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Tuesday, May 22, 2018


(Jaques de Silva & Ameera Patel)

Acclaimed two-hander Whistle Stop on the Playhouse Company’s New Stages Festival roster.

Playing in The Playhouse Loft from May 24 to 27, 2018, is the acclaimed two-hander, Whistle Stop. Under the meticulous direction of Frances Slabolepszy, it features the award-winning duo and real-life couple, Ameera Patel and Jaques de Silva, who unpack the dynamics of a single meeting between a man and a woman on a park bench.

Conceived as a tribute to the work of the legendary British playwright and actor Steven Berkoff and written by Ameera Patel, the piece sensitively and charmingly explores modern urban relationships. Through a combination of cutting, rapid-fire dialogue and intense physical embodiment, the text explodes off the stage and takes the audience on a comedic rollercoaster ride through past, present, and future possible relationship dilemmas.

Whistle Stop received a Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award in Grahamstown in 2014, with Patel garnering a special writers’ award. “I think in the way that all theatre works, the script is the jumping-off point, an important aspect, but nothing without the magic of relationship on stage. Jacques’s physical intuition and Francis’s careful balancing of the entire piece were as essential in creating this piece as the writing was,” Patel said. “I wanted to explore archetypal relationships, which dip in and out of specificity. This meant that it was easier to write about a distanced couple as opposed to my personal encounters.”

The production has toured nationally with much success.

Whistle Stop has performances in the Loft on May 25 at 19h30 (opening), May 26 at 15h00 and 19h30, and May 27 at 15h00. Schools performances are May 23 and 24 at 10h00. Tickets R100 – R150 (R30 for school learners). Book through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at, or call 031 369 9540 (office hours).


(Sarah Parish as Elizabeth Bancroft)

Coming up on ITV Choice on DStv are the following highlights:

May 28, 2018, at 20h00 on ITV Choice (DStv 123)
This fast-paced contemporary thriller explores what happens when heinous crimes, long buried in the past, come back to haunt us. Trusted, adored and respected by her colleagues, Elizabeth Bancroft has given her life to the police force and promotion looks assured. However, Bancroft is not all she seems – on the surface she’s a model DCI, but beneath this veneer dark secrets lurk. DS Katherine Stevens, meanwhile, is an ambitious, fast-tracked recruit, whose only indiscretion is an affair with a married police officer she finds hard to resist. When Katherine is assigned to investigate ‘cold’ cases, she unwittingly disturbs ghosts of the past, unearthing secrets that couldn’t be more catastrophic to the lives of her colleagues… With strong female characters at its heart, this original crime drama is packed full of twists to keep viewers enthralled.

What Would Your Kid Do?
Friday, June 1, at 20h00 on ITV Choice (DStv 123)
The brand-new entertainment show challenges parents to guess how their children will behave in a variety of situations, merging specialist factual child development psychology with an entertaining gameshow mechanic. Children are filmed in a real-world setting. They think it’s just another day at school and will go through a number of tasks that will explore everything from curiosity to lateral thinking, risk taking to rule breaking. As the situations unfold, host Jason Manford, will observe alongside the parents, as they try to predict what their child will do in each situation, providing a fascinating and often hilariously telling insight into the mind of children. At the end of the show the parents who have shown they know their child the best and correctly predicted their behaviour will play for a family prize alongside their child.


Deadline: May 28, 2018

The Durban Film Office (DFO) has in the past four years launched Micro-budget Film and Development Fund Programmes. These programmes are aimed at supporting local emerging and intermediate filmmakers and encourage the production of local content in order to stimulate the local film industry. The focus is on filmmakers who need to develop their projects for local and international investors, markets and audiences.

The DFO is kick-starting its 2018/2019 next round of submissions for Micro Budget Film Fund to four Feature Film Projects and Development Fund to two Projects on development. All emerging and intermediate EThekwini filmmakers are encouraged to attend the briefing workshop for the next call out of submissions for 2018/19 grant funds.

A presentation on the Location Scouting and Unit management will also be featured on the programme of the day.

The workshop will take place on May 30 at 09h00 at the Durban Botanic Gardens Hall, 9A John Zikhali Road, Berea, Durban.

For enquiries contact Sibongiseni Shangase at or phone 031 311 4243 before May 28, 2018


The Comfortably Country Tour, which has one performance at the Hexagon Dive in Pietermaritzburg on June 1, offers a musical journey of modern and traditional country with chart topping country act Parable Fifteen performing original hits such as Trust Me and Helluva Ride as well as country favourites like Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues.

The production features the sultry voice of Zazz, one of South Africa's newest female artists, as well as the soulful bluesy vocals of Ren Veldman. This show promises to leave you begging for an encore!

This is a picnic evening so bring food but no drinks, as there is a cash bar.

