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Friday, September 30, 2011

BAFUNNY BAFUNNY EXTRA SHOW

(Mark Banks)

Bafunny Bafunny: The Odd Shaped Ball tour is selling out fast.

Last year’s sell-out success show at the ICC Durban is set to repeat history with a third show just added to satisfy the demand from fans to see South Africa’s star-studded team of comedians. With tickets selling very fast for October 5 and 6, fans who are yet to secure tickets will be relieved to know that an extra show on Friday, October 7 is now open for sales.

Starring Trevor Noah, Barry Hilton, John Vlismas, Loyiso Gola, Nik Rabinowitz, Mark Banks and newcomers Eugene Khoza and Stuart Taylor – this is one game you have to be at! Created by Comedy specialists Hunta Live who are no strangers to hosting international comedy heavy-weights in arenas across SA (Chris Rock’s No Apologies Tour to SA, Jeff Dunham) or at their annual Comedy Festivals nationally, their latest offering, Bafunny Bafunny – The Odd Shaped Ball will be the highlight on the comedy calendar.

Supporting the team all the way are the presenting partners DStv and East Coast Radio and the official “drink” sponsors Savanna.

For more information and general funny unsporting behaviour, visit www.bafunnybafunny.com and check out the official “preview” trailer of Greatness: http://www.bafunnybafunny.com/index.htm

Performances at ICC Durban nightly at 20h00 from October 5 to 7: Tickets from R120 to R220 booked at Computicket (www.computicket.com or 083 915 8000). There are discounts for parties of 10 or more. No persons under the age of 16.

CATCH

(Detail from the poster showing the luminous nature of the props)

Jacobus van Heerden plays two characters in the hilarious adventure of Felix and Fred in his Catch! which runs at Seabrooke’s Theatre in tandem with another of his plays, Dr. Pocket’s Ocean Commotion.

Felix is a 22 year-old wannabe rock star who runs away from home in the search of adventure. Fred is a 12 year-old bird-watching nerd who has been sent to live with his Gran for a year while his parents teach English in China. Both are newcomers to the town of Knysna where they form an unlikely friendship under the watchful eyes of Fred’s overtly religious Gran, Glynis.

Things go horribly wrong for Felix and Fred, however, when they embark on an illicit night fishing expedition during which a disastrous mishap results in them being blackmailed for R5,000 by a Thai drug dealer. Their attempts at raising their debt prove fruitless, so with time running out they enter the Knysna Big Fish Challenge (Knysna’s premier angling competition) in the hope of catching their salvation.

Catch! debuted at this year’s Musho festival where it received rave reviews before winning both the Audience Vote Award and the Suliman Pick of the Festival Awards. It is directed by Liam Magner who jointly owns The Neon Anthems Production Company with Cobus. Together they have produced a number of shows including The Neon Anthems Flying Comedy Show, The Go Go Musical Comedy Show, Spun, Tokoloshe Come and Go and Catch! They have performed together more than 300 times and have toured their shows extensively throughout South Africa as well as in Zimbabwe.

Catch! has performances nightly at Seabrooke’s Theatre at DHS from October 4 to 9 at 19h30. Tickets R60 booked by contacting 031 277 1570 or 084 637 1345.

The show runs in tandem with Jacobus van Heerden’s Dr. Pocket’s Ocean Commotion which runs at Seabrooke’s in the mornings over the same period.

DR. POCKET’S OCEAN COMMOTION

(Jacobus van Heerden and Clinton Small in their Kiff Boat)

Come on an incredible ocean adventure with Bogie and Ned and meet fantastical creatures on the way. Jacobus van Heerden’s Dr. Pocket’s Ocean Commotion sees him performing alongside Clinton Small in a show that brings pirates, sharks and sea-monsters all to life in brilliant ultra-violet colours. Innovative props and staging make this an unforgettable journey for young and old. Suitable for all ages but aimed at junior primary to primary level learners.

Performances at Seabrooke’s Theatre at DHS from October 4 to 9 at 11h00 (except Friday, October 7). Tickets R40 booked by contacting 031 2771570 or 084 637 1345.

The show runs in tandem with Jacobus van Heerden’s Catch which runs at Seabrooke’s in the evenings over the same period.

DON QUIXOTE

(Pic by Val Adamson. 16 year-old Cynthia González Rodríguez as Kitri and Michael Revie as Basilio)

Mzansi Productions’ staging of Don Quixote is a must even if you aren’t specifically a lover of classical ballet. Staged with the assistance of the National Ballet School of Cuba, the freshness, honesty and energy of the ballet will appeal to all ages. It has also provided a marvellous opportunity for young Durban ballet students to perform alongside highly-disciplined overseas dancers.

In a coup for South African ballet, the Mzansi company is augmented by a group of exceptionally talented dancers from Cuba, South Korea and Argentina and the staging is based on the great 19th century choreographer Marius Petipa’s original choreography of Miguel de Cervantes’ novel.

The ballet version of Don Quixote focuses on a period in the journey of Cervantes’ eccentric nobleman, played with olde worlde panache by Manuel Noram, accompanied by his faithful Sancho Panza, an appealing John Tsunke.

The opening takes place behind a gauze panel of an original portrait of Cervantes by Gustave Doré as the nobleman prepares to stagger off on his travels.

Andrew Botha has produced a stunning set. Working in the normal process of creating a model, he then takes this process further by photographing it in detail. The resulting panels are impressively realistic. The bustling Seville square is dominated by an impressive cathedral and the magic garden and the tavern settings are equally remarkable. Stan Knight’s superb lighting adds to the memorable imagery and there is a clever indication of the windmills which Don Quixote believes are the dragons he is determined to slay.

The story deals with an innkeeper’s daughter, the flirtatious and feisty Kitri, who flouts her father’s wishes to marry the rich Gamache and falls in love with a young barber, Basilio. Don Quixote is also taken with her charms and the process is watched with amusement by Creado, the street boy.

Appearing in her first full-length ballet, 16 year-old Cynthia González Rodríguez as Kitri gives a stunning performance. She is ably supported by Michael Revie as Basilio with Luis J. Fuentes Bermúdez de Castro who provides much of the humour as Creado.

Don Quixote is known as featuring some of the most celebrated showpieces in all ballet and the virtuoso Don Quixote Pas de Deux is a highlight. Unless a dramatic movement is supremely controlled, it will not achieve its spellbinding effect on the audience. Thrills there were aplenty from these three dancers with dazzling grande jetés, pirouettes and tours en l’aire. Especially impressive were Kitri’s grande battements.

Notable performances come from Craig Arnolds as the posturing Gamache, petite Sharné Hein as an adorable Cupid and Andile Ndlovu, who appears as Espada by kind permission of The Washington Ballet. There is a very amusing scene when Basilio pretends to kill himself.

Don Quixote is produced and staged by Angela Malan, Mzansi Productions’ ballet mistress, who has made full use of the humorous content of the story. It features splendid costumes hired from The South African Ballet Theatre, South African State Theatre, National School of Arts and the National Ballet School of Cuba.

Ballet enthusiasts could benefit from seeing more than one performance as the cast changes each night.

Don Quixote has performances in the Playhouse Opera on September 30 as well as October 1, 4, and 5 at 19h30 and on October 1 and 2 at 14h30. Tickets at R80, R100, R120 and R160 can be booked through Computicket on 083 915 8000.

Johannesburg performances will be at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, from October 13 to 23. Mzansi Productions receives funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund. – Caroline Smart

KZNPO CONCERT: 29 SEPTEMBER 2011

Eight gifted young performers displayed their skills in this the 40th National Youth Concerto Festival, presented by the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra in the Durban City Hall.

The festival was founded by Dr David Tidboald, who was for many years the principal conductor of the KZN Philharmonic. He is now 85 and looking well, and he was present in the City Hall for this concert.

The eight soloists were correctly described by Bongani Tembe, the orchestra’s chief executive, as the cream of young musical talent in South Africa. They are all students, and they gave a rather sparse audience much to enjoy.

With such a varied programme it would be invidious to make comparisons. Suffice it to say that the standard was uniformly high, and I was impressed by the poise and deportment of all these young musicians. Here are their names and their items on the programme:

Kgaugelo Mpyane, a viola player who grew up in a Pretoria township and is now a student at the University of the Free State, played a movement from a tuneful and attractive concerto written about 1790 by Franz Anton Hoffmeister.

Tatiana Thaele, flautist from Cape Town, a 1908 concerto movement by Carl Reinecke.

Bongiwe Nakani, mezzo soprano, grew up in Khayelitsha, now from Cape Town, a famous and beautiful aria from Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice.

Anna van der Merwe, violinist from Cape Town, movement from Saint-Saens’s violin concerto No. 3.

Joachim Muller-Crepon, cellist born and reared in Switzerland and now studying at Stellenbosch, first movement of Dvorak’s cello concerto.

Friedel Mitas, soprano, born and bred in Oudtshoorn, now from Cape Town, Depuis le jour from Charpentier’s opera Louise.

Talisa Symons, violinist from Cape Town, movement from Henryk Wieniawski’s second violin concerto.

Jessamie Jardim, pianist from Cape Town, Prokofiev’s one-movement first piano concerto.

Two of these players, Joachim Muller-Crepon and Jessamie Jardim, and the conductor of the evening, Lykele Temmingh, took part in a pre-concert lecture/discussion, the interviewer being Matthew Hoffman, a music student at the University of KZN.

