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Tuesday, June 22, 2021


(Above: Jethro Milne as Hamlet)

It was certainly an evening of unusual theatre magic. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Last week, I had the profound theatrical experience of attending Perchance to Dream at the Westville Boys High School.

Superbly directed and imagined by Steven Stead who had been invited to produce the Westville Boys’ High School production for 2021, it featured splendid set design by Greg King, lighting by Michael Broderick, costumes by Peter Court as well as sound by Brandon Bunyan and Thulani Fakazi of Black Coffee. Music and sound creation was by Evan Roberts and choreography by Declan Tindale and Bryn Snyder.

“I realised that we could not have a large cast of actors all sharing limited dressing room space and singing and dancing on top of one another. Neither could we have a conventionally convened audience in a packed indoor auditorium. These constraints pretty much sadly wiped out the idea for a school musical, or even a large scale play,” says Stead whose KickstArt productions along with Greg King are undoubtedly Durban’s top theatre attractions.

(Left: Thando X Mzimela as Prospero)

A passionate lover of Shakespeare's plays, Stead came up with the idea of a fantasy collage of scenes from Shakespeare titled Perchance to Dream, all linked by the theme of dreaming, that would be performed by seven or eight small casts, in different venues around the school.

Involving talented girls from WBHS’ sister school, Westville Girls' High, he chose scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, The Tempest, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Twelfth Night, using text, movement and music to create an immersive, dream-like experience. Each scene is about ten minutes long, and then fairies escort the audience to the next location.

Stead realised that Westville Boys' High had highly usable courtyards and charming, tucked-away outdoor spaces, that – as he says – “with some lighting and subtle decor, could become quite magical as performance spaces.”

Never a truer word was said but it must have been a major challenge in terms of technology as the audience moved to seven different venues including inside the Roy Couzens Theatre itself, two outside among the trees and the rest involving corridors and areas of the school building.

(Right: Daanyaal Ally as Oberon & Joel Munemo as Puck)

The standard of acting is extremely high. KickstArt obviously needs have no fear about casts for future productions - there is certainly a large amount of talent at both schools.

 I was impressed by all the actors and actresses but I was particularly captivated by Jethro Milne as Hamlet (see picture above). Seated very close to him, I was able to closely observe every expression on his face and his physical movement. His interpretation of the role was very real.

The casts are as follows:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

Puck (Joel Munemo); Cobweb (Paige Owen; Peaseblosson (Amahle Tembe); Mustardseed (Amira Mahomed); Moth (Ntokozo Shabalala); Oberon (Daanyaal Ally) and Titania (Janae Brijlal)


Witch 1 (Nelisiwa Ngubane); Witch 2 (Tyla Griffiths); Witch 3 (Luvo Mthwethwa); Macbeth (Joshua-Jade Briggs); Banquo (Cameron Askew) and Lady Macbeth (Kriti Rambiritch)

The Tempest:

Prospero (Thando X Mzimela) and Ariel (Bryn Snyder)


Hamlet (Jethro Milne) and Ophelia (Owethu Gwambe)

(Left: Keryn Scott as Juliet & Braydon Rutherford as Romeo)

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo: (Braydon Rutherford); Benvolio (Liam Kruger); Mercutio (Ethan Dunk) and Juliet (Keryn Scott)

Twelfth Night

Feste (Dumo Cele) and Musicians Viwe Kumalo and Jason Humphreys

Fairy Hostesses Lily Paulsen, Sibongakonke Sacolo and Nkanyezi Kunene ushered us silently from one venue to another – all beautifully eloquent with hand movements. The pathways were all lit by a stream of candles in bags and along the way there were always youngsters in WBHS uniform guiding us and providing lights from their cellphones in the darker areas.

Dancers were Declan Tindale, Luca Robinson and Connor Gordon with percussionists Connor Vorster, Stuart Tyrell, David Kerr. Tristan Matteyson and Nathan De Abreu. Choreography was by Declan Tindale and Bryn Snyder

The Twelfth Night song which was sung by Dumo Cele as Feste was workshopped by the musicians and Stead, based on a version found on YouTube and the original Elizabethan tune that Stead is familiar with.

Just another example of Stead’s focus on excellence. It was certainly an evening of unusual theatre magic.

Perchance to Dream will be produced on video and will be available shortly. The finest way for any youngster to understand and get acquainted with Shakespeare’s writings .I will publish this information as soon as it is available but you can also keep your eye on the KickstArt Facebook page. – Caroline Smart