New musical for children + 5, about climate change to feature star Judge from BBC1 ALL TOGETHER NOW. Wandsworth Fringe Festival. May 4 – 20, 2018
Across three weekends in spring St Mary’s, Putney Bridge will witness a climatic finale between a power mad primate and a warrior goddess played by Melissa Veszi, of BBC1 All Together now fame. Baba the Bad Baboon, the GAFA Arts Collectives children's musical is part of the Wandsworth Fringe Festival, May 4 -20 , 2018. It is a cautionary tale about the environment and of good versus evil. Written and directed by Sani Muliaumasealii, Baba brings awareness of our choices ‘The choices we make daily can have far reaching effects - Just look at what some of our choices are doing to the planet’ says the GAC creative director. Inspiration for the musical came when the GAC represented Samoa at the 2016 Festival of Pacific Arts in Guam.
‘I heard several first- hand accounts of the consequences of climate change, plastic pollution and rising sea levels, I felt compelled to write something to create awareness for future generations’.
The eponymous anti hero, will be played by the writer director whose vast experience in the arts range from opera, theatre film and radio. A fallen ‘Galatical General’, Baba will stop at nothing to achieve world domination, including destroying the environment. Out to stop him is the protector of earth and beasts, the warrior Goddess Poluknalai. ‘She is initially trusting of Baba, which leads to some detriment, but her heart and determination see her through’ says Melissa Veszi who plays Poluknalai (pictured below as Poluknalai). A Canadian national, Veszi has performed regularly with the GAC since 2016, and was a judge on the BBC 1 hit show All together now.
‘Baba is a piece for the whole family with a fantastic story line that relates to what’s happening in the world today’ she says. Presenting a strong female character was vital to Veszi accepting the role. ‘I want girls to see that you can be fierce and strong, and remain nurturing, and to believe in yourself’
As is often with GAFA productions, Baba is a family affair. (GAFA means family in Samoan) The songs written by Muliaumasealii are being recorded and features The B triple C (Brentford children's community choir) led by the composers’ cousin Aivale Cole. Music producer Zayne Gawanab also working on the EP is married to Veszi. ‘We’ve had a blast recording the catchy songs in our home studio and no two songs sound the alike’ he says.
The EP is due for release at the end of April and will be available from gafasamoa.com and the usual online outlets.
The GAFA family continues to grow, with local childrens art school the Lavender Leonardo’s helping bring Baba to life by creating props from recycled materials. The participation of the art school and choir seem particularly apt
‘By choosing to help create ‘Baba the Bad Baboon’ they’re also choosing to support the show’s message of global unity and hope for the future – it’s all about our choices’ says Muliaumaseali’i.
‘Baba the Bad Baboon’
Wandsworth Fringe Festival May 5 -20 2018
Written and directed by Sani Muliaumaseali’i
Perfs dates - various times: May 5/6/7 12/13 19/20 check website for deails. Venue: The Tent, St Mary’s, Putney Bridge SW15 1SZ
Tickets: £5.50 Children under 10yrs
FULL £ 16.50 & £13.50 (Concession)
Available from: https://bit.ly/2HgU5Rh & www.gafasamoa.com
Presented by the GAFA Arts Collective (GAC) &Clearpoint /Fragility TAKEOVER