When the going gets Smurf, the Smurfs get Smurfin’

The lovable blue Smurfs have arrived at Emperor’s Palace and boy are they painting the Palace blue with their distinctive squeaky voices, humour, songs, dancing and of course, the tendency to scatter the word “Smurf” throughout their sentences.

It wasn’t all Smurftastic getting there however. From Randburg to get to Emperor’s Palace by 6:30 I left two hours beforehand. As I drove off I noticed that the petrol was on E. The first petrol station had queues. I asked what was going on and the attendant said there was a strike. I could get petrol if I waited though. I drove off. The next one I drove past had people building and they told me to come back the next day. Seriously! The third one was fortunately open for business. 

My phone took me through the strangest directions, probably intent on avoiding the highway and the traffic, but coming back I’d rather take the highway and pay the toll fees than drive in places I had no clue where I was.

In any case, I landed up on the way to airport and felt better knowing at least where that was. I was back on track. I was turning into a road, almost there, when an irritating car decided to hoot behind me. For some reason this threw me and instead of turning right to Emperor’s Palace, I turned left.

I landed up at the airport. I landed up driving into a parking garage and knew I could not turn back. I had to go through the whole parking garage to get out. Fortunately the guys at the exit were understanding. Imagine if I’d had to park and go pay! Uh!

We got there literally with five minutes to spare. Nicky actually thought it was very funny that we had made the airport detour. “You have a hole in your head, Mommy?” (Sometimes I say that when I forget things…)

In any case the Smurfs provided the cheerful antidote to a stressful drive. And Nicky loved it. It is cute, kiddie fare, with lots of exaggerated movement, songs, dancing and fun.

I liked all the different characters and the effort that was made with the props. We have Papa Smurf, all in red, the leader of the pack. There’s the only female Smurfette complete with blonde locks and dress. There’s Clumsy Smurf, Brainy Smurf with glasses, Vanity Smurf with a flower and carrying a mirror at all times, Harmony Smurf with his trumpet and Hefty Smurf who every now and then lifts some weights. I also liked the little puppet versions that took over every now and then.

Grouchy Smurf is a really interesting character in this show. He’s very negative about everything and the other Smurfs think he is spoiling their Spring spirit. But in fact he has his own contribution to make and I think this is an excellent lesson in not jumping to conclusions about people, and how someone you think you will never get along with because of their particular outlook may just surprise you. 

The antagonist Gargamel was excellently acted with a lot of dramatic flair and humour. He has this very expressive cat (Azrael) which is much like a puppet who supports his master even though he is pretty dismissive of the “flea bag” at times!

Gargamel is intent on spoiling the Spring festivities by capturing Mother Nature, stealing her recipe book and turning Spring into a cold winter instead.

Even though Papa Smurf has been captured, their flowers and fruits have withered away, the air is cold and nippy, (really awesome snow effects falling from the roof of the auditorium by the way) and all seems lost, the Smurfs sing and dance “When the going gets Smurf, the Smurfs get Smurfin’ ” and off they go to rescue Papa Smurf. 

It’s a lovely simple children’s tale that the kids will enjoy, but for the adults too it’s a good distraction. 

Going home was plain sailing! And Nicky fell fast asleep with his Smurf toys on his lap. 

Disclosure: we were supplied with tickets. 

THE SMURFS LIVE ON STAGE – SMURFS SAVE SPRING is a 90-minute show (there is a 15 min interval in the middle) at the Theatre of Marcellus at Emperors Palace, Johannesburg for a limited season from the 13th to the 30th July, 2017. 


Tickets available from R150 per person. Bookings available through Computicket or the Emperors Palace Box Office on 011 928 1297/1213 or visit www.emperorspalace.com.  The show times are 10h00, 14h00 and 18h00.  Emperors Palace is located at 64 Jones Road, Kempton Park.




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