national Arts Festival Banner

Saturday, September 10, 2011


(Timothy Moloi, Robert Whitehead, Omphile Molusi and John Vlismas)

Forming part of the Arts Alive Festival in Johannesburg is Mark Hawkins’ Shakespeare Dreaming … at the Zoo this weekend. This tapestry of Shakespeare's “dreams and magical visions” has been compiled by the talented creative team of Robert Whitehead, Vanessa Cook and Mark Hawkins.

This follows the success of last year’s classical weekend when the soothing sounds of Vivaldi and Prokofiev accompanied Hawkins’ eye-catching choreography courtesy of the Johannesburg Youth Ballet.

“Principal dancer Mari-Louise Basson, who has just returned from France, will be partnered by Craig Arnolds (of Mzansi Productions) in our Midsummer Night’s Dream sequence,” explains Mark Hawkins. “There’ll be another excerpt from this play featuring the delightful Kim Engelbrecht as Puck, as well as a hilarious pas de deux between Mari-Louise and John Vlismas. Audiences will be surprised to know that when I originally choreographed A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Playhouse Dance Company some years ago, John played Bottom then as well. He is reprising his role, appropriately as the comic character.”

Some of the actors are Omphile Molusi and Isidingo veterans such as Engelbrecht and Leeanda Reddy, as well as director Robert Whitehead, the soapie’s stalwart, who also co-directs and co-stars in this event. Whitehead explains that this is purely coincidental. “These actors happen to be familiar with old and young audiences, not only in the soapie, as they’ve performed in various other productions. They’ve all done lots of stage work and love coming back to the theatre.”

There will be a performance of Shakespeare Dreaming at the Zoo at The Johannesburg Zoo bandstand tomorrow, September 11 at 17h30. There will be no interval. Tickets R70 (R40 children under 12). Book through Computicket at acquire tickets at the Joburg Zoo on the day of the performance. The children in the audience are invited to come dressed up as elves, fairies or any other colourful creation that takes their fancy. Doors open at 15h00 to enable families to make the most of their afternoon.