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Saturday, November 24, 2018


(Philisiwe Ntintili & Jaziel Vaugh’hann. Pic by Siphokazi Khumalo)

Loads of amusement with good performances and some very funny and clever lines. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Just opened at the small intimate supper theatre venue at Club Altitude is the latest adult panto Twice Upon A Mattress.

Fully titled Twice Upon A Mattress – the Story of The Princess & The P, it represents the 22nd year that this form of entertainment has been on offer for Durban audiences. As usual, it takes the mickey out of the traditional pantomime format and includes many sexual innuendos and not-so-subtle humour! However, the production never gets distasteful or offensive and the humour is well-handled by the cast.

Written and directed by Thomie Holtzhausen, the cast includes well-known and popular performers Jaziel Vaugh’hann and Mpilo Nzimande as well as newcomer, Philisiwe Ntintili. The set is highly colourful with the imagery of flowering yellow plants and greenery. Good use has been made of the small stage space, with recesses in between the curtains and a bench in front of the stage at audience level.

The story is set in the kingdom of Solis Adultis. Signs at the side of the stage point the direction from the N3 to the Palace of the House of Briated, one pointing to ‘Toti and the other (crossed out!) to Nkandla.

The show opens with a “Welcome to Burlesque” theme before a sexily-dressed Ntintili as Fairy Miss Guided takes over to introduce the audience to the storyline. The House of Briated is headed by the King and his overbearing constantly-inebriated wife, the Queen (both roles taken by Thomie Holtzhausen!) The Queen has decided it is time that their son, Prince Ample – with strong reference to his physical (ie sexual) attributes – gets married. A variety of hopefuls apply for the position (all played by Jaziel Vaugh’hann in a variety of wigs and shoes) which is heart-breaking for Miss Guided who is in love with the prince.

Holtzhausen is highly amusing in both his roles and he even makes a brief appearance as his Indian granny character. The King – whose memory is hopeless - is dressed in khaki shorts and shirt and the brim of his hat bears the word “King” in sequins, in case we didn’t get who he was! The Queen staggers drunkenly around, miraculously not breaking “her” leg as she falls off her shoes. This is also the first time I have heard Holtzhausen sing a solo in an adult panto as he brings much amusement to Carike Keuzenkamp’s ByeBeorwa.

Nzimande, whose height seriously challenges the rest of the cast, makes an endearing Prince and handles a lot of knock-about comedy as he tries to escape the advances of the applicants. As always, Vaugh’hann gives his all to the sensual characters and handles numbers like Let Me Entertain You, Nobody Does It Like Me and Somebody to Love with great passion as was Proud Mary which he sang with Ntintili.

Ntintili is definitely a performer to watch. She is charming and exudes much energy and fervour to her role. She also has a strong voice and I enjoyed her rendering of How Will I Know? and Pata Pata.

This good ensemble piece offers loads of amusement with good performances and some very funny and clever lines.

Twice Upon A Mattress will run until January 12, 2019, with performances at 19h30 at onStage@Altitude. Tickets R150pp. Tables seat 8 and there are only 10 tables in the venue. Bring along a picnic basket and support the venue’s cash bar.

Club Altitude is situated in Silver Avenue, Stamford Hill. Enter Silver Avenue off Umgeni Road (not far from the Umgeni/Argyle Road intersection). There is parking in Silver Avenue and car guards are in attendance.

For further information or to book as a group, contact Thomie of ItsTaboo Production on 064 476 9533 or email: Online bookings can be done on Quicket, – Caroline Smart