  in June 2020, but the festival has been cancelled for the second year in a row, due to Covid and the organisers have been kind enough to give The Baxter the world premiere!

The production is a mammoth undertaking which combines puppetry direction from Adrian Kholer and Basil Jones of Handspring as well as, film, performance, evocative music and a formidable cast and creative team which includes Sandra PrinslooAndrew BucklandFansiwa YisaCarlo Daniels and puppet master Craig Leo, with music by Kyle Shepherd and set design by Patrick Curtis.

This is a hauntingly beautiful story which follows Michael K, a simple man who embarks on a journey through a South Africa, shattered by civil war, to return his mother to the farm where she was born. He finds strength in his own humanity and his profound connection to the earth and his unique path which, as it unfolds, reveals to him, his reason for living. Book here.

Mbulelo Grootboom and Wessel Pretorius in Kiss of the Spider Woman. Photo: Oscar O’Ryan

I am equally excited for the modern classic, Marcel Puig’s extraordinary play, Kiss of the Spider Woman, directed by the multi-award-winning Sylvaine Strike. Sylvaine directs a stellar cast with Mbulelo Grootboom as Valentin and Wessel Pretorius as Molina, in this journey of self-awareness, intrigue, romance, revolution, love and betrayal, with lighting design by Mannie Manim, set and costume design by Wolf Britz and music by Brendan Jury.

Originally written in Spanish in 1972, Kiss of the Spider Woman has captured the attention of audiences for its romantic drama, political outcry and postmodern style portrayed through its two characters, Molina and Valentin. Book here

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We are deeply grateful and encouraged by those who contributed to the #BaxterCoffeeAngels campaign over the last year, which helped to offset some of our losses brought about the pandemic. However, 2021 is proving to be even more challenging. To this end it has become necessary for us to renew our call for your support by asking you to “buy The Baxter a cup of coffee every month”. The campaign is simple and cost effective – for as little as R30 a month (the price of a cup of coffee), or more (where possible) – you can ensure our iconic theatre’s financial sustainability during this time and into the future. 

Please click here to become a #BaxterCoffeeAngel, or to renew your subscription or add a little extra.

Help us to reach 30,000 contributors by sharing this campaign with your friends and family, and to champion this on our behalf. This can be done by simply sharing this link – www.thebaxter.xyz/baxtercoffeeangels – with them. The link also provides options to share this directly via WhatsApp, Email, Facebook or Twitter, at the bottom of the page.

Should you wish to make a more substantial donation, we are able to provide you with a section 18A tax certificate.

We look forward to welcoming you at The Baxter for these extraordinary productions.

Please take care,

Lara

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