All present were, I think, impressed by these educated, dedicated, modest and mature young people. “Quite different from some of the youth of today”, a man in the audiences said to me drily afterwards. – Michael Green

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

YOUTH CONCERTO FESTIVAL

(Dr David Tidboald will be honoured at this concert)

The next concert in the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic’s World Symphony Season Series will be the Youth Concerto Festival taking place on September 29 in the Durban City Hall.

Each year, the KZNPO is proud to host this festival at which aspiring artists are awarded the opportunity of playing with the orchestra. Auditions are held across South Africa in Pretoria, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth and Durban, and attract South Africa’s finest up-and-coming young musicians.

The winners of the auditions will perform a concerto movement, aria or concert piece with the KZNPO.

Conductor Lykele Temmingh leads the process of selecting the participants and directing them in concert. The annual event has become a primary outlet for South African musicians to launch their careers and audiences enjoy seeing a wide variety of music presented with a fresh perspective.

This concert will honour Dr David Tidboald, former principal conductor of the KZNPO and founder of the National Youth Concerto Festival. Now celebrating its 40th year, the festival started in Cape Town in 1971 when Dr Tidboald was principal conductor of the CAPAB orchestra (now the Cape Philharmonic) and entrants auditioned via cassette tapes. When Dr Tidboald moved to Durban in 1983 to conduct the Natal Philharmonic, the Festival moved with him. The event will also celebrate Dr Tidboald’s birthday which was on September 23.

The concert starts at 19h30 on September 29 and booking is at Computicket. There will be a pre-concert lecture held in association with Friends of Music in the Royal Hotel at 18h15.

BOJANGLES

On October 5 at 22h00, Mzansi Magic on DStv will screen Bojangles starring the award-winning actor and dancer Gregory Hines.

Gregory Hines is a perfect choice for this look at the life of extraordinary tap dancing legend Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. This is the story of an incredibly talented man who struggled with the demons of his past and the racism of his time, but still entertained millions with his unique and complex dance style.

HEEL AGAINST THE HEAD

Mzansi Magic on DStv will screen Paul Slabolepszy’s hilarious Heel against the Head on October 4 at 21h00.

Two rugby fans, Tjokkie (the late Bill Flynn) and Crispin (Slabolepszy) arrive in Wales for the Rugby World Cup in search of sport and females. All hell breaks loose when Crispin's wife arrives unexpectedly and Tjokkie has to cover for his friend.

CINDERELLA

(Pic by Val Adamson: Nondumiso Tembe as Cinderella)

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic musical debuts at The Playhouse this festive season.

As this year’s main-stage festive season production in Durban, The Playhouse Company is proud to produce the South African premiere of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical, Cinderella, with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, adapted for the stage by Tom Briggs from the teleplay by Robert L. Freedman.

Originally created for television as a star vehicle for Julie Andrews in 1957 (when its broadcast was seen by 100 million viewers), Cinderella boasts all the hallmarks of wonderful songs and lavish dance numbers associated with the classic works of its creators, who are widely acknowledged as the all-time ‘Kings of Broadway’.

With a joint track record that embraced such ever-green hit stage shows and movies such as Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music, the pair garnered a string of accolades between them, including 34 Tony Awards, 15 Academy Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, and two Grammys.

Heading The Playhouse Company’s creative team of this glittering big-stage version of the world’s best-loved rags-to-riches fable is leading South African stage luminary, Ralph Lawson (director), with veteran theatre designer and legendary conjurer of magical effects, Keith Anderson.

The production promises high-voltage delivery of the wow factor that spells the magic of theatre as is seldom seen these days - with mice turning into ponies onstage, a pumpkin into Cinderella’s coach, and the Fairy Godmother appearing out of nowhere, among its many special effects. These dazzling production values, coupled with the message of hope that lies at the core of the Cinderella fable, will offer an unforgettable festive experience.

Starring in the title role of Cinderella is the multi-talented young South African actress-singer-dancer, Nondumiso Tembe, who recently made waves in national music circles with the release of her debut CD album, Izwi Lami (My Voice). Ms Tembe is currently based in Los Angeles in the United States, where she has recently been shooting several episodes of the popular TV series, True Blood (Series 4), due to be screened in South Africa in 2012.

The role of Christopher, a charming young prince, will be played alternately by Ryan Flynn and Cobus Venter. Multiple-award-winning actress Lisa Bobbert will play Cinderella’s stepmother, Krystle Temmerman is Grace (Cinderella’s awkward stepsister), Clare Mortimer takes the role of Joy (her sullen stepsister), Lauren Dasappa will appear as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother. Other principal casting includes Ralph Lawson as King Maximillian, Marion Loudon as Queen Constantia, and Darren King as Lionel. Choreography will be by David Gouldie.

Cinderella will be performed to live accompaniment by the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra in the Playhouse Opera Theatre from November 26 to December 31, 2011. Pre-booked tickets range from R80 to R120 (tickets purchased an hour before performances range from R90 to R130). Book now through Computicket 0861915 8000 or www.computicket.com, or call 031-369 9540 /9695 (office hours).

Monday, September 26, 2011

COMPETITION DEADLINE EXTENDED

The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) has extended its deadline to November 1, 2011. Entries will be accepted online until 11:59 PM EST. Mail-in entries must be postmarked on or before November 1. Online entry platforms include Sonicbids, Broadjam, ReverbNation, Myspace; and ISC's own platform.

With the most high-profile judging panel of any music competition in the world, ISC offers songwriters and artists the unprecedented opportunity to have their music heard by iconic recording artists, as well as many major and indie record label Presidents, A&R executives, producers, music supervisors, and more. Amateur and professional songwriters are invited to participate.

The judges include Tom Waits, Tori Amos, Ozzy Osbourne, Lucinda Williams, My Morning Jacket, Jeff Beck, McCoy Tyner, Duran Duran, And Kelly Clarkson.

ISC gives away more than $150,000 in cash and prizes (shared among the 68 winners) including an overall Grand Prize consisting of $25,000 (US) cash and $20,000 in prizes. Open to all levels of songwriters, ISC offers 22 categories that include all genres of popular music. Past winners have included artists from Grammy winners to hobbyist songwriters and everyone in between.

Winning ISC can be a tremendous career booster. Over the years, many winners have achieved great career success, including getting signed to labels such as Epic, Universal, Motown, and more. Many more winners have secured publishing deals, smaller label deals, licensing deals, and distribution deals in addition to getting more gigs, fans, and recognition

For information and enter, go to http://www.songwritingcompetition.com

MY BIG FAT GREEK TEA PARTY

The Hellenic Welfare Association is on a fund-raising mission to build a small Greek Old Age Home.

To this end, they are arranging a fun tea-party as a fundraiser on October 7 where patrons can enjoy a morning of Mediterranean hospitality with goodie bags, prizes and good food.

There will also be a fashion show by Sandy Day, a flower arranging demonstration, and a financial talk in a casual Mediterranean style. MC will be Stavros Anthias.

My Big Fat Greek Tea Party takes place on October 7 at 08h30 for 09h00 at the Hellenic Community Centre, 6 High Grove, Umgeni Park, Durban North. Cost R200 pp.

BROADWAY DANCE CENTRE WORKSHOP

The South African Society for the Advancement of Dancing (SASAD) once again brings fantastic dancers and performers from New York City to facilitate a workshop for dancers in Durban. Leading the workshop will be Q (hip hop) and Jim Cooney (musical theatre)

Q recently worked with Step Up 3D promo campaign and some of his other credits include recording artist Kelis, As The World Turns, The Chris Rock Show, Much Music, Canada’s Much On Demand as well as various projects for MTV, VH1 and Billboard magazine.

He has a long history with Broadway Dance Centre, which began with a steady diet of Hip Hop, Funk, Ballet, and Jazz classes; and it continues with his current status as a BDC faculty member. Having graduated from Baltimore School for The Arts as a theatre major who was influenced by varying disciplines, Q creates choreography, both onstage and in class.

Frequently and without warning, the workshop experience could easily incorporate the worlds of Hip Hop, Bollywood, Salsa, Reggae, House or Rock with Q drawing creative inspiration from Nicki Minaj, Wisin & Yandel, and so many other artists who fall outside of even those boundaries. Dancers should expect a variety that will keep them on their toes and the class so fresh and most definitely so clean!

Jim Cooney has taught jazz, tap, and musical theatre across the world and has established himself as one of the most popular theatre dance faculty members at BDC. He assisted Tony-nominated director/choreographer Randy Skinner on the Broadway production of Abby’s Song starring Paul Sorvino and the musical Ginger starring Tony award winner Donna McKechnie.

Jim also has been the dance captain for eight productions including the first national tour of Tony award winner Susan Stroman’s Broadway revival of The Music Man and the original company of Nights on Broadway, directed and choreographed by Tony award winner Andy Blankenbuehler and starring former Miss America Kate Shindle.

In addition, he has performed under several Broadway directors such as Tony award nominee Marshall Mason and Drama Desk award nominee Scott Schwartz, and being musical directed by Pulitzer Prize, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award winning composer Marvin Hamlisch. He is certified in Cardio Barre and Pilates and was a group fitness instructor at Equinox Fitness Clubs for several years.

The workshop will take place on October 1 and 2 from 09h00 to 18h15 at St Mary’s DSG Kloof, KZN. Costing: Beginners R300 (2 classes); Juniors R600 (6 classes), and Seniors R750 (6 classes)

The Workshop is for all those who are interested in furthering their dance education in Hip Hop and Musical Theatre as well as those that are keen to do the workshop just for fun and for the experience. All are welcome and there is no age limit! To book your spot at this fantastic workshop, contact the SASAD office on Fax/Tel: 031 303 8737, email: info@sasad.org.za or ring Des van der Spuy on 082 563 1995.

