I’m a Nataniël fan. I first heard him perform in 1991 and from then on I was hooked.

I’ve read his books and found that they were indeed as funny and as touching as his shows. I am generally not a dedicated fan of popular music, English or Afrikaans, and Afrikaans performers tends to fall way under my radar detection leaving me largely unaware of their efforts.

Not that Nataniël’s shows are entirely in Afrikaans at all. They have only a little Afrikaans content, mostly where he talks about his family, such as anecdotes about his grandmother, but they are intensely and authentically South African.

His latest show, The Hong Kong Kiss, at The Theatre of Marcellus at Emperors Palace in Boksburg is Nataniël’s celebration of twenty years in show business. During that time there have been fifty two stage productions, fifteen CDs, the latest of which is I Wear White, ten books and a range of lifestyle products called ‘Kaalkop’ which can be found at his shop in the Southdowns Shopping Centre in Irene, Pretoria, and, for your shopping convenience, at the theatres where he performs.

This particular production describes a visit made by Nataniël to Hong Kong in search of perfect bowls for his shop. The anecdotes describe the trip from the moment he boards the plane to his return and the lessons learned from the experience.

Yes, there is talk of him visiting a gay club and also of the kiss. Nataniël is a talented entertainer, and his stories are, in my opinion, the best part of his show. The music is pleasant, and the lyrics are by Nataniël himself, giving the show a cohesive mood and character.

He has both supporting vocalists, London based Robert Finlayson, Lydia Vom Hagen, Wess-Lee and Lulu Dikana and a separate supporting band, Tonia Selley (vocals and percussion), Charl du Plessis (keyboard and vocals), Corne Dannhauser (bass and vocals), Juan Oosthuizen (guitar), Vincenzo Henrico (drums).

Existing fans will find this show more of what they enjoy, and new fans will introduced to the amusing and personal vulnerable style of performing which Nataniël has perfected.

Highly recommended.

The Hong Kong Kiss is on at The Theatre of Marcellus at Emperor’s Palace until April 1. Bookings at Computicket.

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