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Saturday, June 24, 2023



 (Above: Winnie the Pooh eats too much honey and gets stuck in the entrance)

 (All photographs by Val Adamson)

Well done, Kickstart – you’ve done it again – created a magical production to give joy to all ages and take us out of our doldrums!! (Review by Caroline Smart)


KickstArt presents Winnie the Pooh over the July school holidays - a colourful and faithful adaptation of A A Milne’s classic and widely-loved stories of Christopher Robin and his lovable menagerie of colourful animal friends and their adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood.

As we waited for the curtain to go up at last night’s premier at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, the air was electric with the sense of excited expectation from the many children in the audience.

(Right: Christopher Robin calls to Pooh as he tries to get away from the bees)

As the show progressed, I glanced around the rows every now and again and I didn’t see a single child who wasn’t spellbound. All with good reason – an excellent cast, beautiful set and costumes and much humour, all created by Durban’s multi-award-wining duo – director Steven Stead and set designer Greg King.

Add music composed by Justin Southey, choreography by Evashnee Pillay, lighting design by Tina le Roux, sound design by Stephanie Pais and musical supervision by Babette von Loggerenberg. Add the efficient technical crew and you’re halfway to success.

(Left: Piglet and Owl)

 Now you add the performers, all carefully chosen for their talents and suitability for their individual roles.

This gave us a wonderful cast with Blessing Xaba as the massive lovable Pooh; a sprightly and full-of-bounce Zian Brink as the energetic Christopher Robin (alternating with Daniel Radford); Iain Robinson as the suitably mournful Eeyore and Lyle Buxton as the imperious Owl. New to the KickstArt family is Roland Perold as the organising and bossy Rabbit as well as the highly cheerful and energetic Piglet played by Amahle Tembe.

Winnie the Pooh features a cast of new children complementing and holding their own with the KickstArt regulars and all giving good performances:

(Right: Kanga scrubs Piglet in the bathtub)

Adding to the charm were Keryn Lynn Scott as Kanga and Arya Jugernarth as Roo. The delightful Alexander Beetle was Khayone Mohikwa and adding much physical energy was Micah Stojakovic as Tigger. Rabbit’s friends and relations were played by Botshela Monyele / Kanyi Monyele as Little Rabbit and Cassidy Hartman / Olivia Snell as Squirrel;

King’s set is as attractive as it has been in the other two productions – in fact, it looks brand new! It cleverly includes the doors to Blessing, Owl, Rabbit and Tigger’s homes – all set in the leafy scenery of the Hundred Acre Wood.

Well done, Kickstart – you’ve done it again – created a magical production to give joy to all ages and take us out of our doldrums!!

Don’t miss it!!

Winnie the Pooh runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on the UKZN Campus from June 22 to July 16, 2023.

Bookings for all the 2023 KickstArt productions at Computicket: – Caroline Smart