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Sunday, November 29, 2020


(Leah Mari, Roland Perold & Amanda Kunene. Pic by Jacobus van Heerden)

As the end of a very peculiar year approaches, many of us have endured a rollercoaster of hardships and challenges and have material for phenomenal tales. One such creative musical response to lockdown, Stories 2020, will be performed at the Seabrookes Theatre at Durban High School on December 13.

Stories 2020 features Roland Perold, Amanda Kunene, Samantha Landers, Blessing Xaba, Anthony Downing and Leah Mari on vocals, with fellow tunesmith Jaco Griessel on keys. This musical collection of stories is in the form of 12 songs from 7 South African rising composers who have created new material for this collaborative project. Durban is going to be host to the very first showcase of this original material. Perold, Downing, Griessel and Mari were joined by Marcel Meyer, Wessel Odendaal and Luca Hart in composing for this showcase.

“There’s nothing quite like sitting in an auditorium as the lights dim and you await the opening lines, or overture, of a live performance. The conductor takes his place at the podium, the actors enter, the technicians have their fingers hovering over cue buttons and, soon, a collective experience is realised as the audience becomes engrossed by the action,” muses Perold.

“Pre-CoViD19 we had the pleasure of large-scale, well-resourced musicals that came our way by means of Broadway and The West End after years of research and development. At its core, though, is still the old age tradition of storytelling.

Our Stories series creates a platform for local writers to showcase works at the beginning of the writing process; before helicopters (Miss Saigon) or chandeliers (Phantom) blew budgets out the water. We invite the audience to come along for the ride and witness exciting new material by the country’s leading musical theatre creatives.” states Perold.

Stories 2020 is a collective of dramaturgs, composers and lyricists who started a song writing circle during South Africa’s COVID hard lockdown. On a regular basis the group met over Zoom presenting new songs, works in development, considered aspects of the craft and challenges relating to new writing; all with the goal of hosting a song writing showcase in December of 2020.

“We invite all those who crave theatre to come and enjoy this very first offering. You may be witness to the birth of South Africa’s next big spectacular musical, or an intimate chamber work that pulls dearly on the collective heart strings.”

The event will be hosted at Seabrookes Theatre on Sunday December 13, at 11h30. A group of six singers will present the material with live piano accompaniment in a one act, 70 minute format. For more information visit

Tickets R50 booked through Sophie Thompson of Publicity Matters on WhatsApp: 083 609 8729.

All COVID protocols will be observed