The klopse fraternity is in the spotlight this month as one of the biggest minstrel- related stage productions, Satin to Sequins, opens at the Baxter Theatre in Rondebosch this week.
It is, of course, not the first time that the Kaapse klopse are featured at the Baxter.
It started way back when the late Doctor Taliep Petersen first did it with just one song in his and David Kramer’s hit show, District Six The Musical, which goes: “It’s New Year, everybody’s happy, yes, it’s New Year. People are dancing in the street, so let’s celebrate, put all your sadness away.”
Since then, that dynamic duo has always added some klopse colour to their shows, showcasing the Cape Town minstrel energy with song and dance.
However, the klopse themselves were never the prime focus; the story never revolved just around the minstrels.
This is what puts Satin to Sequins in a class of its own.
The production centres round a klopse troupe, called the Woodstock Darlings, and is the brainchild of Riyaad Peters who wrote the original script in 2014.
The show was first staged by Oddball Concepts at the Joseph Stone Auditorium last year, with the dream of one day taking it to the Baxter and beyond.
Through the voice of its owner Mr Biggs, played by award-winning performer and choreographer Loukmaan Adams and his fellow castmates, they give the audience a look into just what it is like to be part of a minstrel troupe.
In my opinion, this show is a great opportunity to shine some positivity onto our culture, in a space where most people are probably not really big klopse fans.
Yes, the minstrels who jol Tweede Nuwe Jaar is not everyone’s cup of tea, mostly because of the negative publicity received over past few years, where it has been associated with vicious infighting, drunkenness and even gangsterism.
Faghrie Abrahams from Oddball Concepts says this perception needs to be turned around.
“Klopse have been around for a hundred plus years and we need to start thinking about the next hundred years because we love this culture and need to find new, creative and innovative ways to shine positivity on this sport,” he says.
“I come from a sporting background, I played cricket and this is where myself and Mr Peters first started discussing the possibility of a complete klopse musical.
“The intention is to show corporate South Africa that the culture of klops is a mega-sport that fills up our stadiums, with even more people than a local soccer match.”
They have also brought in Alistair Izobell as director and he has added some pizzazz to the show, as well as original songs.
Working with such seasoned showmen like Loukmaan and Alistair has been a fantastic learning experience for the production team and cast.
For me, the main thing is that Baruch Marketing is the prime sponsor of the show.
Mr Abrahams says that without the backing of this corporate sponsor, this show would not have been possible.
I never really understood the difference between kaptein gear and soldaat gear, but Mr Abrahams says in the klopse, it is not strange to see a lawyer or doctor wearing soldaat gear while a street sweeper could be the captain.
And this is the true dynamic of klops. It’s not about who you are or how much money you have, but about your love and commitment to the game.
Satin to Sequins is your opportunity to see just how much time, effort and passion goes into running a team from the opening of the klopskamer to the Tweede Nuwe Jaar jol.
People tend to think that it’s just about putting on gear and playing mal, but I can tell you it’s damn hard work.
The show also boasts the impressive talents of Austin Rose from Noem My Skollie fame, Tashreeq de Villiers, Shadley Schroeder and veteran performer Carmen Maarman in the female lead.
One of the big moments from the opening night was the reveal of Baruch Entertainers klopse gear for this season.
The fictional Woodstock Darlings wore it in the show and it looks stunning.
This is innovative and it should encourage the minstrel fraternity to step things up to a more professional standard.
Satin to Sequins - More than a Musical, runs until 24 November.
Go out and support our culture, let’s fill the Baxter to capacity and show our love for the beautiful game of Klops.