Review: Blueberry Toast

Blueberry Toast by Mary Laws is something that you should see this year before 2018 ends. Its produced by Sugar-daddy Theatre Company at the Theatre at the Foundry and directed by Sue Diepeveen. The 1950’s inspired set was designed by Barry Altwig. Blueberry Toast asks you questions about what happens behind closed doors and what is kept secret. This production kept me thoroughly grossed from beginning to end, with an intimate setting, I felt like I was Big Brother and had front row seats to the devastation of a family. We follow the family on a Sunday. Somehow I can relate to this with my grandparents. Father sitting at the kitchen table drinking his coffee and reading the newspaper while the mother makes the breakfast and the kids are playing.

The script was intelligent and the actors were brilliant in capitalizing on the text as the show had a lot of symbolism. There was a lot of laughing as many could relate to how annoying our spouses could be and a lot of “wow, I don’t think you should have said that moments, too”, if you seem to value your life. Gavin Werner, played Walt,  the stereotypical All-American father, bread winner, and a grump. Personally I didn’t like the character and Barb, his wife, was the ever so accommodating slave. Barb made sure that everyone is happy in the family but mostly concentrated on her husband who seem to have wandering eyes for someone.  Marlisa Doubell’s portrayal of Barb throughout the show was captivating as she stuck to the period. This duo works well together and was perfectly cast. Their children Jack and Jill played by Nikita Latimer and Daniel Wolson were the ones to watch.

 

 

They had decided to entertain their parents through out the day with mini scenes that showed some parallel to their parents crippling marriage. For these youngsters, I was very impressed to be exposed to such text so young. When I was 11, I was playing with my Power Rangers let alone witnessing a demise of a family on stage. These kids shone like stars that they are. The only issue I did have was the acoustics of the venue which I struggled to hear some of the cast. This could easily be rectified with some alterations at a later stage.

 

I may sound a little vague in this review because this production, this show should be witnessed by you. Even though the show is set during the 50’s the subject matter is relatable today. Blueberry Toast put me on an unexpected roller coaster of entertainment and I urge to book your tickets to see this show. All you need to know is in the link down below

https://online.computicket.com/web/event/blueberry_toast_by_mary_laws/1272443698/0/90594277

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Review: Absolutely Fabulous, A Tribute Show

I grew up watching Absolutely Fabulous in the 90’s with Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley. My mother doesn’t remember the show which is rather concerning as I was quite young when the show was on the TV. These best friends forever could be the goals that we want to achieve in life so who is your Patsy or Eddy? The show ran for many years and even spawned a movie. Still don’t know who they are? That is also fine. You don’t need to know them to laugh your heart at this British comedy that was adapted to stage by Faeron Wheeler.

The director adapted the script to stage. She took four of its episode that shared a thread and had cut unnecessary characters to allow the the show flow. The only grievance I had was the set changes was a distraction. However, I do commend Nicky Enticott, Chantell Esterhuysen and Faeron Wheeler with their chess-like set changes making everything run smoothly. Costume changes must have been fun backstage.

The cast worked well together providing us with many laughs. I was given many looks as I could not contain myself and will let you know who stood out for me on the evening.

Bernie Jacobs played the ever insufferable, Eddy, which was rather convincing and natural. She played the role of Eddy effortlessly. She led the show, as we went through the episodes, partnered by Julie Summers as Patsy. Her mannerism and characterization, those pouty lips and those sensational legs, stayed throughout the show and after. And kudo’s walking down those stairs with those heels. Amazing!

Regina Malan, portrayed Saffy, Eddy’s daughter, the plain Jane of the family. She was in control of her sincerity and impatience towards her mother.  Graham Ellis as Malcom the account in the last act was hilarious, the nervous account having to deal with the abrasive duo was funny to watch.