STUDIO UNIVERSAL

At a launch on September 22, Universal Networks International (UNI) and MultiChoice briefed members of the media that the new UNI movie channel Studio Universal will reach 47 countries across the continent through DStv, offering DStv subscribers “Hollywood at Home”.

The main focus here is stars – the kind of mega movie stars that can command major salaries and whose movies invariably become smash hits.

Studio Universal will be available on the DStv Premium and DStv Compact bouquets on DStv Channel 119 and will offer viewers a host of blockbuster action and comedy movies, in addition to a range of themed film nights.

Colin McLeod, MD EMEA Emerging Markets, Universal Networks International said "Given Universal Networks International’s successful collaboration with DStv via Universal Channel, it is natural that we extend our relationship to encompass a movie channel dedicated to the best of recent Hollywood movies. The Studio Universal brand capitalizes on its strong heritage via Universal Pictures International (UPI) – which has been producing movies for nearly a century. We are sure DStv subscribers will love this new channel that combines top films from UPI and other studios."

Studio Universal will launch at 19h00 (SA time) on September 30, with a line-up of well-known and successful blockbusters from the Universal Pictures catalogue such as the thrilling The Fast and the Furious starring Vin Diesel, the action-packed Miami Vice with Academy Award®-winner Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell and the hit romantic comedy Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason starring the incomparable Renee Zellweger.

Aletta Alberts, General Manager Content, MultiChoice: “Movies are a key driver for pay-TV viewers. We are always looking to strengthen the DStv channel line-up by offering our subscribers more high value content. We believe that Studio Universal will enrich the DStv platform – giving our DStv Compact and DStv Premium viewers a dedicated blockbuster movie channel.”

Other big movies featured on the channel will include the hilarious Norbit starring Eddie Murphy as multiple characters; espionage thrillers The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy with Matt Damon; romantic musical drama Save the Last Dance with Julia Stiles and gripping political drama The Interpreter with Hollywood heavyweights Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman.

Internationally, Studio Universal is available in Italy and across Latin America, reaching more than 25 million cumulative subscribers, in three languages.

MultiChoice is one of the outstanding examples of a pioneering South African company, owned by Naspers, an international player providing entertainment, technology and e-commerce services.

FUSION FANTASIA

The popular dance studio, Belly Fusion, will present their annual showcase production, Fusion Fantasia, at the Playhouse on October 1.

The production offers a programme of belly dancing mixed with varied dance styles from Latin American, Bollywood and Bhangra to cabaret, hula and break dancing – with sword and tribal dance added for good measure!

The African Conservation Trust Rhino Fund has been chosen to receive a donation of a portion of the show’s proceeds.

Fusion Fantasia has two performances in the Playhouse on October 1 – at 15h00 and at 19h30. Tickets R70 booked through Computicket.

LEIGH ANN MORRISON

The Corner Café is hosting an exhibition of oil paintings by Leigh-Ann Morrison until October 10.

The Corner Café is situated at 197 Brand Road, Glenwood, Durban. More information on 031 201 0291.

PLATFORM JAZZ AT WESTVILLE

Making a welcome return to the Westville Country Club on October 8 will be the fun jazz band Platform Jazz. This year they have a slightly different line-up of musicians including Cathy Peacock on trumpet, Ian Holloway on clarinet, Duncan Wooldridge on trombone, Jeff Judge on sax and vocals, Andreas Kappen on double bass, Slephane Pechoux on drums and the inimitable Melvin Peters on keyboards.

Some favourites to listen out for will be traditional Dixie numbers such as The Battle Hymn of the Republic, Alexander’s Ragtime Band and Sweet Georgia Brown, swing numbers include It don't mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing and How High the Moon. Jeff will entertain with the likes of All of me and Satin Doll to name a few. This group played to a sold-out audience with rave reviews at the Village of Happiness in July and most recently at the Hilton Festival a couple of weekends ago. Their brand of entertainment is toe-tapping and infectious and if jazz is your bag, don't miss this fun evening! Their performance at Westville last year was extremely popular.

Catch Platform Jazz at the Westville Country Club on October 8, the evening starts at 19h00 with music from 20h00 onwards. Tickets R100 and patrons are encouraged to bring their own picnic baskets but drinks may be purchased at the club. Booking is advisable as there is limited seating. Contact Eugene or Pam at the club on 031 226 1391 or Eugene on 082 726 1090 or email admin@westvillecountryclub.co.za

For more information on Platform Jazz contact Cathy Peacock on 082 349 8362.

LIPS RENDEZVOUS

The next meeting of the Live Poets Society (LiPS) will feature Irene Emanuel as guest speaker.

The traveller in search of discovery with a yearning for new exotic places longing to taste and explore the customs and the way of life of different cultures the yearning can become a lifelong obsession. There is nothing mythical about poets they are a lot like travellers always with an obsession and yearning to discover and rediscover their inner landscape and reshape the terrain and explore beyond the horizon and they do all this with the power of words, unique words crafted to last for all eternity. Irene Emanuel Is such a Poet who is ever faithful to her craft and the preservation of poetry as an art to be enjoyed and appreciated.

Irene Emanuel was born in Johannesburg, where she lived until 2002, when she moved to Durban. She has always loved the rhythm and sound of words and started rhyming when she was about four years old. Irene states that Poetry allows her to get her message across with rhythmic speed and clarity and the written word is what she likes best. In 2006, Irene was Highly Commended for her short story in the Shuter and Shooter annual competition. In 2009, she was the winner of the South African Writers’ Circle Hilde Slinger Award for Poetry.

Author of A Scorpion Sings, a collection of Poems was published by Trayberry Press in 2006. She was the featured poet in Signatures and has also been published in short story anthologies, newspapers and magazines. Her poetry has also been published in Fidelities and A Hudson View. Her poem Born to Die was published in Agenda, a publication of Agenda Feminist Media. She represented Live Poets Society at Poetry Africa 2008 and was recently a featured poet in aA World Anthology of Journeys and in Poems for Haiti.

Selection of Irene’s poetry has been recently published by Osborne Porter Literary Services, in March 2011, titled Count Catula of Shadoland & friends.

The LiPS Rendezvous takes place on October 5 at 17h30 for 18h00 at the Point Yacht Club, Victoria Embankment, Durban. Admission is free. More information on Convener Danny Naicker on 083 282 0865 or e-Mail:- dnaicker@metsond.co.za

TALES FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM

Robyn Hailey Wells

A brand new production of a very popular children’s play Tales from the Brothers Grimm will be presented in two venues during the October School Holidays. Starring well-known Durban actress Robyn Hailey Wells, the play, is written and directed by Garth Anderson.

Robyn has won several awards from the Natal Drama Eisteddfods, Art Festivals and London Trinity College exams. Winning London's highest marks in KZN, she passed her Associate and Licentiate Drama-teaching exams with distinctions. Passionate about teaching children the art of speaking beautifully and expressing confidently, she has for many years run Expressions, a Speech, Confidence and Performance training company.

Robyn first worked with Garth in Aladdin, playing Dame Washalot. She played in Garth's Just So Stories. She also starred in his South African adaptations of Chekhov's comedies The Bear and The Proposal. Robyn loves performing Children's Theatre more than any other theatrical style.

Garth has been involved in many types of theatre for more than 30 years. His work has been seen at the Edinburgh Festival and in the United Kingdom, New York, Australia and Taiwan. He especially loves Shakespeare and Children's Theatre, and has been privileged to win a number of Theatre Awards, including the Durban Theatre Judges Award and the Fools Smart Award.

For many years, Garth presented Children's Plays at Durban's Botanic Gardens Amphitheatre, including Aladdin, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Puss In Boots and Just So Stories. His production of Balancing Act, written and performed by Adi Paxton, has just been performed at the Out Of The Box Festival in Cape Town. He originally appeared in Tales from the Brothers Grimm himself and performed throughout South Africa.

Tales from the Brothers Grimm will first be seen at the Westville Municipal Library, Room G2, from October 3 to 7. The enchanting production will finally be seen at the Hillcrest Municipal Library, outside under the trees on October 8.

All performances will begin at 11h00. Patrons are advised to bring refreshments for their youngsters and cushions or blankets to sit on. Tickets R40 (R30 children 12 and under). Bookings through The Actors Co-operative on 081 384 5706.

ANDRE THE HILARIOUS HYPNOTIST

Best known for his high voltage humour and ability to get people to perform a variety of hilarious hypnotic suggestions on stage, Andre the Hilarious Hypnotist returns to Durban in October. The funny man has also lost 100kg through a controlled diet.

Andre uses his skills as a funny-man and combines this with his training in hypnosis to create hilarious pandemonium on stage. Andre’s performance is clean, funny and family friendly and he sees no reason to change this success recipe after 17 odd years of packed theatres in South Africa and abroad. This public show is suitable for those older than 16 as some material may be sensitive for younger audiences.

Andre the Hilarious Hypnotist will run at the SUNZone at Suncoast from October 6 to 8 and again from October 13 to 16 at 19h00 (± 75min duration without interval). For more info visit www.suncoastcasino.co.za

Sunday, September 25, 2011

WALFORD IN JOHANNESBURG

Well-known Durban Zen potter Andrew Walford will be in Johannesburg this coming weekend where he will exhibit his ceramics alongside personalised art objects by Gohla and Neudecker.

The exhibition runs from September 30 to October 2 from 09h00 to 18h00 at 18A 1st Avenue West, Parktown North, Johannesburg. More information on 011 7828571, 031 7691363 or 082 794 7796.

