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Thursday, August 13, 2015


(Steven Stead as Snoopy lies atop his kennel with Carol Trench, Bryan Hiles, Graeme Wicks, Caitlin Kilburn & Katy Moore. Pic by Val Adamson)

Energetic romp provides loads of fun for the whole family. (Review by Caroline Smart)

If you’ve never encountered the character of Snoopy before, he is the creation of highly respected American cartoonist, the late Charles M Schulz. A beagle of independent attitude, Snoopy is one of the characters in Schulz’s comic strip Peanuts which still appears in many newspapers today.

Snoopy belongs to Charlie Brown, a melancholy lad who is much put-upon by his sister, Sally. His group includes the self-opinionated Lucy and her brother, Linus, who is permanently attached to his blanket. Then there’s the tomboy Peppermint Patty who has her eyes set on Charlie Brown, and Snoopy’s best mate, Woodstock, a quivering yellow bird of little speech.

KickstArt Productions have chosen Snoopy: The Musical to follow their highly successful Shrek seen earlier this year. The musical is by Larry Grossman and Hal Hackady; with a book by Warren Lockhart, Arthur Whitelaw and Michael Grace.

Steven Stead, who co-directed with Charon Williams-Ros, heads an excellent and lively cast with himself as Snoopy, a role that requires strong dance skills and Stead sails through with ease.

On a brightly-coloured set designed by Greg King, the production sees the welcome return, albeit temporarily, to the Durban stage of popular Carol Trench. Now living in Norway, she is no stranger to Durban lovers of musical theatre. She gives her all to the role of the headstrong Lucy who enjoys dominating Charlie Brown, a good performance here by Bryan Hiles as the character is required to evolve during the show. Graeme Wicks is a delightful Linus, Caitlin Kilburn is a feisty Peppermint Patty and Katy Moore is a pert Sally. Evashnee Pillay is a charming Woodstock although the character doesn’t utter a word!

Cartoons invariably have a satirical message and Peanuts is no different. With no specific story line, Snoopy!!! is an energetic romp and loads of fun for the whole family. That’s on the surface, but look deeper and you’ll find it’s a satirical comment on life itself. It’s more of a journey in maturity.

While many of the numbers are fairly brash and strident, there are also some gentle melodies that offer much poignancy. Providing the backing is musical director Justin Southey on piano with Bruce Baker on percussion. Lighting and sound design is by Tina la Roux and Stephanie Pais with Leigh Meyer and Janine Bennewith as choreographers and costume design by Neil Stuart Harris.

Snoopy!!! runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre until August 23 with shows from Tuesday to Saturdays at 19h00 (matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 13h30). Tickets range from R200 to R130 (R180 to R110 for children under 12 and pensioners) Age restriction is PG6. Not recommended for children under six years old. Tickets booked at Computicket ( or 0861 915 8000).

For sold performances, group bookings, or early bird special offers (buy eight tickets and get two free), contact Ailsa Windsor of Going Places: or 083 250 2690. – Caroline Smart