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Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Durban-based KickstArt Theatre has once again racked up a number of Naledi Theatre Award nominations, this time for their production of Shrek the Musical.

Executive Directors of KickstArt, Steven Stead and Greg King, say they couldn’t be more thrilled about their 10 nominations for the 2017 Naledi Theatre Awards.

Shrek the Musical was a mammoth show for us to present, and we are beyond delighted that all the hard work and effort has paid off and that people in Joburg and Durban loved the show,” says Stead. “[It] is so much more than a ‘kiddies’ musical’, and we are delighted that the judges have recognised the calibre of our local performers and creative team.”

At this year’s Naledi nomination reveal, Shrek the Musical, which was co-produced by the Lyric Theatre, received nominations in the following categories; Best Costume Design, Best Sound Design, Best Original Choreography, Best Musical Director, Best Director of a Musical/Revue, Best Supporting/Featured Performance in a Musical/Revue: Male (x2), Best Supporting/Featured Performance in a Musical/Revue: Female, Best Lead in a Musical/Revue: Male, and Best Production of a Musical.

Greg King also received a nomination in the Best Theatre Set Design category for Suddenly the Storm, produced by the Market Theatre and Auto & General Theatre on the Square. “This nomination means a huge amount to me, as Greg has not been recognised for his massive contributions to our productions previously at the Naledi’s,” says Stead. Suddenly the Storm, which features a highly-detailed set design that can be adapted for three different theatre spaces, opens at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town in July.

Proudly representing the 031, Stead says as the only independent company producing high quality musical theatre, children’s’ theatre and drama in the city, KickstArt are thrilled to show off some of Durban’s “awesome talent”. “We are recognised among the folk who support the theatre in Durban as being fairly significant,” he says, “I know that if we cancelled our end of year panto there might be a modest riot!”

Stead says that although small, KickstArt strives to produce shows that are on point in a holistic way. “We are absolute sticklers for detail,” he explains. “We do not have access to massive resources, so we have to be absolutely focused on delivering the very best quality production that we can afford. And that means paying massive attention to every detail.”

This meticulousness certainly caught the Naledi judges’ eyes, and when you consider the fact that judges view over 100 productions in the year of review, this is no small feat. Stead says this bears testament to what the Awards stand for. “These Awards are wonderfully inclusive, in every way, and because of that, they celebrate work made all over the country by a great variety of creatives.”

Dawn Lindberg, the Executive Director of the Awards, says this is a core value of the Naledi’s. “We are proud that our panel of judges recognise and celebrate original SA work and this affirmation encourages new creative designers and theatre makers to continue telling our unique stories. We are also very pleased that more and more excellent productions are coming to Johannesburg stages from other centres such as Cape Town and Durban, which makes the Naledi’s truly national!”

The 2017 Naledi Theatre Awards will be staged on May 30, 2017 at the Lyric Theatre in Johannesburg. The Awards are currently seeking funding for their 2017 Awards and beyond. Please contact to find out how you or your business can get involved.

For more information, visit and watch the 2016 promotional video here ( Alternatively, connect with them on Facebook or on Twitter.

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Report by Patrick Compton

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s disquieting drama, The Salesman, which won the best foreign language Oscar this year, opens at Cinema Nouveau, Gateway, on May 5.

The win was Farhadi’s second in the category, with the first being A Separation which won in 2012.

The film is about a middle-class couple whose relationship is thrown into disarray after an intruder surprises the wife in the shower. The story is influenced by Arthur Miller’s award-winning play, Death of a Salesman.

Farhadi boycotted the ceremony in Los Angeles “out of respect for the people of my country and those of the other six nations” affected by US President Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries, which, he said, “have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US”.


(Mervyn & Neville Pillay)

Veteran entertainers and comedians Neville and Mervyn Pillay come together for a show packed with standup comedy, skits and parodies this April. They bring their latest production, Don’t Pillay With Us, to Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom’s iZulu Theatre on April 30.

No strangers to the comedy scene, Neville and Mervyn have performed throughout the country, and are renowned for finding the funny in everything. Comedy fans can look forward to yet another hilariously funny, awesomely synergized show by the “cousin brothers”.

Having traded as a Radio DJ for many years at P4, East Coast and recently Lotus FM, Neville has done it all with regards to broadcast. He is a favourite amongst listeners for his witty comebacks, hilarious parodies and laidback humorous nature. He has performed extensively throughout KZN and is also getting lots of offer to perform around the country. 

Mervyn comes with his brand of actor mimicry, imitations and impressions, having started out doing many Bollywood shows and then branching into mainstream comedy has given him a new lease on life as an entertainer. He too loves performing comedy all over. He has played to audiences throughout South Africa with his brand of comedy.

Both Neville and Mervyn have appeared in many other shows in the same line-up, shows like Three Standing Up, Aunty Rumba and Friends, Bruin Ous and Chaar Ous Comedy Night. This is the first time that they will be working as a duo. Whenever they bumped into each other, they always spoke about doing something together and when the opportunity presented itself, both of them grabbed at it.

