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Sunday, November 26, 2017


Once again, Westville Theatre Club is staging its end of year panto.

Producing Cinder-Ella and her Fella is Mervin Lowe who, in 2015, produced and directed Sleeping Beauty in 21st Century, and in 2016, produced Heroes and Friends – the Sort of Real Adventures of Robin Hood.

Take a pretty damsel in the form of Ella and make her work like a slave around the house. Throw in a soccer-mad stablehand friend to comfort her. Stir in a stepmother with two not so pretty stepsisters. Obviously there is a prince, who doesn’t necessarily follow protocol and has a sidekick (the palace soccer coach) to switch identities with when he wants to be free. The normal castle staff fill in the gaps, such as the king and queen, the heralds, the chamberlain, a few chorus girls to brighten up the place, a shoe salesman, Ella’s father – the baron, a few mice, a mirror, a horse and a pumpkin and you’re left with a tale of wonder that only an on-the-ball fairy godmother can pull together.

The musical numbers, accompanied by a live band, are from 60’s to current hits.

Shows run from November 30 to December 3 and again from December 6 to 9, 2017, at Westville Theatre Club (adjacent to Westville Swimming Pool). Doors open at 19h00, curtains up at 19h30. Matinees on December 2 and 3 with doors open at 13h30, curtains up at 14h00.

NB: There is no evening show on December 3.

Tickets R80 for all shows (book a table of 8 and pay for 7), but for matinees, tickets R50 for students and pensioners. Bring your own eats and drinks.

To book, contact Kerry on 083 342 3650 or 031 762 2524 or email:


(Zeph Nzama: Photo: Give Thanks Communications)

Izinyembezi - the newly released single by Zeph Nzama - is starting to make waves in local music circles, ahead of the planned release in February 2018 of the popular Durban showbiz personality’s first album.

With its mix of Afro-Beat, Jazz and traditional Mbaqanga genres, the single’s strong appeal to a wide range of enthusiasts is easily explained, especially as it also embraces the exciting international imprint of a distinctive Congolese sound.

Nzama said that in putting together his forthcoming album, he has given his music an upbeat message, while he has also sought to express his confusion and sadness over the widespread spirit of suffering that prevails among Africa’s people. Through his music - as through his widely admired stage shows  (Talking Spirits, Long Journey The Musical, Happiness Through The Mist, Women in Singing, Man and The Earth, Phathizwe, and Why), Nzama asks: What has happened to our spirit of Ubuntu?

Alongside Nzama, Izinyembezi (meaning ‘Tears’) also features the voice of Sheila da Blue (Sheila Mkhize) on backing vocals, with musos Patrick Kapenga, Gauthier, Hubert Mutumwema (producer) and Bambala Merika.

Nzama’s Izinyembezi single will be available on ITUNES. For more information, call 072 537 5430, or email


(Anthony Stonier)

Holtzhausen has created a much tighter script which has some magical moments and some very clever lines. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Adult pantos are a breed in themselves! For many years, Sue Clarence produced regular shows in Durban at year-end and they provided much fun and nonsense over the festive season.

They are called “adult” pantos for a reason – the humour is of a highly sexual nature and no opportunity is wasted in providing double meanings. They are by no means obscene or below the belt – just hugely amusing … but it’s advisable not to take friends who may be offended!

Thomie Holtzhausen picked up the reins from Clarence last year and put on an adult panto at Club Altitude, creating a tiny stage in the space available. Dracula marks his second production and he has gone from strength to strength as a writer and director of this genre. Dracula is a considerable improvement on last year’s production, Once Upon a Fairy.

Holtzhausen has created a much tighter script which has some magical moments and some very clever lines. He also appears in the show as the grumpy Renfield, clad in grubby long-johns, as well as his well-known character of the Indian aunty.

Of course, the inclusion of adult panto stalwart Anthony Stonier has a lot to do with the show’s success. He gives his usual much-loved laconic performance as Dracula and hats off to him for handling a microphone problem with professionalism and aplomb. He also appears in an elegant mini-skirted black outfit and gives one of the best stage falls I’ve seen in a while!

The heroine is Princess Mina played by the charming Kerry-Lee McKibbin who has a friend called Juicy Lucy - Jaziel Vaugh’ann in full flight and made up to the nines – and a boyfriend called Jonathan who is played by tall and engaging Mpilo Nzimande.