THE SPACE INBETWEEN

(“The Space Inbetween” untitled print by Sita Suzanne)

Wayne Reddiar and Sita Suzanne are two artists whose work runs along intersecting trajectories. Their exhibition, The Space Inbetween opens on September 26 at artSPACEdurban in the Corridor, Middle Gallery and Front Room exhibition areas.

Much of the work in this show is concerned with systems and binaries and how these work to constitute the self as subject.

Within this context the work aims to investigate technology and its ubiquitous nature: how it continually impacts on various systems of production ranging from meaning to identity; how it influences communication and shapes our understanding of contemporary culture; how it permeates the personal and socio-political spheres of life.

As a result of this, there is the potential for a pluralistic and continually evolving society, containing a seemingly limitless forum for the cross-pollination of ideas. The artists do not see this as an uncomplicated utopian phenomenon, but wish to explore the complexity inherent in these ideas in a non- value laden manner, keeping the discussion open-ended and exploratory. In recognition of this, a crucial aspect of this exhibition is the non-linear dialogue between the two artists’ works, where relationships can be formed between form, media and subject matter. Thus the artists hope to create a sense of open-ended interpretation, where the art objects, the space, the artists and the audience, all contribute toward the production of meaning.

The exhibition will include mediums such as print, video and sound.

The Space Inbetween runs from September 26 to October 15. artSPACE durban is situated at 3 Millar Road (off Umgeni Road) close to the Waste Centre. More information on 031 312 0793 or visit www.artspacedurban.co.za or www.artspacedurban.blogspot.com

SIFUNDAKWABADALA

(Sibusiso Duma’s "amaKhehla", oil on canvas)

Opening at artSPACE Durban’s Main Gallery on September 26 is Sifundakwabadala (Learning from Elders), an exhibition of paintings by Sibusiso Duma in which he continues to explore in his works his relationship with his primary traditional environment.

In Sifundakwabadala, Duma explores his relationship with his Elders. Learning from Elders explores not only the positive but also the dark and negative aspects that have become so obvious and harmful to our societies.

Sifundakwabadala, runs from September 26 to October 15. artSPACE durban is situated at 3 Millar Road (off Umgeni Road) close to the Waste Centre. More information on 031 312 0793 or visit www.artspacedurban.co.za or www.artspacedurban.blogspot.com

OUT OF AFRICA

(“3 Pelicans” by Barbara Siedle)

The Green Gallery presents Out of Africa at their Mount Edgecombe venue from September 29 for a few days. Sharing their interpretation of the theme are four well-known South African artists: Barbara Siedle with All things wild, Shirley Brandon with Flora & Foliage and Makiwa Mutomba with People & places as well as Owen Llewellyn Davies who will present his superb bronze sculptures.

Shirley Brandon was born in 1957 in Durban, KZN. After matriculating she studied at Rhodes University and spent four years there at the School of Art which were fundamental in her education as a painter. After university she studied Graphic Design in Durban and began working as a commercial artist. In later years, she returned to what she loved most – painting - and has since been a full-time artist. Living on a farm in the Midlands, she is constantly inspired by the world around her. She works in oils, and strives for the essence of a subject, the feel of light, the smell of a rose, the fragility of a petal. Her art work is held in many private and corporate collections both in SA and abroad.

Makiwa Mutomba was born in 1976 in Zimbabwe. He attended various urban schools around the country until University level. However, in 1999 when he had completed three years of University studies in Electronic Engineering, he abandoned studies to follow his dream of becoming an artist. Now based in South Africa, he has exhibited at numerous art galleries in South Africa, Germany, London, France, India and USA. In 2009, Woolworths South Africa chose one of his colourful beach scenes for their carrier bags, which were distributed across the country. Also in the same year Makiwa won an award for painting at the SNBA (Societie Nationale Des Beaux-Arts) , an international annual exhibition held at the Carrousel Du Louvre, in Paris, France.

Durban born Barbara Siedle first studied at the Michaelis School of Art , UCT for one year. She then attended the Munich Academy of Fine Art in West Germany where she studied painting and sculpture under Professor Kirchner. She later attended the Natal Technical College where she studied sculpture under Mary Stainbank. Barbara broadened her experience in acrylic, watercolour and oil painting, pottery, stained glass and mosaics in Durban, Salzburg, London and Munich. She is now a major established watercolour artist, especially in the field of wildlife. Her first one man exhibition in 1982 was sold out within a week. Since then she has had many one-man and group exhibitions with consistent success all over South Africa, Namibia and in the United Kingdom.

Owen Llewellyn Davies was born in Zimbabwe in 1950 and spent his formative years on his family farm in the Rhodesian bushveld. As a youth, he spent many hours modelling simple figures out of ant heap clay showing a remarkable eye for proportion, form and an uncanny ability to capture the essence of his subject. Today a large number of companies and private collectors worldwide have added Llewellyn bronzes to their collections. Llewellyn has displayed a high degree of versatility with works varying from the delicate malachite sunbird through to the powerful life-size rearing stallion Wolraad Woltemade. Sensitivity, an acutely observant eye and his talent for conveying emotion, power and movement, give Llewellyn's work a depth, which affords lasting pleasure.

Out of Africa runs from September 29, opening at 18h00, until October 4. The Green Gallery is situated at Flanders Mall, Flanders Drive, Mount Edgecombe and is open from 09h00 to 17h00 Mondays to Fridays (09h00 to 13h00 on Saturdays). More information on 031 502 2757.

ETCHINGS ETC. CHARITY WEEK

Etchings etc. Charity Week takes place from September 26 to October 1.

This time the Charity Week is in aid of the St Martins Children’s Home which provides a home for 76 children, and heavily rely on donations from the public to meet their needs. Refreshments will be provided in the gallery from 09h00 to 16h00 in exchange for a small donation to this worthy cause.

There is a fine selection of artworks on view from a variety of artists.

Etchings is situated at Shop 18, Park Boulevard, Browns Drift Road (Off Riverside Road) in Durban North.

X FACTOR U.S!

The international reality show phenomenon X FACTOR U.S will join the list of M-Net super-weight titles on the magic mantle. The new US version of the show with the notoriously supercritical talent judge Simon Cowell as front man will be broadcast on M-Net from early October 2011. Other judges on the panel are Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherzinger.

X FACTOR U.S will follow the conclusion of South African Idols season 7. Auditions in front of the producers for the first season take place in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Seattle, Chicago, and Dallas. X FACTOR U.S has no barriers as it is open to all ages, all styles, solo acts or groups. And the performers aren't the only ones competing - it's judge vs judge, artist vs artist! Simon Cowell's high energy entertainment format that has taken the world by storm will award the show's winner with a record-breaking $5 million record deal - the largest guaranteed prize in television history.

Pierre Cloete, Channel Head of M-Net & M-Net HD says bringing the X FACTOR U.S to M-Net viewers once again proves that the channel has become the home of blockbuster reality shows. "Following the success of American Idol we can’t wait to see the entertainment X FACTOR U.S has in store."

The X FACTOR U.S has been rated the #1 Entertainment Show in the UK for the past three years, reaching record UK audiences in 2009 of 20 million with 60% audience share - it is also the number 1 music entertainment format in Europe.

Head of Acquisitions at the Magic Centre, Tracey Gilchrist, explained that the show is an exclusive for M-Net in South Africa. X FACTOR U.S will follow a similar broadcast pattern to the U.S air dates, reducing the turnaround time between programming in the US and here in South Africa.”

Available on M-Net & M-Net HD as seen on DSTV.

UNIVERSAL SERIES

Coming up on the Universal Channel are two excellent series: Law and Order and Haven.

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit starts its Season 11 on September 28 at 20h00 to be followed every Wednesdays at the same time. The continuing stories from the New York Police Department’s Special Victims Unit – a group of elite detectives charged with bringing to justice the perpetrators of an array of unsettling sexually oriented crimes. While their investigations test their professional expertise, the detectives must also balance their tumultuous personal lives. Season 11 crimes include: a murder of a woman that is linked to the meat-packing industry, a case of mistaken identity and the murder of an uninvited wedding guest.

Haven starts its Season 2 on October 2 at 20h50 and will continue every Sunday at the same time. This is a hit detective drama with a paranormal twist. Based on Stephen King's short novel The Colorado Kid, the series delves into the strange world of Haven, a small town in Maine populated by mysterious people exiled from regular society owing to their incredible powers. When FBI agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) tracks a prison escapee who dies shortly after reaching Haven, she decides to remain in town and investigate this curious place. She soon discovers that Haven holds the key to more than just the history of those it shelters. Season 2 begins in explosive style, as Audrey encounters a woman who claims to be her, the residents of Haven are hit with a series of biblical plagues, and a range of intelligent, bloodthirsty machines unleash their destructive power.

SHANNON HOPE AT ALLIANCE

DBN♥Moi is the name of Shannon Hope’s performance at the Alliance Française when this art pop pianist and vocal artist will appear on September 30 at 19h30. Tickets R50 (R25 Alliance members).

Alliance Française de Durban is situated at 22 Sutton Crescent (off Windermere Road) in Morningside. For more information or to book, contact 031 312 9582 or fax 031 312 2864 or email: durban@alliance.org.za

DURBAN INT BLUES FESTIVAL

(Liz Mandeville)

Now in its seventh year, The Durban International Blues Festival will once again be held at Wilson’s Wharf in Durban from September 27 to October 2. Boasting some of South Africa’s best blues artists, the festival is also proud to announce that Liz Mandeville (USA) will be back by popular demand and Torono Cannon (USA) brings a new kind of rush to the stage.

