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Friday, July 17, 2015


(Caroline Smart, who plays the judge in an episode, castigates
Mrs Singh Sing with Maeshni Naicker (Auntie) & Sivani Chinappan
(Ms Singh Song)  looking on)

Be part of an entertainment project which celebrates the magic of radio drama, when Lollipop Lane - Beauty Spot plays Durban’s Catalina Theatre from July 24 to 26.

Due to public demand, Clinton Marius’s record-breaking radio comedy, Lollipop Lane, which delighted thousands of fans for four years, has morphed into a serialized stage show – bringing back to life the whacky gallery of folk from the block of flats where “the lift doesn’t quite go to the top floor”.

Following on from the show’s pilot staged production, Lollipop Lane - The Big Biscuit Bake-Off, which was seen at the Catalina last October, funding has been secured from the National Arts Council (NAC), and the exciting venture continues with three more productions drawn from the popular radio show.

“Since Lollipop Lane’s run on air ended in 2012, I have fielded ongoing calls from fans for the show to be revived in one way or another. So we are pleased to continue offering this new platform for them to re-unite with all their ‘old friends’ from the series,” says its creator, Clinton Marius.

Where The Big Biscuit Bake-Off focused on one of the highpoints of the radio comedy series, The Beauty Spot picks on another fun scenario from the series, re-introducing more of the show’s characters. The two bickering Mrs Singhs (aka Singh-Singh and Singh-Song) are back, played by Pauline Dalais and Sivani Chinappan respectively. Fans can also look forward to meeting up with other personalities from the show.

Casting includes Mayuri Naidu, who heads the roster in her key role as the ditsy, fashion-obsessed Cassandra. Other well-known names in the ensemble cast include Maeshni Naicker, Caroline Smart, Shona Johnson, Clinton Marius, Kim Ferguson, and Musa Ntuli.

“The idea to retain the radio element of Lollipop Lane came from a notion I had of revisiting the presentations of the hugely popular Springbok Radio comedy productions that came from Durban – Tom Meehan’s Men from the Ministry, Father, Dear Father and The Navy Lark,” explains Caroline Smart.

“These productions were taped in front of an audience at the Durban SABC studios, then edited and sent to Johannesburg to broadcast. These productions often ‘went on the road’, giving performances at venues outside Durban and further afield. This is the idea behind Lollipop Lane’s revival – to provide work for actors, make it available for fundraising purposes, reach a wider audience and ultimately to benefit members of Tape Aids for the Blind. I’m also delighted to be able to introduce the magic of radio theatre to a new generation of enthusiasts!”

Scripted by Marius and directed by Caroline Smart, these will be recorded before live audiences, and subsequently broadcast on Tape Aids for the Blind’s DSTV channel.

Says Elza-Lynne Kruger, National Director of Tape Aids for the Blind: “I am absolutely thrilled that the National Arts Council has recognised the value of this project, and given us the capacity to take it forward. It will be of huge benefit to our blind members, who were excited to hear the first instalment of the staged series of Lollipop Lane, and will warmly welcome its sequels.”

Lollipop Lane - The Beauty Spot can be seen at the Catalina Theatre on Friday and Saturday, July 24 and 25 at 20h00, with a 14h30 matinee on July 26.

Tickets for Lollipop Lane - The Beauty Spot at R120 (R100 for pensioners and students) available at Computicket outlets, telephonically on 0861 915 8000, or online at Early booking is advised.