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Friday, May 27, 2011


(The opening Circus theme)

Congratulations all round for a fast-moving and enjoyable production that raised R25,000 for charity. (Review by Caroline Smart)

The temperature dropped drastically today accompanied by rain and a howling gale so it seemed highly appropriate to be heading for Westville Boys’ High School’s supper theatre production titled Frozen. However, once inside the well-designed and technically-equipped Roy Couzen’s Theatre, the temperature was warm and hospitable with a vibrant buzz of a capacity audience geared for an enjoyable evening’s entertainment of music and dance. And they certainly got it.

Devised and directed by Devin Möller, who spent many of his formative years working with the pro-active Westville Theatre Club, Frozen is a monument to Westville Boys’ High’s commendable support of the performing arts, an efficient production team and the enthusiasm of a talented group of over 50 cast members with the inclusion of 30 girls from Westville Girls’ High School and other local high schools.

Musical direction by Luke Holder and choreography by Fiona Barnes, Caeley van Doorn, Devin Möller and Varsha Sharma adds to the professionalism of this show, which incorporates some spectacular lighting effects and an array of attractive costumes. I gave up counting the costume changes –backstage activity must be more than hectic!

Frozen aims to “freeze” audiences in time as they are taken on a musical journey which moves with energy through a range of styles such as the opening circus theme and a Las Vegas spectacular complete with feathered headdresses and fans. Feathers and stylish white fringed costumes accompany the title song, eloquently delivered by Loryn Julius. The mood changes to contemporary Bollywood before pumping to the vibrancy of African music.

Performance honours go without doubt to Delwin van Jaarsveld. Tall and genial, he interacts well with the audience and his Spirit in the Sky and Kaptein were show stoppers. Remember the name. It won’t be long before you see it in mainstream theatre.

Other notable performers were Kerryn Beattie, particularly when she gave a powerful rendition of Drove All Night and Shekhinah Donnell who has a strong voice and uses it effectively in I’d Like. I enjoyed Mandy Muir’s My Immortal and the Adagio number with Kayleigh James and Darren van Tonder was impressively smooth and well-controlled.

Recently appearing by invitation at Splashy Fen, the young New Hysteria group of Aury Livingstone, Jean-Pascal Koch and Seth Parkin also have a strong future ahead of them.

Apart from some occasionally irritating numbers when the sound balance favoured the backing tracks rather than the singer, I had a great evening.

It isn’t just all good singing and dancing, though. There is a stronger motive here. The 2011 theatrical focus of the school is charity and tonight a cheque of no less than R25,000 was handed over to this year’s beneficiary, Durban Child Welfare. The figure represents the profits up to tonight’s performance - a major achievement and congratulations to everyone involved!

Frozen runs until May 28 at 19h00 in the Roy Couzen’s Theatre at Westville Boys’ High School. Tickets R40 pp (R400 for a table of 10). Audiences are asked to bring their own food and drinks. No alcohol will be sold at the venue. Bookings can be made at Westville Boys’ High School through Sally Beuster on 031 267 1330. – Caroline Smart