“The tried and trusted formula for the festival will follow this year again as we hold free concerts on the deck from September 27 to 29, followed by the paid-for concerts over the weekend (September 30 to October 2) and which ends with the popular Blues Summit on Sunday night” according to festival Publicity Director, Tanya van Agthoven.

The Catalina Theatre upstairs will again host a specially created show nightly, with The Real featuring Barry Thomson, Dawn Selby, Mali Sewall and Jason Andrew and performance times are 18h00 to 19h00.

This year’s line-up also includes, amongst others: Dan Patlansky, Goldswain and Judge, The Tim Wells Band, Bobby and the Dynamites, The Jack Rabbit Slims (PE), Diamondback Blues Band (CT), Baret Blues, The Cheap Bad Habits, The Gloucester Blues Project, Raoul and Black Friday, Sheila da Blue Note, The Tammy Saville Band, Jerry Kunene Blues and from Cape Town, the fabulously popular top SA blues maestros, The Boulevard Blues Band.

On September 28, there’s the popular Fender evening, sponsored by Glenwood Village Music, which will play host to a number of blues guests artist such as Toni Rowland, John Ellis, The East Coast Basement Blues Band, The GVM Band, Rob Warren and more of those whom blues fans have come to love. A popular evening not to be missed.

Various acoustic artists will perform on the deck on October 1 and 2 in the afternoon where names such as Guy Buttery, Allister Cokely, Anthon Cawthorn-Blazenby, Tiffany Sheppard, ex Urbanite Dr John Mostert, Greg “Turnkey” Smith, John Ellis, Keith Fordyce, Umkhumbane Ensemble, The Crochet Band, Rowan Stuart and others come into the mix.

Tickets for the gala events and Summit on the Fri, Sat and Sunday are R85 on sale from Catalina Theatre on +27 (0)31 305 7612 .It is exceptionally important for the public to realise that ticket sales are on a first-come first-serve basis with no particular seat allocation in the Catalina Theatre upstairs or at Zacks and the other participating restaurants downstairs.

It is thus advisable to book and pay early to ensure that you get the “front row seats” as there is no guarantee from event co-ordinators or venue staff of allocation of seating of your choice.

The event is sponsored by: eThekwini Municipality, Dept Arts Culture and Education, The Mercury, The Benjamin Hotel, Concord Printing, Fender, Glenwood Village Music, The Blues Train, Rockfest Radio 98.3 the Right hand design

More information from publicity director Tanya van Agthoven Marais on +27(0)82 747 9738 or email tva_pr@global.co.za or visit www.durbanbluesfestival.co.za

RHODESIAN MUSIC TRIBUTE

Musicians Martin Patrick (Tall Boys) and Bernie Alan-Brown (The Collection) are getting together to sing a few songs as a tribute to all the great Rhodesian musicians of the 60’s and 70’s. They’ll be performing ballads and rock and roll numbers to backing tracks in aid of the Zimbabwean Pensioners Fund, and to provide all their old fans and mates with an opportunity for a party.

The Rhodesian Music Tribute will take place on September 30 from 19h00 till late at Moonshadow, German Club, off Essex Terrace, Westville. Tickets R90 in aid of Zimbabwean Pensioners Fund booked on 031 303 4457 or email sales@basound.co.za

STYLE ICONS

Style Icons - Top South African Designers & their Interiors is by Paul Duncan, the former editor of Condé Nast’s House & Garden (South Africa). He currently holds the position of Head of Design: Homeware at Woolworths. He lives in Cape Town.

South African interior designers and decorators are as good as, if not better than many of their British, French and American counterparts. Indeed, their work is sought-after for its peculiar freshness, African-ness and originality, and many of them regularly accept commissions abroad and have their work published in international interiors magazines.
Style Icons is a remarkable, varied collection of places designed and decorated by tremendously talented people, some of them very well known, others less so. Interestingly, although they’re all so different and varied in style, their roots are essentially in sync and they have a single voice. This is the first time such a collection has been put together and it provides a unique opportunity to compare such talent all in one volume.

This highly visual book features 12 South African interior designers, each with their own unique style and approach to design. In their own words, each icon talks about their inspirations and influences, their stylistic range, their likes and dislikes, and how they see themselves and their work. They address the difficult question of what makes them South African and how their work brings that across, focusing on a few specific projects, and discussing the challenges and opportunities presented by each one. Carefully selected, beautiful full-colour photographs of various aspects of the projects discussed illustrate each designer’s signature style, giving a feel for their work and capturing the essence of what it is they are striving to achieve in the African context.

The featured designers in Style Icons are: Stephen Falcke, Boyd Ferguson, John Jacob Zwiegelaar, Graham Viney, Catherine Raphaely, Charlotte Daneel, Julian and Trevyn McGowan, Karen Roos, Maira Koutsoudakis, Michele Throssell, Stefan Antoni and Toni Tollman. RRP: R330.00 - ISBN: 978 177 007 9380.

UNIVERSAL UK PICKS UP SPUD

Spud takes on the world! After a successful release in South Africa in December 2010 which saw it top the summer box office ahead of international blockbusters like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the film adaptation of one of South Africa’s best-loved books has made massive international strides with distribution deals in place to release it in the UK, Ireland, the Middle East, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand and Scandinavia.

The deal to distribute the film in the UK was announced at the Toronto Film Festival this past weekend by the film’s international sales agent, The Little Film Company, and will see Universal UK handling theatrical, home entertainment and television rights, with the cinema release set for early 2012. Universal UK is the British & Irish arm of Hollywood studio NBC Universal.

Spud producer Ross Garland is delighted that such a powerhouse player has picked up the film. “It’s a bit of a coup for a major distributor like Universal UK to pick up a South African film – and we’re delighted that they’re so passionate about it,” he says. “2012 is shaping up to be a big Spud year - in addition to our first foray into the international market, the fourth book in the series is being published and we’re working on plans to shoot the sequel film”.

Universal UK Acquisition Head Richard Thompson believes that UK audiences will enjoy Spud’s coming-of-age story: “The book franchise has an incredible following in South Africa. The film topped the South African box office - beating Harry Potter – and we know UK audiences will fall in love with these characters and this story.”

In addition to its sales success, Spud will be part of the prestigious Cinekid Festival in Holland in mid-October. Cinekid is the largest international children’s film festival. The film will also play at Germany’s Schlingel International Film Festival for children and youths, and has already screened at the Giffoni Film Festival in Italy in July.

Based on the best-selling South African novel by John van de Ruit, Spud is directed by Donovan Marsh and stars BAFTA-winner, Emmy winner and Academy Award nominee John Cleese and newcomer Troye Sivan (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and was produced by Ross Garland of Rogue Star Films and Brad Logan of BLM Productions.

The film will be distributed in the Middle East by Front Row, in Australia by Pinnacle and by Another World in Scandinavia. Airline rights have been acquired by Terry Steiner.

ECO ARTS AWARDS

The Eco Arts Awards (www.ecoartsawards.com) is now accepting entries in six categories: Songwriting, Short Videos, Photography, Poetry, Fine Art, and Functional Art with $1,000 cash on offer to each first place winner .

The primary selection criteria to win in any of the categories will be based on the inspired, innovative approach to the Ecology theme. Of course, all the skills and techniques required to create a good work in any of these categories will be necessary to be effective. Eco Arts Awards has an excellent panel of highly qualified jurors specific to each category, including A&R representatives from major record labels.

Eco Arts Awards is particularly proud of procuring Lloyd Herman, the founding director of the Renwick Gallery, which is the Smithsonian's Museum of American Art. He will judge the Functional Art category, which is now called Repurposed Materials in Art & Design. In that genre, there is no higher authority than Lloyd Herman!

Eco Arts Awards' mission is to promote higher artistic vision. The goal is for professionals, as well as amateurs, to have fun pushing their edges to their greatest potential. Why? The world needs their inspiration. Human beings are the stewards of this planet, and artists have a very important contribution to make.

The early bird deadline of September 30 offers a discounted entry fee of $25 per individual work up to midnight! The regular entry fee is $30 per individual work through to the final deadline of November 30, 2011.

More information from Kathryn Edwards, Managing Director, on 828 575 3979 or email mgrdir@ecoartsawards.com or visit www.ecoartsawards.com

Saturday, September 24, 2011

FOUR DURBAN ACTORS TO NETHERLANDS

(Pic supplied by Theater Groep Siberia: Ntando Mncube (centre) drums up support at the Rotterdam City Theatre)

Four Durban-based actors have been selected to perform in the Netherlands over the coming months with the Dutch Theater Group Siberia, as part of an exchange programme driven by the locally based NPO Twist Theatre Development Projects.

Actors Jabulani Mfeka and Ntando Mncube have been cast in the production Kamp Noord, written by the Dutch writer Oskar van Woensel. Van Woensel has a long connection with theatre in South Africa. He wrote the script for Third World Bunfight's production of the award-winning shock opera Medea, directed by Brett Bailey in 2007. He also created a heartrendingly desperate piece entitled Soweto So What as part of the Twist writers project at the National Arts Festival in 2010 based on Zakes Mda's novel, Black Diamond. The piece is currently being considered as a short film.

Kamp Noord is a dark and moving dance drama that explores notions of loneliness and belonging. After opening in Rotterdam it will tour the Netherlands and Belgium.

In a production that opens later in the year, newcomer Philisiwe Sithole and Eager Artist's actress Sphindile Miyeni have both been cast to appear in Erik-ward Geerling's production Odysee, a modern day take on Homer's Odyssey. The actresses were cast for their fantastic vocal abilities, and will take turns appearing as the femme fatale of the piece, who seduces Odysseus away from his faithful wife Penelope.

