I’ve missed a few damn good shows because there was no way I was going to GrandWest Casino to watch them.
Then I sometimes wonder if I am not just being a high-faluting arse. Maybe I should get over myself and brave the jangling money monsters and faux Tuscan star-studded ceilings.
But KidCasino firmly reinstated my utter horror of the beeping soulessness of those clamouring idols to greed.
The fabulous Roberto Pombo and bouncey Joni Barnard, ingeniously directed by Toni Morkel, are running sugar-crazed wild through the digital prairie of the Sun Star Casino while mom feeds her money to the machines of Mammon and gets pissed.
Dressed all in white with a vampire gleam in their eyes, neon lights flashing in the soles of their takkies, the kids bound through the apparent delights of their glittering playground.
But we soon realise these cute kids are not all that they seem.
They start out using a white handbag as a symbol of mother (which brought to mind that fantasic play Father Father Father, declaring her to be the best mom eva!). They get R150 each and race into the maelstrom but soon run out of money.
A voice over from the casino exhorts punters to “Play big, to win big!” An interview with a winner reveals she won three grand. “How much did you spend?” booms the voice. “Ten thousand” is the miserable reply. “Congratulations!” bellows the casino.
Things start getting dark as mom remains glued to the gaming machines and not answering her phone anymore.
Our sugar-rushing cute kids turn Machiavellian, manipulative little shits. But with mom a sad slave to the empty promise of the gaming machines, who can blame them?
The lights swirl, reality turns in on kaleidoscopic self, teeth are bared, eyes turn white hot.
This high-octane piece exposes our obsession with modern capitalism for the horrible and sad truth. We get fleeced. They make the money. We feel ill.
Was this funded by the Lotto? It’s great.
KidCasino is on the Arena programme at the National Arts Festival until Sunday 9 July. Book here.
* This is a kitchen table review, which means it was dictated to another critter, like Mike Loewe, while essential domestic chores, like cooking, were being attended to.