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Monday, February 16, 2015


(Aimee Nel, Toks Mahlambi, Shannon Newton & Shannyn Zorab. Pic by Van.Go Photography)

Decadence, a music revue written by Mikhale Singh, directed by Preven Reddy and choreographed by Veronique Ellis will run at Seabrooke’s Theatre from February 19 to 25.

The show is set during the 1940s Burlesque era and follows the journey of Anastasia, a beautiful young dancer who enjoys playing the line between being a model performer on the straight and narrow… and giving into her darker desires on occasion. She attracts the attention of two legendary beings in the dance industry: the prim and proper Cecilia and the seductive polar opposite Jocasta,

Anastasia becomes the subject of their wager, to see which school of thought is superior, especially within the dance world. Both sides attempt to tempt, dupe, sway and convince Anastasia into picking their side. At this point, a mysterious potential love-interest and an Emcee with a hidden agenda enter the fray, which complicates life for Anastasia even further. And eventually, she does pick a side, the unconventional one, and we see how her consequences actually end up changing the entire dance style of the time. She could be good, she could be bad, or she could carry on revelling in the pleasure of playing both sides.

“The show was designed to be an entertaining look at the Burlesque era, and how it fits into and has influenced modern music and dance,” says producer Mikhale Singh. “As a creative team, we have always been mesmerized by the elegance and the coquettishness of this time period and we spent a lot of time researching the colloquial phrases, the dress sense as well as popular music, and dance styles of the time. The end result is a show that is inherently 1940s, but has a few more modern numbers (keeping the Burlesque theme) in it, to be more approachable for the audience.

“One of our biggest inspirations for this production was, of course, Cabaret and other works by Kander and Ebb, who wove important messages into their narrative. We have aimed to do the same, and surreptitiously slipped in issues that Anastasia faces in the 1940s, that are the very same issues facing many young people today. These include themes of choosing your own path, peer pressure, both positive and negative and of course, the Gatsbyish obsession with unrepentant hedonism versus knuckling down and working. We offer both sides of the situation, and the audience is free to make up their own minds, as well as see the consequences, positive and negative of Anastasia’s ultimate decision. It’s also important for people to look back at the past, and see how many things that we take for granted today, were actually a really big deal back then. “

Decadence features Sarah Thompson and Shannon Newton who have both starred in numerous Rainbow Young Performers productions as well as Nqobile Mahlambi, ex-Idols contestant Nidaal Hassim, and introduces Jason Jefferys and Kyle Trytsman. The ensemble includes Shannyn Zorab, Andile Dube, Jessica-Paige Smith, Naomie Sishi, Rio Notra, Tarryn Trollip, Toks Mahlambi and Veronique Ellis.

The creative team compromises Brett van Dort (set design), Sana Siddiqi (costume design, producing), Amy Hawthorn (vocal coach), Julian Evans (sound and lighting) and Mikhale Singh (producer).

The show is recommended for high school students, couples, ladies looking for a night out and older audiences.

Presented by Blunt Productions, Decadence runs from February 20 to 25 at Seabrooke’s Theatre on the Durban High School campus. Performances nightly (except February 22) at 19h00 with an extra show at 14h00 on February 21. The show on February 22 starts at 14h00. Tickets R100 available online and in selected stores from Webtickets. Seating is unreserved