For most of the actors, this is the first time that they have travelled beyond South Africa's borders. It allows them the opportunity to experience the professional stage in other countries, and to bring these experiences back and share the lessons learnt with local theatre groups. The exchange product is funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands through the Twist Theatre Development Project.

DANCE WINNERS

Local dancers Lesley Klewinghaus, who runs the Just Dance studio, and Jerome Edwards, who only joined her studio three years ago, are a familiar duo in dancing competitions around South Africa. They recently won gold in the couples’ section of the World Dance Masters’ Championships in Manchester. The dancers also won first prize in their solo style categories.

To quote a Daily News report by Laea Medley (September 20):

“In the August competition, Klewinghaus performed a waltz, a two-step and a cha-cha, while Edwards performed a nightclub two-step and a show dance. They were assessed by a panel of nine international judges on their knowledge of dance steps, technique and overall look.”

FOR GENERATIONS

(Kurt Egelhof)

As part of its season of New Stages 2011 productions, The Playhouse Company in Durban will present For Generations, Kurt Engelhof’s highly acclaimed one-hander. This powerfully enacted retrospective work is seen through the eyes of the author’s grandfather and father. He also shares his own poignant milestones and moves into the future with his son, Aston, who, at 15, is part of the post-apartheid generation learning about his country’s shameful history through school books.

In his compelling piece, Egelhof tells the story of his family – his white musician, war-hero grandfather Sonny and his Xhosa bride Violet; his father Basil who worked too hard in the whaling station on the Bluff and his mother Marjorie Lucas; himself, Kurt the actor / director; and his sports-mad schoolgoing adolescent son, Aston. Their stories and characters intertwine with the passing of the years.

Engelhof, a former Durbanite now based in Cape Town, previously appeared in For Generations at The Catalina Theatre in 2009.

In his artSMart review of that production, Maurice Kort wrote: “This is an inspiring piece of work bringing to life in a dramatic narrative style the age-old rhetoric Who Am I, Where Do I Come From and Where Am I Going?”

An engrossing theatre experience, For Generations carries through the message that sometimes there are stories that demand to be told … Engelhof encourages us to delve into our own backgrounds, to embrace our own stories and let them out for the world to hear.

For Generations has performances in the Playhouse Loft on October 6 at 10h00 and 12h00 for schools audiences, with public performances on October 7 at 19h30 and October 8 at 14h30 and 19h30.

Tickets at R55 (R40 students and scholars) booked through Computicket on 0861 915 8000 or online at www.computicket.com or through the Playhouse Box Office on 031-369 9540 (office hours).

LAUGH OUT LOUD DURBAN COMEDY

A group of Durban’s finest comedians can be seen in Laugh Out Loud Durban Comedy at Sibaya Casino and Entertainment World at the end of the month.

Neville Pillay, Neil Green, Dusty Rich, Li’l Paul, Gareth Woods and Masood Boomgard will be on the programme.

Laugh Out Loud Durban Comedy runs in the iZulu Theatre at Sibaya from September 30 to October 2 at 20h00 (Sunday at 15h00). Tickets 110 booked on 031 580 5701.

DON QUIXOTE

(Pic by Susanne Holbaek: Arianni Martin and Josué Justiz of the National Ballet School of Cuba)

For the first time since the 1994, South African ballet audiences will be treated to the traditional full-length three-act version of the great Russian ballet Don Quixote when Mzansi Productions brings the scintillating classic to Johannesburg and Durban.

Based on an episode in Cervantes’ epic novel and set in bustling Seville, the ballet tells a story of the triumph of young love over parental match-making. The beautiful, audacious Kitri and the dashing but poor Basilio are determined to marry but Kitri’s father has more ambitious plans for his daughter.

The sparkling comedy unfolds in a cascade of dazzling classical ballet which features some of the most celebrated showpieces in all ballet, the most famous of which is the virtuoso Don Quixote Pas de Deux.

The Mzansi Productions staging is based on the original version by the great 19th century choreographer Marius Petipa and will be staged with the assistance of the National Ballet School of Cuba. Also contributing to bringing Don Quixote back to the South African stage will be ballerina Angela Malan, Mzansi Productions’ ballet mistress.

The new décor and costumes will be designed by leading South African stage designer, Andrew Botha.

In a coup for South African ballet, the Mzansi Productions company will be augmented by between 15 to 20 visiting dancers from Cuba, South Korea and Argentina, promising to make Don Quixote one of the ballet highlights of recent years.

Don Quixote will be performed in Durban in the Playhouse Opera on September 29 and 30 as well as October 1, 4, and 5 at 19h30 and on October 1 and 2 at 14h30. Tickets at R80, R100, R120 and R160 can be booked through Computicket on 083 915 8000.

Johannesburg performances will be at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, from October 13 to 23.

Mzansi Productions receives funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.

SUCH A NIGHT

Subtitled Such a Night – with Elvis, this show will be performed by Belinda Dolphin and Jaziel Vaugh'hann over this weekend and next weekend at Rhumbelow Theatre.

From the Witness Hilton Arts Festival 2010, Belinda Dolphin & Jaziel Vaugh'hann collaborate in this festive trip down memory lane, celebrating music from the King of rock & roll, gospel, blues, country, pop ballads and love songs. Who else could we talking about but Elvis!!

The songs are about vitality, rebelliousness, good humour, but above all, love and romance. From the heart-wrenching Crying in the Chapel and Love Me Tender to the fun Jailhouse Rock and Such a Night, this show promises to get audiences tapping, snapping, swaying and clapping. The talented duo performs hits from the 60's such as Suspicious Minds through to contemporary duets like If I Can Dream and The Prayer. The show is sure to appeal to all ages.

Performances on Saturdays at 20h00 (September 24 and October 1) and Sundays (September 25 and October 2) at 18h30. The venue opens 90 minutes before show for picnic dinner.

Tickets R100 (block booking discount of less 25% for eight or more patrons). Take along food picnic baskets and braais will be available. There is limited secure parking and booking is essential. A cash bar is available (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises). Rhumbelow Theatre is situated in Cunningham Avenue off Bartle Road.

Booking is through Computicket or contact Roland on 031 205 7602 (h) or 082 499 8636, email roland@stansell.za.net or visit www.rhumbelow.za.net

DON’T MESS WITH DECEMBER

“It may just be a coincidence but through the years, going back many years, some of the biggest hits appeared in December,” says popular entertainer Colin Penn. “From Roll out the Barrel in 1934, through the Sinatra era, the Rock ’n Roll hits to some memorable film and Broadway evergreens ... all of them made the hit parade in December.”

Backed by Colin Penn and his Pennants, singers Immaculate Cele and Shannon Kenny will launch audiences into a holiday season feeling, listening to these wonderful songs of yesteryear.

Don’t Mess with December will have one performance on September 25 at the Norwegian Hall, 214 St Thomas Road, Durban. Lunch (BYO) at 13h00 with the show at 14h00. Tickets R60 booked through Barbara on 031 564 5135.

MARC POISSON

The Riverbend Art Gallery in Southbroom will exhibit works by Marc Poisson over the weekend until September 25 at 16h30 as part of the fifth annual Spring Wine Festival showcasing wines from 35 top estates.

Titled The Dances of Light, the exhibition will also feature metal sculptor Florian Junge.

Tickets R100 include a complimentary tasting glass, musical entertainment, wine tasting and post-tasting snacks.

PRIME CIRCLE DOUBLE CELEBRATION

(Prime Circle)

The Barnyard Theatre at Gateway will stage a double celebration with Prime Circle, as both the venue and band prepare to turn ten years old. From humble beginnings, both have grown to be forces to be reckoned with in the theatre and music industry since they first established themselves in 2001. The joint celebration will take place with Prime Circle performing three shows at the venue on October 3 and 4.

The Barnyard Theatre at Gateway was the first fully-fledged commercial venue in the now well-established circuit, while Prime Circle have gone from a rehearsal room in Witbank, to become one of South Africa’s most popular and talked about bands. Since opening ten years ago, The Barnyard Theatre at Gateway has established itself as a hugely popular live-music venue with many of South Africa’s top bands and performers. After numerous sold out shows at the mall venue since 2007, Prime Circle will return as part of their ten year birthday tour.

Prime Circle is just back from another very successful tour of Europe, after having won the Best Rock Album SAMA for 2011 with their Platinum selling fourth album, Jekyll & Hyde. It was released in September, 2010, while their first single off it, Breathing, was already setting charts alight. This was followed by recent hits Turning In My Sleep, Never Gonna Bring Us Down and Turn Me To Stone.

The line-up will include all their hits as well as new songs such as Everything You Want (boasting one of the most beautiful keyboard melody lines Prime Circle’s ever written), I’m Ready and Turn Me to Stone which are all expected to be hits.

Part of the appeal of The Barnyard Theatre for live music is that it is an intimate venue with great sound and lighting. It also offers a laid-back environment where patrons are able to enjoy food and drinks before and during the show seated at tables and counters, especially making use of the weekend performances. Audience members can also meet the band in the bar after the show to buy paraphernalia and get autographs.

Prime Circle has shared the stage with international mega superstars including Metallica, The Rasmus, Simple Plan, Live, Collective Soul, Incubus, Peter Gabriel, Goo Goo Dolls, Kaiser Chiefs and Good Charlotte to name but a few. The band consists of Ross Learmonth on vocals and rhythm guitar, Dale Schnettler on drums, Dirk Bisschoff guitar and vocals, Neil Breytenbach on keyboards and Marco Gomes on bass guitar.

Tickets R160 pp and seating will be as for normal shows, with no standing room. Bookings through The Barnyard Theatre on 031 566 3045 or e-mail gateway@barnayrdtheatre.co.za for enquiries and further details.

