The Hello Goodbye Boys - Synopsis

Inspired largely by singer-songwriter, Arno Carsten’s “Swan Love” painting, depicting large white swans looming over a city of humanity, as a powerful representation of both physical and spiritual planes, we travel to an outer world, where a Supreme Guardian charges lesser Guardians with their task of guiding humans through their lives.

Click on image to see "Swan Love" painting by Arno Carstens

Click on image to see "Swan Love" painting by Arno Carstens

The guardians bring their own baggage (possibly from previous incarnations as humans) to their task, and some approach their responsibility with love and compassion, while others are malevolent and have no hesitation in leading their charge into danger.

We meet a young couple, who fall in love, only for that love to be shattered with physical violence. The young man’s guardian is a dark being who actively encourages the destruction. A homeless person aimlessly walks the streets of a slum and comes across the young man, caring for him in his final moments. The care he has shown earns the homeless man his own wings.

The Supreme Guardian calls all the guardians together for a council to demand accountability.

Duration: 90 minutes


Arno Carstens is an award-winning South African singer-songwriter currently based in Cape Town and London. As front man of the popular rock band Springbok Nude Girls for 18 years, Arno developed a solidly loyal following that expanded when he launched a solo career in 2003.

While he is best known for his musical career, Arno has also returned to his original passion for the arts, delivering a range of oil paintings which allow him to express on canvas the same emotions one hears in his music. Delving into the darkness of human life with humor and some healthy cynicism, Arno’s paintings provide rich imagery that inspired this production.

“The journey in both styles reflects the balancing act between storytelling, emotional content and colour use, where the goal is to achieve the most natural state of arousal and visual opulence, an attempt at the perfect scaling of positive and negative. This is the thread that binds my art.”

Every effort has been made to include a broad selection of music from Arno’s body of work. This production is as much a showcase of his career, as it is a narrative dance.