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Sunday, November 26, 2017


(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