For information, regular updates and tour dates on the band, visit www.primecircle.co.za

MUSICAL THEATRE WORKSHOP

Calling all budding young singers, actors and dancers!

Here’s an opportunity to learn the art of musical theatre from two of South Africa’s most talented and highly experienced theatre performers who have performed both locally and internationally. Anton Luitingh and Duane Alexander from Cats, Beauty & the Beast, Grease, Chicago, High School Musical, Rent and Jesus Christ Superstar started The Musical Theatre Workshop successfully in Cape Town. Now, for the first time, these school holidays will host a week-long workshop in Durban at Eden College in Glenwood. Applications close at the end of September.

Says Duane Alexander: "We started The Musical Theatre Workshop to give young, passionate and talented children a taste of life in the performing arts industry. We expose them to professional level production techniques, hoping to instil them with greater appreciation and fonder love of this fantastic industry. As two individuals passionate about our craft, we really value the opportunity to discover new potential, develop their skills, all the while building confidence and boosting self-esteem in a safe, creative and professional environment. Our hope is to uplift 'Musical Theatre' in South Africa in the broader sense, but also to gear young talent for a shining career in the performing arts. These workshops are a wonderful opportunity for students to meet like-minded individuals and it is a fun and productive way to spend a week of their school holidays."

Born and educated in Pietermaritzburg, Duane has been dancing and performing since the age of six. He studied at the Waterfront Theatre School in Cape Town where he twice received the award for Most Outstanding Student. He also obtained his Performer’s Certificate in Musical Theatre, and teaching degrees in both Modern and Tap dance. Not only is Duane an accomplished on-stage performer, he has also worked on major locally staged and international touring musicals as resident director, resident choreographer and dance captain. Duane works as a lecturer, teacher, freelance dancer and choreographer, working on corporate functions, film & television, Children’s Theatre Productions, and at The Cape Academy of Performing Arts.

Anton Luitingh has been involved in many facets of the entertainment industry, working as an actor, singer, songwriter, musical director, musician and voice artist. He obtained his B.Drama (Hons) Cum Laude degree in Drama at the University of Stellenbosch. He has performed principal roles in many productions including Rent, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar and Showboat as well as the beast in Beauty and the Beast and is soon to appear in the forthcoming production of Phantom of the Opera to be staged later this year in Cape Town and early next year in Johannesburg.

When he is not performing on stage, Anton fills other equally important roles off-stage including that of resident director and musical director. Anton is the co-writer, performer and musical director for the three-time Vita and Fleur du Cap Award nominated shows Offbeat Broadway and Offbeat Broadway 2&3, which have toured extensively around South Africa as well as to other destinations in Africa and London. He is currently performing in Offbeat Broadway 4 at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre to rave reviews. Anton has received numerous awards and nominations.

The Musical Theatre Workshop runs from October 3 to 8. Daily sessions are split between juniors (ages 7 to 13) running from 10h00 to 12h30 and seniors (ages 14 to 20) from 13h15 to 16h30. The cost per student is R650. The week culminates in a showcase performance for family and friends. Students completing the six-day workshop receive a certificate and the course content includes triple threat training; acting, dancing, singing and many educational fun-filled activities relating to musical theatre.

Applications close on 30 September 2011.

To apply or for more information call Duane on 084 666 1344, email info@musicaltheatreworkshop.co.za or visit www.musicaltheatreworkshop.co.za

TRIBUTE TO PATRICK LEEMAN

(Patrick Leeman, pic courtesy of The Mercury)

Graham Linscott, who writes for The Mercury as The Idler, pens this tribute to his long-term friend and colleague. (Article courtesy of The Mercury)

It was with great sadness that I learned of the death last week of my old friend and colleague, Patrick Leeman, who until his retirement from the Mercury had been faithfully reporting news events in KwaZulu-Natal for more than 40 years.

Patrick covered a range of subjects, political and labour developments included, but his special interest was music and the arts, which he not only critiqued but supported passionately in all kinds of ways.

He combined this with an intense involvement with the Catholic Church.

Patrick knew just about everybody of any prominence in KZN, and they all knew him. Apart from a spell in the London office of The Mercury in the 1960’s, he was based throughout his career in Durban.

He was possessed of a wealth of background knowledge in all kinds of areas.

In retirement, for a while he kept up much of his writing on a freelance basis. But his health went into serious decline about a year ago. He will be sadly missed. – Graham Linscott

Friday, September 23, 2011

KZNPO CONCERT: SEPTEMBER 22

(Maximiliano Martin)

Two star performers gave special lustre to this second concert of the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra’s spring season in the Durban City Hall. (Review by Michael Green)

They were the conductor, Daniel Boico, and the evening’s soloist, the Spanish clarinettist Maximiliano Martin. Boico was born in Israel 41 years ago but has spent most of his life conducting in Western Europe, Russia and the Americas. This was his first appearance with the KZNPO, and he made a perceptible impact in a wide-ranging programme of music by Manuel de Falla, Weber and Brahms.

He is a dynamic and vigorous conductor, and he seemed to have established an excellent rapport with the orchestra. The first result was an exciting performance of the second concert suite from Falla’s Three-Cornered Hat ballet, culminating in a brilliant account of the final Jota, Spanish music taken to its ultimate level.

Maximiliano Martin then came on stage to fascinate the audience with the dexterity of his playing of Weber’s Clarinet Concerto in F minor. This was written two centuries ago, in 1811. It is not profound music but it is delightful, a virtuoso work with plenty of twiddly bits, fast triplets, runs, leaps, and some lovely melodies.

Martin, who was born on the island of Tenerife, has been the principal clarinettist of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for the past nine years and has played as a soloist in many parts of the world. In the Weber, he displayed a beautiful true tone and a technique that handled all the difficulties with great nimbleness. Among the high points of the concerto are the very unusual chorale for horns and solo clarinet in the slow movement and the breathtaking exuberance of the final movement. The audience were roused to a pitch of enthusiasm and gave prolonged applause.

The second half of the programme was occupied by a rarity: Brahms’s Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, written for piano and three strings in 1861 when the composer was 28, and arranged for full orchestra by the most revolutionary composer of the twentieth century, Arnold Schoenberg.

Schoenberg made the transcription in 1937. He altered the instruments but not the notes, so the work is an accurate version of Brahms’s score, but with very different sounds. It is, for a start, much louder; 70 players make more noise than four, and Schoenberg makes ample use of the brass instruments. The result is undeniably impressive, more opulent and lush than the original quartet, and the orchestra gave a fine account of it. What would Brahms have thought of this? I’m not sure, but he would certainly have been surprised.

Dietary note. In conversation with Maximiliano Martin before the concert it emerged that he eats a banana or two before each performance. He says the potassium gives him extra energy. He should feel at home in Durban. A real banana boy. - Michael Green

MONEY MAKER

Money Maker opens at the Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre on September 23.

This gripping story looks at the realities of socio-economic consequences of migration. This production takes audiences through a world of sex workers and what they go through in everyday life.

It explores a story of a mother who left a rural Mpumalanga to look for greener pastures in the city of gold, Johannesburg. She finds neither the easiest nor the worst of conditions by finally settling for prostitution where she survives by renting the space for the young ones. She recalls how swift and easy her transition was, but acknowledges making the decision had been difficult. However, putting it into practice was almost ludicrously simple.

Presented by KCAP and eThekwini Municipality, Moneymaker is written and directed by Jullian Seleke Mokoto. The show is fresh from the 2011 Grahamstown Arts Festival where it performed to full houses. The cast includes Linda Sebezo; Dallas Kunene; Tery Luboya-Muanza; Dikeledi Modubu; Malindi, and Crystal.

Moneymaker runs at the Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre from September 29 until October 2. More information from Phindile on 031 504 6970 or email biencagwala@gmail.com

DURBAN COMEDY JAM

(John Vlismas)

As part of its mandate to promote the arts, in every form, EThekwini Municipality’s Arts and Living Cultures Department will present the best of what South African Comedy has to offer. Featuring five of the most sought-after stand-up comedians in the country, Durban Comedy Jam will be held at the Suncoast SunZone on September 30.

The Durban Comedy Jam is the brainchild of a comedy development programme that was established by the Municipality’s Arts and Living Cultures Department. “It is way for us, as the City, to bridge a gap between upcoming comics and the more established and commercial comics while also recognising comedy as a business and art form, rather than the mere telling of funny jokes”, says Monwabisi Grootboom, the department’s Manager.

Among the headline acts is 38 year-old stand-up comedian and promoter John Vlismas. He is best known for his jokes that secured the South African Comedy Awards for Best Stand Up of the Year in 2007 and a spot in the finals in the 2008 Yuk Yuk Great Canadian Laugh Off. No stranger to controversy, Vlismas, has made a name for himself in the industry and is dominating the comic stages alongside other male greats.

Holding it down for the ladies will be Tumi Morake, one of the country’s leading comediennes and actors. With an impressive CV that includes theatre direction, producing, stage performing arts and acting, Tumi has had a very successful career in television and stage and this has seen her win a number of awards for her contribution to the arts.

Also on the programme are Mark Banks, Kaseran Pillay and Felix Hlophe.

Durban Comedy Jam will take place on September 30 at 20h00 at Suncoast SunZone. Tickets R120 at Computicket. More information from Monwabisi Grootboom on 031 311 4479, 071 305 6959 or email grootboomm@durban.gov.za

COMPLEAT WORKS

(Clinton Small and Adam Doré)

It’s the comedy highlight of the year! 37 Plays! 97 Minutes!