It’s a good ensemble and they work well together on the small stage. The storyline sees the threesome taking a train ride to Barcelona. Along the way there is a hiatus and they end up in the spooky castle of Count Dracula.

Mina gets a little too close to Dracula – namely in the number Barcelona – a number which was excellently presented by the pair of them. However, Dracula has his way and sinks his teeth into her neck.

In true panto fashion, we are reminded to boo and hiss the villain which the audience does with great gusto. Club Altitude is such an endearingly intimate venue that this layer/audience response works admirably.

Patrons may bring their own food but all wine, beers, soft drinks etc must be bought from the Club Altitude bar.

Dracula runs until December 30, 2017, with performances from Tuesday to Saturday at 19h30. Tickets R140 booked through Computicket. Tables seat eight. Block bookings through Ailsa of GoingPlacesSA at 071 865 8199 or email

Club Altitude is in Silver Avenue, off Stamford Hill Road, Morningside. – Caroline Smart

Saturday, November 25, 2017


One of the events at the Mini World Youth Day taking place in December in Durban, an event uniting Catholic youth from throughout Southern Africa, is Catholics Got Talent. Taking place at the Durban Exhibition Centre and surrounds from December 6 to 10, 2017, it is a talent showcase open to all registered conference participants.

Co-ordinator Justin Nanak invites conference pilgrims to share their performing talent – whatever genre, from music to magic; from dance to drama; from rap to rock; from comedy to classics; from singing to stand-up. “As long as it fits in with the event guidelines – the stage is yours!” says Justin.

To stand a chance to enter – simply record one minute of your proposed routine / act and send it to Justin as a youtube or video clip, for him and his team to adjudicate. The Catholics Got Talent rules and regulations and content guidelines can be found on the MWYD website, or can be emailed to you. Contact Justin on

More information can be found on or contact Barbara Koorbanally at the Archdiocese of Durban on 031 303 1417 or the Conference Company on 031 303 9852 - both during office hours; or email


A daring treatment of a rich and exotic relationship between three people that rarely receives this kind of sympathetic treatment from conservative Hollywood. (Review by Patrick Compton - 8)

Rebecca Hall is scintillating in this entertaining and proudly feminist “origin story” about the creation of the American comic book heroine during World War 2.

Hall, the daughter of the late founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Sir Peter Hall, made her breakthrough in Woody Allen’s wickedly entertaining Vicky Christina Barcelona and then backed that up in the TV miniseries Parade’s End, adapted from four interconnected novels on the Great War written by Ford Madox Ford.

This wonderful theatre and film actress is the best reason to see this movie – based on fact – about a psychologist, William Marston (Luke Evans), who invented the lie detector and then poured his unconventional psychological and sexual theories (and practices) into his famous comic book creation, Wonder Woman.

His twin inspirations were his wife, Elizabeth (Hall), and one of his students at Radcliffe College (Harvard’s sister establishment), Olive Byrne (Bella Heatchote). Hall is splendid as Marston’s straight-talking wife, a brilliant academic in her own right who bemoans the fact that her academic career has been stymied “because I have a vagina”.

The trio have a polygamous relationship which would be startling enough today, let alone during the deeply conservative inter-war years in the US, but it’s refreshing that writer-director Angela Robinson chooses to celebrate their radical relationship and what springs from it, though she doesn’t underestimate the powerful social forces that confront them.

The strength of the film lies in the strong performances by the three principals who have each been given fully realised, nuanced characters to work with, with the real emphasis being placed on the relationship between Elizabeth and Olive.

Marston only turned to Wonder Woman (whose look is inspired by Olive) when it becomes clear that his academic career is threatened by the exposure of his private life, which includes notions of dominance and submission, generally categorised as bondage. It has to be said that the trio’s one major sex scene together is brilliantly conceived, full of restraint and humour.

The intellectual thread that runs through the film is that a robust commitment to telling the truth at all times, whatever the circumstances, makes life in this flawed world a particularly tough proposition.

The movie’s only flaw, if such it be, is that the genesis of the comic book is rather skated over, with little emphasis on how the dialogue and graphics were created. For the rest, this is a daring treatment of a rich and exotic relationship between three people that rarely receives this kind of sympathetic treatment from conservative Hollywood.

Professor Marston And The Wonder Woman is currently showing at Gateway. – Patrick Compton