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Thursday, June 15, 2017


Durban’s Steven Stead was in Johannesburg recently for two reasons – one being to start work on reviving his hit Durban pantomime, Puss in Boots, for a July run at Johannesburg’s Lyric Theatre.

He was also at the same Gold Reef City venue on June 5 for the 13th Naledi Theatre Awards, for which his Gauteng production of Shrek The Musical which earned 10 nominations.

Good news for those who were unable to be there is that the event was filmed and will be shown on DStv’s Mzansi Magic channel 161 on August 9 at 14h00 and on KykNet and Kie: channel 146 on August 13 at 20h00.

Shrek The Musical, originally staged in Durban, was nominated for best musical, director of a musical/music revue (Steven Stead), actor in a musical (Lyle Buxton), actress in a musical (Jessica Sole), supporting actor in a musical (both Jacobus van Heerden and Rory Booth), costume design (Greg King and Shanti Naidoo), sound design (Lee Brune), choreography (Janine Bennewith) and musical direction (Rowan Bakker). Rory Booth won the award for supporting actor in a musical while Greg King and Shanti Naidoo won the award for costume design.

KickstArt’s Greg King – was nominated and won for best set design for Suddenly the Storm.

Another Durban representative at the awards was Charon Williams-Ros, nominated as best lead actress in a musical, for her role as Miss Hannigan in the Johannesburg production of Annie.

Taryn-Lee Hudson, originally from Durban, won an award for her high-voiced screen star, Lina Lamont, in the touring production of Singin’ in the Rain.

Over the past 13 years, the Naledi Theatre Awards has honoured more than 60 Lifetime Achievers, veteran artists, technicians and administrators who have dedicated their lives to local theatre, while also paying tribute to people in the arts who have taken their final bows during the year under review.

The Naledi Theatre Awards cover all mainstream professional productions from the period January 1 to December 1 of the previous year, and the Naledi judges typically evaluate more than 100 productions in some 27 categories.

Puss in Boots, staged to great success at Durban’s Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre over the 2016 festive season, runs from June 30 to July 23 at the Lyric Theatre in Johannesburg.

Set on a mystical, magical Caribbean island, the panto is a laugh-a-minute spectacular that features great audience participation, breathtaking sets, gorgeous costumes and fun tunes.

Written and directed by Stead, and designed by Greg King, the story of Puss in Boots is brought to life by a stellar cast –  Earl Gregory as the booted feline; Ilse Klink as the good fairy Calypso Honeybunch; Michael Richard playing the evil shape-shifting goblin wizard, Grimbsy Withergood; and Sean John Louw as the hapless miller’s son, Tom Marzipan.

Durban’s Darren King plays Mother Merry Marzipan, while others in the cast include Zak Hendricks, Londiwe Dhlomo-Dhlamini, Yamikani Mahaka-Phiri and Caitlin Kilburn.

This extravagant stage production is choreographed by Janine Bennewith, and is under the musical direction of Rowan Bakker. Ticket prices are from R150 to R269.