Children's Theatre Children the Focus of International Theatre Festival

The International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (Association Internationale du Théâtre de l’Enfance et la Jeunesse in French) usurped Cape Town’s theatres and performance spaces from 16-27 May. Photographer Suzy Bernstein shows us her most memorable moments. 

“The children are the VIPs here” states ASSITEJ 2017 Festival Director Jacqueline Domisse as she ushers children into select seats for the performance of Zick Zack Puff. Excitement bubbles in the air as ballooned and papered characters take on all manner of recognisable shapes and sizes. “That's an astronaut”, whispers a child behind me.
 
Symbolic houses are built with sticks in Our House, whilst people move in and out, rearranging themselves in the restrictive space, reflecting issues around xenophobia.
Gretel challenges Hansel, suggesting the story should, in fact, be Gretel and Hansel.
 
Nursery tales were probed and rewritten on and off stage against the backdrop of Cape Town city during ASSITEJ 2017. South Africa proudly and proficiently hosted this international children's theatre festival and conference held in Africa for the first time.
 
For me, the expertly crafted, simple stories lingered on long after the 10-day event, speaking to the adage that "less is more".