Go see the show. Book on Computicket

Review: The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors is one of William Shakespeare’s best known comedic adaptations, with wordplay, farce, mistaken identity, and bungles abounding, all of which take place during the course of one day. The premise of the show is the separation of two sets of identical twins, with each set having one Antipholus as master and one Dromio as servant, and having them all wind up in the town of Ephesus. From there missing money, a dinner at home, fumbling seductions, a golden chain, and an exorcism gone wrong have delighted audiences throughout the centuries.

This adaptation, set in the 1980’s, features a cast of predominantly female actress’ portraying the traditional male roles, though audiences quickly forget that there is any kind of gender swap going on as they are drawn into the story unfolding on stage. The costumes, musical scores and set design help bring the show to life while the entire cast is masterful in their ability to understand and portray the humour of this well-crafted wordplay, with perfect inflections and miming gestures leaving modern audiences with no doubt whatsoever as to what exactly is meant during the oftentimes fast paced dialogue.

Robin Botha, as Antipholus of Ephesus, and Faeron Wheeler, as Antipholus of Syracuse, are masterful in their portrayals of the lead male twins. The former is portraying a married, well-to-do, clean-shaven and battle harden soldier – with little patience, while the latter steals the show in her role as a slightly scruffy but easy-going traveller – who is completely bewildered but entirely happy to embrace the varying circumstances and good fortune that come about from the townsfolks case of mistaken identity.

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Do you want to see a little preview of this show? Come join us at the Members’ Evening at The Hok and the meet the wonderful cast full of familiar faces and exciting newcomers. We start at 19:30 and hope to see you there! The Comedy of Errors is Shakespearean comedy at its best: farce, wordplay, mistaken identity, slapstick and rude jokes. Two sets of identical twins, separated at birth, find themselves in the same city after one mismatched pair has spent years searching for their lost counterparts. The ensuing riotously funny confusion leads to beatings, seductions, tousles with the law and declarations of madness. 12-20 October 2018 Bookings can be done through Computicket or with the Masque Theatre on 021 788 1898 or via email at bookings@masquetheatre.co.za @faerie452 @robincbotha #williamshakespeare #thecomedyoferrors #actorslife #stagelife #theatreactors #capetowntheatrescene

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Actress’ Laurie Todes and Bronwyn Carrie-Wilson who starred as the Dromio twins had the audience in stitches numerous times with their ability to showcase both the witty and downtrodden aspects of the Dromio’s in question, and they were remarkably hard to differentiate, until you picked up on the plaid placement that enabled the audience to tell them apart.

Jana Botha, who is no stranger to the stage, portrayed the mounting annoyance and unease of Angelo the gold merchant to perfection and has one of the best slapstick scenes in the show; while Kim R2’s portrayal of Luce aka Nell, was an unexpected delight. I would be remiss not to note the comedy brought about by Jaime Uranovsky portraying the languid, lollipop-wielding Courtesan and Wayne Ronne in his role as Doctor Pinch (with his noteworthy drawn out phrasing of ‘pulse’). Tamarin Carlson, as Adriana, the wife of Antipholus of Ephesus, and Kerryn Warren as Luciana, the sister of Adriana, were very well cast and their oft melodramatic interactions are a delight to witness. Kerith Coulson has shown she is a chameleon onstage, being the main source of comic relief in her role as PA to Solinus, with her cheery drunkard and the impatient ‘sword’ wielding 2nd merchant being just as memorable. Nicky Enticott in her role as the Tailor and later the bodyguard to Solinus, and Kathryn Griffiths as Balthazar and the Police Officer added some of the background characters required to keep the show moving along smoothly.

Patrick Jordi as Aegeon, father of the twins, provided much of the shows exposition and he, along with Jenny Brandt as the Abbess Aemilia, gave final resolution to the show in touchingly beautiful way.

Directors Matthew and Santie Roy have, for their directorial debut, created a well-oiled masterpiece of theatre that can live on after the show ends, with the addition of branded Comedy of Errors merchandise available to purchase, as well as quizzes’, questionnaires and a raffle with some great prizes up for grabs. Do yourself a favour and go ‘hand in hand’ with your family and friends to see this masterful adaptation on the Masque Theatre stage, from the 17th – 20th of October.

