When Lion Had Wings

When Lion Had Wings is based on a traditional Khoikhoi folktale. The story starts in ancient times when all the animals lived in fear of Lion who could fly. However some tricky Frogs reveal that Lion’s magic is hidden beneath a pile of bones. The balance of nature needs to be restored. It’s about overcoming fear, challenging greed and discovering our talents.

JTC has created 2 versions of this production i.e storytelling and street theatre. With a cast of 7 the latter version is a visual street theatre piece and uses daring stilt characterizations, animal masks, original music and Nama language. The storytelling version has 3 characters who portray hilarious frogs who lead the animals to discover their own talents and to stand up to the bully. The storytellers continuously link the folktale to the language, the culture & history of the Khoikhoi as well as to their personal experiences. Insights into the behaviour of humans and wild animals are revealed. Both versions make use of English, Afrikaans & Nama (Khoikhoi language).

When Lion Had Wings is 40 minutes in duration with the storytelling version most suitable for Grades 4-7 whereas the street theatre version is fun for the whole family.

“Great performance. The learners were entertained throughout” Sid G. Rule Primary 2016

When Lion Had Wings, was developed during the course of 2016 and made its debut at the Cape Town Fringe Festival and was subsequently performed at the Muizenberg Festival as part of Project Ripple; the Cape Town Embrace event in celebration of Universal Children’s Day; at Streetopia and at the Vrygrond Festival.  During February 2017  the street theatre version was performed as part of JTC’s Our Beaches Our Stories project which brought public art performances to public recreational spaces i.e. Monwabisi, Strandfontein and Muizenberg Pavilions, promoting natural and cultural heritage. The storytelling version toured local primary schools during November of 2016, was performed at the Masque Theatre early December and toured the Northern Cape at the start of March 2017. During 2018 JTC created an Afrikaans version of the storytelling version of the show called Toe Leeu Kon Vlieg and toured it to Afrikaans primary schools around the Cape Metropolitan.

Bookings for the storytelling version of When Lion Had Wings / Toe Leeu Kon Vlieg are open to schools for 2019!

Please email us to make your booking or click the BOOK button at the top of the page.

currently starring:

Vincent Meyburgh, Ntombifuthi Mhkasibe, Seiso Qhola, Joce Engelbrecht, Siyawandisa Badi and George Smith.


  • National Lotteries Commission
  • Department of Arts & Culture
  • Department of Cultural Affairs & Sport