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Thursday, November 18, 2021


(Trainers Kaylee McIlroy & Mpilo Straw Nzimande from the Dragons-in-Training seminar, hosted by The Dragon Preservation Society, prepare to train their humans. Pic by Val Adamson)

Family friendly al-fresco festive theatre@ Shongweni Farmers’ and Craft Market.

A brand-new theatre is currently being built at the Shongweni Farmers’ and Craft Market which will open with a charming new original family show by Durban’s Michael Taylor-Broderick, How to Train your Human, to run on market days from December 11, 2021, until January 8, 2022.

The idea for this show was sparked after Michael read Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages for Children.  The show title is inspired by the popular How to Train your Dragon films and books.

 How to Train your Human is a Dragons-in-Training seminar hosted by The Dragon Preservation Society. This seminar focuses on teaching all attending Dragons the skills needed to successfully train their humans. Conducted by two highly-respected Dragons, the seminar explores the five love languages to unravel the wonders and mystery of creating a path to the human heart, and other humans around us. As a bonus, for this particular seminar, the two experts will also be working with all the Dragons to help them discover their own unique Dragon love languages.

 The dragons are played by physical theatre performers, Mpilo Straw Nzimande and Kaylee McIlroy – both currently appearing together in the touring production of the Hilton Festival commissioned nature conservation piece, The Horn of Sorrow.

This Theatresmiths production – suitable for the whole family – has been created, devised and written by the uber-talented, Michael Taylor-Broderick – multi-award winning lighting guru and purveyor of theatrical magic, and is directed by Stacey Taylor-Broderick.

Theatre audiences will remember Broderick’s previously much loved three Theatresmiths productions: the hugely successful, whimsical One Man, One Light; the beautiful ethereal, Jakob, about a lost child who has the surprising ability to guide you towards the light and the Gold Ovation Award winning The King of Broken Things which encourages grown-ups to revisit and re-inhabit the magical places in our minds.

Shongweni Farmers’ and Craft Market owners Keith and Christine Standeaven wanted to create a performance space at the popular Saturday morning Shongweni Market to allow families to fall in love with the notion of live theatre again. “Our market is all about wholesome outdoor family activity: the chance to enjoy some down time outdoors to unwind, with great stalls, food and music. A theatre is a natural extension of this vision – an opportunity for children to put down their devices and actually engage with the live experience, explained Christine.

The Standeaven’s commitment to this vision has been the building of a brand-new theatre space snugly situated at the far side of the market overlooking the magnificent vista of valleys. Technical support and expertise for the new theatre has been provided by market regular, Uptown Funky Junk’s Brandon Bunyan and his Black Coffee Productions.

Shongweni Market welcomes visitors every Saturday until Christmas from 06h30 until 13h00 – with special market days on December 16, 17 and 19 from 08h00 until 14h00. Browse, and buy authentic, original and unusual Christmas gifts while supporting small businesses, and enjoy a leisurely holiday brunch under the trees, with breathtaking views. The market is home to an amazing assortment of kids’ activities, food and beverage options, handmade crafts, early morning yoga sessions, live music, plenty of outdoor seating, and safe parking.

 How to Train your Human is suitable for the whole family. It will be staged at 10h00 and noon on: Saturdays December 11; 16; 17; 18; 19, and January 8, with the option to extend further into January.

Tickets are R70 throughout and are available through Quicket in advance / at the door. The show runs at approximately 45 minutes, no interval

Dragons, of all ages, are especially welcome! In fact, the best-dressed dragon will win a prize!

For more information on the Shongweni Farmers and Craft Market contact 031 777 4686 or email: or visit

The market is situated at Lot 457, Mr551, Shongweni, in the Valley of 1000 Hills.

Shongweni Farmers and Craft Market is a proud member of 1000 Hills Community Tourism Organisation. For ideas of other activities and attractions in the area, visit