The Comfortably Country Tour has one performance on June 1 at 19h30 for 20h00 at the Hexagon Theatre Dive on the UKZN Pietermaritzburg campus. Tickets R120 booked through email


(William Charlton-Perkins. Pic by Clinton Marius)

Winter classics bonanza.

 A wealth of chamber, choral and orchestral music is on offer for KZN concert-goers.

 Pianist Christopher Duigan turns his hand to a programme titled 20 Wonderful Piano Solos, this month. Duigan will introduce items that may be seen as popular, but are no less varied and appealing. The selection include Bach's Goldberg Aria, Liszt's Un sosprio, The Lark by Balakierev, Automne by Cecile Chaminade, music from the four corners of the earth, from film scores and a few technical and musical misfits.

 Performances of 20 Wonderful Piano Solos will take place as follows: Thursday 24 May at 19h00 at Grace Hall Ashton International College, Albertina Way, Ballito (opp. Ballito Hospital); Tuesday 29 May at 19h30 at St Agnes Church, Kloof; Friday & Saturday 1 & 2 June  at 18h00 for 18h30 in the Tasting Room at Highgate Wine Estate Cellar, Piggly Wiggly Country Village, 1 Dargle Rid, Lions River, at Highgate Wine Estate, 1 Dargle Road in the Midlands, on Saturday 2 June at 18h30; and on Sunday 3 June at 11h30 am  at the Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg. Booking is preferred: or music revival 083 417 4473 (sms or WhatsApp only).

(Chag Sameath chamber group)

Friends of Music’s next recital on Tuesday 29 May features a collaboration of four leading musicians from the KZNPO in a balanced and very entertaining programme centred around Mozart and Beethoven for flute quartet and string trio. Artists appearing in the recital are: flautist Sabine Baird, violinist Petia Koleva, violist David Snaith, cellist Margurite Spiess. The programme opens with Beethoven’s Serenade in D, opus 8 for violin, viola and cello. This will be followed by: Haydn’s "Sunrise" Quartet in B flat for Flute, Violin, Viola and Cello; the Handel/Halvorsen Passacaglia in G minor for Violin and viola; and Mozart’s Quartet in D KV 285 Flute, Violin, Viola and Cello. Starting at 19h30, this event will be held as usual at the Durban Jewish Centre, 44 KE Masinga Road. Tickets are available at the door and ample secure parking is provided.

The Durban Chamber Choir (DCC) is set to perform a programme of English choral repertoire drawn from the 16th and 20th centuries, enticingly grouped under the title, Bittersweet. This can be heard in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 27 May, and in Durban on Sunday 3 June.

Innovatively curated by the Choir’s Director, Dr Christopher Cockburn, the upcoming programme will feature music capturing a wide spectrum of emotions and mind-sets, ranging from lighthearted love songs to darker-tinged pieces reflecting a more sombre mood. Works to be heard will include those by early music masters such as Thomas Tallis (1505–1585), Thomas Morley (1557–1602) and John Wilbye (1576–1638), alongside pieces by Sir Edward Elgar (1857–1934) and others, including a short setting of George Herbert’s poem Bitter-sweet composed by Cockburn himself.

In all the 16th-century pieces the texts themselves mention either the word ‘bitter’ or the word ‘sweet’, or both. Some focus entirely on the ‘sweetness’ of their subject (primarily love), as in Morley’s well-known madrigal Now is the month of Maying. Others, such as Tallis’s Like as the doleful dove focus on its ‘bitterness’. The really interesting ones are those who see both, and fuse them together in that apparent contradiction of ‘bittersweetness’, as in John Wilbye’s remarkable six-part madrigal Draw on sweet night. Music’s ability to express contrasting emotional states simultaneously was picked up by the English composers of the late 19th to the mid-20th century, who were able to capture a characteristic mood of gentle melancholy, of radiant beauty tinged with sadness. This can be heard in different ways in the two part-songs by Elgar, and the two anthems (accompanied by organ) by Edgar Bainton and Herbert Howells, which are accompanied by the organ and are staples of the English cathedral repertoire.

DCC’s Bitter Sweet programme will be performed at the Lutheran Church in Hayfields, Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 27 May, and reprised at St Thomas’s Anglican Church, Musgrave on Sunday 3 June. Both performances start at 15h00, and last about an hour. Refreshments will be served after the concerts. Tickets are available at the door from 14h00, and admission to the venues is from 14h30. Tickets are R70 per person (student/scholar OAP concessions R40). School groups are admitted free, and group bookings may be made, by prior arrangement with the Choir (

Finally, a reminder that the KZN Philharmonic’s Winter Season runs in the Playhouse Opera Theatre every Thursday from 7 to 28 June at 19h30. The season includes an exciting line-up of guest artists set to perform a rich and eclectic repertoire with the Orchestra. For programme details visit Season tickets and bookings for individual concerts are available through Computicket. Call 0861 915 8000 or book online at  For more information call 031-369 9438 or email – William Charlton-Perkins