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Thursday, December 8, 2011


(Pic Val Adamson: The hard-working cast: Evashnee Pillay, Rory Booth, Bryan Hiles, Georgie Mabbett, Lyle Buxton, Peter Court, Belinda Henwood and Chayne Lister)

Way back in 2004, KickstArt boldly took on the major challenge of doing what they called “postage stamp pantomimes” at the little Kwasuka Theatre in lower Morningside. This was followed by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 2005.

Some five years, a multitude of awards, critical acclaim and major accolades later, KickstArt have now entrenched traditional pantomime into the Durban theatre scene as a regular festive season event. Their now-established pantomime home, the technically well-equipped Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, offers a stage at least ten times bigger than Kwasuka. This allows designer Greg King to let his imagination run free to produce magical sets and backdrops. The rock-solid team of stage manager Jane Cross, Megan Levy on sound design and Tina le Roux on lighting design all ensure top quality technical presentation.

KickstArt has again pulled off a magical production with its latest pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfson what is pretty much a shoestring budget for a production of this size - a mere R400,000. Choreography is by Janine Bennewith with the colourful costumes made by Shanthi Naidoo and the adorable puppets by Wendy Henstock. Musical direction is by Evan Roberts and Charon Williams Ros.

The final curtain call comes as a shock to the system when you look back at all that has happened and the characters and voices heard throughout the show. No secrets given away here – just know that this is an extremely hardworking cast and backstage crew and all credit to them.

Director Steven Stead has pulled out all the stops to create a production that will delight all ages. In the title role is Georgina Mabbett who makes an endearing and charming Snow White. Lyle Buxton is well cast as her handsome (but no pushover) Prince Valiant. Peter Court’s extensive theatre experience stands him in good stead as the wicked Queen Malicia. Bryan Hiles is a delight as Tom Trueshot, Belinda Henwood is a spunky and energetic Polly Pumpkinseed while Rory Booth pulls the laughs as Zanzibar Jack. Providing the dance sequences are the attractive duo of Evashnee Pillay and Chayne Lister while Steven Stead makes a ghostly appearance as The Magic Mirror.

This is undeniably a fine year of achievement for Peter Court and Belinda Henwood after having given excellent performances in Cabaret (Peter Court) and Race (Belinda Henwood). These are two very fine performers and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs considerably benefits from their individual focused energies.

The sound of unreserved children’s laughter is like pure gold on the ear and tonight’s young audience (along with the adult members) entered fully into the spirit of the fun, nonsense and magic. At one stage, I thought that Peter Court was going to be hijacked by one youngster in the front row who seemed determined to stop the evil Queen from hurting Snow White!

This is how you integrate children – and thereby new audiences – to the world of theatre. To allow them to witness first-hand the magical and all-embracing fulfilling experience it can be. This show is a delight from start to finish.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves runs until January 9, 2012, with performances from Tuesday to Sunday at 14h30 (Fridays and Saturdays at 19h00). Tickets are R130 (R100 pensioners and children under 12). There are no performances on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day. Seating is reserved and booking is through Computicket on 0861 915 8000;; select Checkers / Shoprite stores at the moneymarket counter.

For sold fundraising performance options contact Ailsa Windsor on 083 250 2690 or visit Details regarding KickstArt at – Caroline Smart