Don’t Pillay With Us is filled with stand-up comedy, skits, parodies, impressions and audience interaction. Topics discussed will be politics, ethnicity, prejudices, religion and being Proudly South African. The show takes place on April 30 at 15h00. Tickets R120 from Computicket.

For more information visit or follow Sibaya on or on Twitter @SibayaCasino



March 21 was a day filled with incredible dance talent, amazing energy and colourful costumes, reports The Playhouse Company in announcing the winners in the seven Zulu dance categories of the Ingoma Competition held at Curries Fountain.

Some 42 groups participated in this day-long competition, with over 1,700 participants from all around KZN and beyond. Beautiful, colourful costumes, mighty songs, and impressive moves were the order of the day, and the capacity crowd were jubilant in their praise.

Prize money was awarded as follows: The winning group in each category won R8,000; the second prize awarded was R6,000; and the third prize was R4,000. Consolation prizes for the remaining three groups in each of the six categories were awarded R1,200 each. Total prize money amounted to R129,600, and trophies worth over R17,000 and certificates were presented to the groups placed in first, second and third place in each category.

The winning groups in the seven Zulu dance categories were as follows:


Winners: Izigi zabafazi; Second place: Buhle bomkhambathi; Third place: Asakhe

This dance is performed by women, preferably married women. It was an alternative to Amahubo, which was performed by men when they were chanting to the ancestors in the kraal. Women were not allowed to be part of Amahubo, so they created their own dance, isigekle. It is performed in different ceremonies by women, including weddings. The dance is accompanied by a group of young singers who sing, clap and beat the drums. The dancers do not raise their feet too high to show respect. The women wear Isicholo (head gear) and isidwaba (traditional skirts), and they carry small shields and knobkerries. Each group has a specific theme and colour scheme to their costumes.


Winners: Ingwe mnyama; Second place: Amaqhawe; Third place: Iful elimnyama

This dance is another variation of Ingoma yezinsizwa. This one was originally from the Umbumbulu region. It became popular after the arrival of the missionaries. There is a pattern called isifuba which is in the centre. Isifuba consist of those who are more experienced. It is supported by Isipani who shadow whatever is done by Isifuba. The costume consists of long thigh-length socks with stripes. They also wear short skirts. Some wear rugby shorts. The leg is not raised very high in this dance. The dancers carry shields and traditional sticks which are also used to create formations. The dance is accompanied by singers and a lot of hand-clapping (ukukhwahla). There is also igoso which leads the dance.


Winners: Shikishi; Second place: Amathole amnyama; Third place: Mkholombe indlavini

This dance is named after the Shameni River in Umsinga in KwaZulu-Natal. The style was formed during the time when railways were being built in the province. It is a variation of Ingoma yezinsizwa mixed with Indlamu, but with a regional flair. Izinqambi were responsible for creating the songs. They also lead the songs during the dance. Igosa leads the dance. Originally there were no drums in Isishameni dance. The leg of the dancer is bent during the dance to show the ankle. The dancers dance in specific line formations, and they stretch their hands up high during the dance, which is accompanied by singers who clap. The dancers’ costumes consist of pants and vests or t-shirts because when the dance first started, the men would use whatever clothing they were wearing at the time. They also wear traditional sandals (udabuluzwane).


Winners: iKusasa elihle; Second place: Izintombi zosizo; Third place: Mtimande

This dance is specific to maidens. It was used during different types of rites of passages for young girls, from the time they reach puberty, to virgin testing, lobola and weddings.

The dance is accompanied by drums, clapping, singing and the music is very energetic. The costume consists of traditional skirts made of colourful beads. The leg needs to be raised high.


Winners: Vuka yibambe; Second place: Ofeleba; Third place: uMoya obandayo

The most common type of Ingoma yezinsinzwa. The dance is accompanied by singers who also clap. The beating of a big drum was added later in the dance. It is a very traditional dance form that can be seen in the use of traditional costumes including Ibheshu and dancing barefoot. The dance is used during young men’s rites of passage, weddings and traditional ceremonies. It is a very competitive dance that is full of excitement. In terms of body posture, the leg has to be straight when you dance and must reach the side of the ears. The dancers carry shields and decorated sticks. Igosa will start the dance and ispani will follow suit.


Winners: Ingqayizivele; Second place: Amabubesi; Third place: Osizweni Theatre Production

This is a war dance that was introduced by Shaka Zulu to the warriors. It was a like a military drill that required precision, with the dancers following a specific pattern. It is accompanied by drums with minimal singing. This dance was specific to Amabutho (warriors) to help them prepare for battle. Igosa also leads Isipani and can do solo performances. There is a lot of showing off with this type of dance as it was necessary to psyche warriors up for battle. There is also a lot whistling to encourage whoever is dancing at the time. The music that accompanies it has war themes. The dancers carry bigger shields and longer sticks.


Winners: Umlazi Jinge; Second place: Ntsika yeAfrika; Third place: iGugulesizwe
For more information visit