It’s the Actor’s Unemployed Company in The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) starring Marc Kay, Adam Doré and Clinton Small.

Denis Beckett described it as ‘Vigorous!’, and the show is already sold out for their run in Pretoria later this year. See men in tights! Witness women with beards! Be amazed by swordfights of the highest calibre! And be utterly charmed as three actors breathe new life into the works of the most famous playwright ever! The show will take audiences through all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays at breakneck speed, enlightening, illuminating and making people fall out of their seats.

Fresh from sold out performances at the Hilton Festival comes this irreverent, wildly funny, fast-paced romp through the Bard’s plays. Compleat Works (abridged) invites audiences to join these madcap men in tights as they weave their wicked way through all of Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories and Tragedies in one wild ride, leaving you breathless and helpless with laughter, whether you're a Shakespeare fan or not!

The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) runs in the Hexagon Theatre at the University of KZN, Pietermaritzburg, from September 29 to October 1 at 19h30. Tickets R75 (R50 students/ seniors) booked on 033 260 5537 or email: hexagon@ukzn.ac.za

ALEXANDER PATULLO

Mzansi’s top mini-mogul impresses with recycled material

The winner of the 2011 Mzansi Magic Market Day is 12 year-old Alexander Patullo from Durban. Alexander impressed the judges of the nationwide young entrepreneur competition by recycling old vinyl records and coke bottles in an unusual and profitable way.

Alexander can now boost his fledgling business with his R20,000 cash prize money, compliments of M-Net’s Mzansi Magic, and the title of the most prominent young Mzansi Magic Market Day mini-mogul.

To receive top honours, Alexander competed against the four regional winners who were picked earlier this month among hundreds of creative entries at the respective Mzansi Magic Market Day events held in Cape Town, Gauteng, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth.

According to M-Net’s CSI Manager, Palesa Xorile, the quality of entries across the country was extremely high. “The young entrepreneurs were tasked to use their imagination and skills to create new cost-effective products that would fly from the shelves. All the regional winners were strong contenders, but the attention to detail, craftsmanship and originality displayed by Alexander’s product made him score the most points.”

The winning products from all the regions were brought to Johannesburg where a panel of judges from different disciplines within the arts and crafts field debated passionately to determine the winner. Among the judges were art teachers, artists who create wares for a living, adult entrepreneurs and the organisers of Mzansi Magic Market Day.

Alexander painstakingly melted and painted old vinyl records to transform them into chic household items and used the bottoms of Coke bottles to make zipped jewellery boxes or purses.

WONDER MARKET

Calling all traders / vendors / craftsmen.

Are you a crafter, artist, designer, chef, organic farmer or motivated entrepreneur looking to sell your wares over the Summer season? The Wonder Market in Umhlanga is looking for talent that will fit with the profile of their exciting and trendy new venture. Emphasis will be placed on goods that are sustainable, original, stylish, creative, hand-made, environmentally friendly and local, along the following areas:

Unique art, original clothing; vintage collectables and specialized photography as well as one of a kind gifts. Also on offer will be customized furniture; homegrown and organic produce and food stalls with flair. Charismatic entertainment will include stilt walkers, fire throwers, magicians, musicians.

Only the best of the best products will be chosen, designed to offer the customers a retail experience like no other. Presentation will be outstanding, and there will be no Chinese imports allowed – importance will be placed on providing personalised seller-to-buyer interaction. Furthermore, variety is key, individuality is valued and there will not be multiple versions of the same goods.

Opening in a lush park opposite Gateway, with over 9,000 residents within 10 km of its location, the market is sure to be a shopping feast for the upscale residents of the surrounding suburbs – Mt Edgecombe, Durban North, La Lucia, Umdloti, Glen Ashley and more. Situated on one of the most prominent shopping routes this side of the equator, there couldn’t be a more practical and prosperous setting.

Even out of towners have it easy, with the airport a quick 10 minute drive up the road and a myriad of comfortable hotels around the corner. If you’d like to trade at the Wonder Market, submit a brief proposal, with a minimum of three pictures, to wonder@wondermarket.co.za

The Wonder Market will take place on November 27 as well as December 4, 11 and 18 at the Chris Saunders Park (opposite Gateway) in Umhlanga from 09h00 to 15h00. For more information contact Taryn on 079 747 7661 or email wonder@wondermarket.co.za

SAILING SOMEWHERE

(Fiona Ramsay)

Review of the production at the Hilton Arts Festival by Caroline Smart

One of the highlights on the 2011 Witness Hilton Arts Festival was the world premiere of Sailing Somewhere, a one-woman play written by Matthew Hurt (who is originally from Durban). Produced by Daphne Kuhn by arrangement with Mark Hawkins, it is directed by Vanessa Cooke and stars actress par excellence, Fiona Ramsay. Supporting her on piano and being a character himself, the inimitable Tony Bentel gives a beautifully underplayed performance.

However appropriate it may have been to place this production in the Grindrod Bank Theatre, the production wasn’t seen to best advantage on this stage. With its need for intimacy, it will work far better at the Old Mutual Theatre on the Square in Sandton, Johannesburg, where runs throughout October. Here, audiences will get full benefit of what is a retrospective journey of her life in the mind of a cruise ship entertainer (Fiona Ramsay).

The highly effective grey and white set by Andrew Botha divides the stage into three sections. The lounge/saloon stage is offset by an image of the roof with its subdued lighting. This is the domain of the piano player (Tony Bentel) and is linked by a deck area to the entertainer’s dressing room where several bottles of booze allow her to survive the mindless monotony of egotistical passengers, temperamental colleagues and complex shipboard liaisons until the ship reaches the end of the cruise. In this small area, the audience sees her actions from the mirror’s perspective.

Downstage is a simple wicker chair which gives another space for her moods and memories and it is here that she shares one of the main reasons behind her ill-at-ease state. Irritated by the endless Norwegian sunshine, her dressing-room is her refuge where she has the privacy to reflect a looming challenge. She has to make a decision as to whether or not she contacts her estranged daughter and the closer land approaches, the more difficult the decision becomes.

I had a major problem with the looped soundtrack which had very few dynamics or variation, eventually sounding mechanical.

The play gives Fiona Ramsay good scope for her considerable emotional skills. She has an excellent command of ironic wit and there is plenty of that in Sailing Somewhere as the character reflects on past relationships both on and off the ship. A discarded doll lying on deck sparks off the action and she recalls how its owner, a little girl, nearly went overboard when she was allowed to climb the railings unchecked.

Sailing Somewhere includes songs by Conor Mitchell which Fiona Ramsay delivers in a husky Dietrich style. The production shouldn’t be considered a musical as some festival goers seemed to think it was, but rather “a one-woman play with songs” which is how Matthew Hurt describes it himself.

Don’t miss it at The Old Mutual Theatre on the Square. – Caroline Smart

FROGGIE FAIRY TALE

Review of production at the 2011 Witness Hilton Arts Festival by Pauline Dalais.

Written and directed by Peter Court and taken from the legendary Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Froggie Fairy Tale featured Daisy Spencer as the Princess and Bryan Hiles as the Frog Prince. While it differed somewhat to the description appearing in the programme it was nonetheless highly enjoyed by the young audience.

With clever use of props such as face masks and puppets, the actors made good use of the small acting space available. A trunk serves as a pond, the princess’s bed and the palace dinner table. A simple structure carried painted canvas scenery. By flipping the sheets over, different scenes were created such as the forest, the palace dining room and the Princess’s bedroom.

The story is about a wicked witch who casts a spell on a handsome prince, turning him into a big slimy frog living in a pond and he will only be released from the spell when a princess kisses him. Fortunately for him, a princess comes along carrying her 24 carat ball but, while she is playing with it, it falls into the pond. In response to her cries for help, the frog offers to retrieve it under certain conditions: the Princess has to take him to the palace, let him eat from her plate and sleep on her pillow. She reluctantly agrees but goes back on her word once her ball is safely returned to her and they are back at the palace.

In the chaotic fun that follows, the Princess’s father reminds her that a promise is a promise and has to be kept. And that’s the moral of the story. Needless to say, all’s well that ends well.

Apart from their main characters, Daisy Spencer and Bryan took on other roles. Daisy was a suitably evil wicked witch while Bryan put on wings and a tutu to become a fairy. This generated loud comment from the young audience who also delighted in the knockabout comedy of the piece. – Pauline Dalais

14TH IS’CATHAMIYA COMPETITION

NBA Champions will again be one of the strong contendors

The Playhouse Company’s annual National Is’cathamiya Festival takes place in the Playhouse Opera on September 24 as part of Heritage Month.

Starting at 18h00 and ending with prizegiving the following morning, the 14th event in this highly popular series will see 174 groups from all over KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Eastern Cape converging on The Playhouse in Durban, keenly competing for the coveted prizes as they pit their skills against their peers.

Besides the a cappella singing and dancing that comprise this much-loved art form made world famous by the Grammy Award-winning group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the Festival will also feature the popular fashion sections, in which some 48 men (Oswenka) and 37 women (Onobuhle) display their sense of style during interludes interspersed between the competition’s mainstream of events.

The Festival ends at approximately 08h00 on Sunday morning, with a prizegiving ceremony in the following categories: Top 37, Section 1, Open Section, Oswenka and Onobuhle. The best group chosen by the judges receives a goat. Pre-show entertainment is by the 2010 Top 20 winner, Uhlelo olusha.

Tickets R65 booked through Computicket or on 0861 915 8000, or The Playhouse Box Office on 031 369 9540. A 10% discount is available for block bookings of 10 or more. For more information about The Playhouse Company log onto www.playhousecompany.com