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Wednesday, February 3, 2021


(Cara Roberts & Bryan Hiles. Pic by Val Adamson)

The Durban-based Publicity Matters (PubMat) publicity organisation have published welcome news:

“Building up to the month of love, one can’t help but reminisce back to era where artists could ‘perform freely’. PubMat decided to find out from a few of our favourites, what they love about their craft.  So they have teamed up with the award winning photographer, Val Adamson Photography, who with some time on her hands, had been wanting to do some portraits of said artists such as Cara Roberts and Bryan Hiles (pictured above).

“Our mission was to do what we LOVE – being creative. We thought we could get the creative juices flowing for a bit, have some fun and lift up a few spirits while the world of live entertainment was on hold.

“During February, we present to you a variety of creatives and find out from them what they love about their art.

“We want to show love, strength and solidarity for the creative arts world. Once it is safe, we will all be right there supporting everyone involved in the arts industry.

(Right: Mpilo 'Straw' Nzimande. Pic by Val Adamson)

“The first artist that we catch up with in our ‘Love the Arts’ feature is the lovely Mpilo 'Straw' Nzimande. Straw, a hugely talented physical actor studied at UKZN Pietermaritzburg and has been a professional actor for eight years. His favourite place that he has performed is The Guild Theatre in East London and he says his best production that he has been in, is KickstArt’s The BFG. Currently he is hard at work creating an educational show for schools.

What do you love about performing?

I love that we get to engage with the audience and have fun while we tell stories.

When was the last time you performed in a live show?

The last time I was part of a live performance was in December where we got to perform Flame in the Snow with Cara Roberts. This was done for a small audience. It was great because prior to this, I had not been part of a live performance in months, since the beginning of the pandemic. It felt really good.

If you could change anything for 2021, what would it be?

I would change the current situation for the artists. I wish that our Government would find innovative ways to provide more platforms for artist or provide better funding for our industry.


(Left: Roland Perold. Pic by Val Adamson)

“Day two of our ‘Love the Arts’ feature we meet the fabulous Roland Perold. Roland spent the early part of lockdown collaborating with fellow musical thespians from around South Africa and created a marvellous piece called Stories 2020. The piece came to fruition and was staged at the Seabrookes Theatre in December. He has performed internationally for a number of years on cruise ships, also performing in the UK while he studied his MMus in Bath and now is nestled back home in Durban. He says his all-time favourite show was Coward & Cole where he shared the stage with another amazing cabaret performer, Godfrey Johnson.

What do you love about performing?

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.

When last did you actually perform in front of a live audience?

I was lucky enough to perform my own collaboration on 13 December, 2020… so, very recently at the current rate! I hosted an original musical song cycle in between varying lockdown levels.

If you could play any piece of music anywhere in the world, what would it be and where would it be?

Any port in a storm… let’s not be picky! Give me a few high notes to belt in the company of other lovely actors. We will perform in your makeshift venue. We will uplift and inspire. Just add audience.

#LoveTheArts #LoveBeingCreative #SaveTheArts #ComeBackHome #LivePerformances #Theatre #GalleryOpenings #Art #Music #LightsCameraAction