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Monday, April 6, 2009


Ballet, contemporary dance, family entertainment, music and fun on the cards for The Playhouse.

There’s a strong line-up at the Playhouse for 2009.

Good news for ballet enthusiasts and concert goers alike, the Imperial Russian Ballet will perform Carl Orff’s perennially popular choral masterpiece, Carmina Burana, in the Opera, on June 27 at 15h00 and 19h00.

Presented in association with the Playhouse Company, KickstArt’s Winnie the Pooh returns to the Playhouse Opera from July 7 to 19, promising another season of fun family entertainment geared for young audiences during the school holidays.

The Playhouse Company’s homegrown musical, Jimbo, returns to the Drama between July 15 and August 2. With a storyline set in Durban’s coloured community of the 50s and 60s, the production was first staged to critical and popular acclaim at the Playhouse in 1993 under the direction of Themi Venturas, and again in 2006. The musical is set to a book by Hamish Kyd, with music by Siva Devar and lyrics by Venturas and Kyd.

The Playhouse Company’s South African Women’s Arts Festival is set to run this year between August 5 and 16. This annual landmark event features productions that highlight contributions made by women in society.

Now into the second decade of its annual presentations, The Playhouse Company’s widely popular Isicathamiya Festival runs in the Opera Theatre through Saturday night of September 26. This block buster events attracts participants from all over KwaZulu-Natal, and often from Gauteng and the Eastern Cape as well.

The second season of the year’s New Stages happens in October. This will be geared as ever to reflect cutting edge creativity on the local performing arts circuit. Productions to look out for include Jay Pather’s dance programme, Body of Evidence, featuring Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre which premiered at the 2009 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, and a gripping drama production entitled Last Kick of a Dying Horse by Maduma Productions.

These are scheduled to play in the Drama between October 8 and 18; also featuring in this weekend New Stages festival will be Native Blues, Faca Kulu’s acappella musical; and iThembalethu, an isiZulu version by Bheki Mkhwane of Lara Foot Newton’s acclaimed Tsepang, spotlighting social issues which still plague society. The latter two shows will be performed in the Loft.

The annual Shall We Dance bonanza returns to the Playhouse Opera from October 29 to November 8 presented, as in previous years, in association with the South African Dance Teachers Association.

Still under wraps are details of the Playhouse Company’s festive season productions, traditionally a major drawcard on Durban’s entertainment calendar. Watch press for further information about the shows to be presented for Playhouse audiences in end-of-year holiday mode.

Playhouse booking is through Computicket on 083 915 8000, or call the Playhouse Box Office on 031 369 9540 / 031 369 9596 (office hours).