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Friday, November 12, 2010


Formerly the home of Stuart May’s Dockyard Theatre, after it moved from the harbour entrance, the Musgrave Supper Theatre venue at last re-opens its doors. This time, it’s to the adult panto, Peter Pan, a show that is guaranteed to pack audiences in until New Year’s Eve.

Don’t think Neverland – think Alwaysland. Don’t think Peter Pan as an elf-like figure, think a more solid Rowan Bartlett – and he gets to fly! Don’t think Wendy as a young girl, think Rikkie Hastings in full blonde mode. Don’t think a fragile tiny fairy called Tinkerbell, think Daisy Spencer in over-the-top wild meringue-type froufrou adorned with sunflowers, plus a delicious sunflower-adorned cap.

Don’t expect to see all the Lost Boys, the budget doesn’t extend to that - think Roland Perold as a druggie. Don’t think Tiger Lily and Smee as separate characters, think Thomie Holtzhausen taking on both these roles – as well as that of Mrs Darling. Don’t think Captain Hook, think Anthony “Legs” Stonier as Captain Hooker – well, there’s a lot of dialogue about rent boys, so ‘nuff said for this character!

For those unfamiliar with Sue Clarence’s hugely popular annual adult panto, I guess you get the picture. There are no innocent elements of humour here, but rather clever comments about breaking news and personalities in the political or social limelight who deserve to be sent up! The audience’s hearty response says it all, sometimes even gasping at some of the more daring quips. As the organisers say: “Adult panto is not “adult” in the X-rated sense of the word. Rather, it is naughty-but-nice festive season froth where everything has a double entendre.”

Up until now, Anthony Stonier has had to juggle the roles of director, writer, musical director and actor. This year he is able to relax into his performance, as Darren King moves into the director/writer role. Direction is tight, the cast are in top form, the songs are well presented and I am sure that, being a dancer himself, Darren has advocated the inclusion of more dance movement created by Daisy Spencer. There is some very funny choreography – and a whole bunch of high kicks worthy of Chorus Line!

All cast members put in excellent performances and this is very much an ensemble piece, although Daisy Spencer as the spunky outspoken Tinkerbell draws the largest audience response, closely followed by Thomie Holtzhausen – delicious as the cringing “flasher” Smee.

Full marks to the sound and lighting department for creating a highly professional ambience in this venue. There are some split-second sound effects which are bang on time. I loved the Superman theme for Peter Pan (flying mode, gettit?)

Peter Pan runs until December 31 at the Musgrave Supper Theatre in Musgrave Centre. Patrons may bring their own picnic dinner but no alcohol, as there is a cash bar. A reasonably priced menu from Ocean Basket next door offers Famous Fish & Chips (R37), Fish & Prawn Combo (R59) or a Seafood Platter (R88).

An added attraction is the safe parking in Musgrave Centre, giving patrons easy access to the theatre which fronts Musgrave Road. Booking is at Computicket. All enquiries and block booking specials to Ailsa on 083 250 2690 or email: – Caroline Smart

I would really urge you to support this production – but more importantly, to support the venue. At the moment, the Musgrave Supper Theatre will only operate for the duration of “Peter Pan”. However, we are desperately short of performing venues in Durban and it would be good news to the industry if Musgrave Centre was to keep this venue alive.