Review: The Decorator

The Decorator by Donald Churchill has been done at the Masque Theatre before it burnt down in 1997. Fish Hoek Dramatic Society brought it back nearly 20 years later. The Decorator is farcical comedy where Marcia returns to her flat to find it has not been painted as she arranged. A part time painter who is filling in for an ill colleague is just beginning the work when the wife of the man with whom Marcia is having an affair arrives to tell all to Marcia’s husband. Marcia hires the painter a part time actor to impersonate her husband at the confrontation. Hilarity is piled upon hilarity as the painter, who takes his acting very seriously, portrays the absent husband. Chaos ensues and we wonder if the truth does come out.

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The Decorator by Donald Churchill 14-22 September 2018 Marcia returns to her flat to find it has not been painted as she arranged. A part time painter who is filling in for an ill colleague is just beginning the work when the wife of the man with whom Marcia is having an affair arrives to tell all to Marcia's husband. Marcia hires the painter a part time actor to impersonate her husband at the confrontation. Hilarity is piled upon hilarity as the painter, who takes his acting very seriously, portrays the absent husband. Chaos ensues and we wonder if the truth does come out. Bookings can be made through Computicket or with the Masque Theatre on 021 788 1898 or via email at bookings@masquetheatre.co.za #actorslife #stagelife #theatrelife #lovetheatre #thedecorator #donaldchurchill #capetowntheatrescene #capetown #southafrica

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I think its quite important to see a show that doesn’t really have a following or not well known play. You should be asking yourself why. Be part of the history and be the audience to see it first.

 

The set told the audience where we were and what the play is about. Actually, the set up in the foyer tells that too with buckets paints, ladders and rollers. The set was design and constructed by the director Jane Philbrick and her partner in crime, Barrie Howard. The design reminded me of the set in 2016’s The Barretts of Wimpole Street. I don’t want to reveal to much of the storyline as its more of a treat. This script was beautifully written on the subject as well as what would be considered topics of conversation during that time.

 

The cast consisted of three people. This made me nervous as I don’t particularly like small casts in big theatres. The script slapped me across the face and I sat there mesmerized at the talent that was seen before me. Miranda Lewis who played the adulterer, Marcia, was the natural performer, acting and reacting as one does in the real world. She showed the whole spectrum of Marcia, nervous, angry, sad, desperate, manipulative and seductress. She was in Charley’s Aunt earlier this year and stole the show.

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The Decorator by Donald Churchill 14-22 September 2018 Marcia returns to her flat to find it has not been painted as she arranged. A part time painter who is filling in for an ill colleague is just beginning the work when the wife of the man with whom Marcia is having an affair arrives to tell all to Marcia's husband. Marcia hires the painter a part time actor to impersonate her husband at the confrontation. Hilarity is piled upon hilarity as the painter, who takes his acting very seriously, portrays the absent husband. Chaos ensues and we wonder if the truth does come out. Bookings can be made through Computicket or with the Masque Theatre on 021 788 1898 or via email at bookings@masquetheatre.co.za #thedecorator #donaldchurchill #actorslife #theatrelife #stagelife #lovetheatre #theatreactors

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David Muller was in Charley’s Aunt as well. I did some how felt that he was playing the same character but I also feel like I am swearing. Muller passionate portrayal of Walter Page, semi decorator, professional actor seems to fit him well. He knew the comedic pockets of the script. The monologue about acting within the play could easily mimic real life situation. The truth was there and it was felt. Bouncing off the energy with two lovely ladies was a massive task.

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The Decorator by Donald Churchill 14-22 September 2018 Marcia returns to her flat to find it has not been painted as she arranged. A part time painter who is filling in for an ill colleague is just beginning the work when the wife of the man with whom Marcia is having an affair arrives to tell all to Marcia's husband. Marcia hires the painter a part time actor to impersonate her husband at the confrontation. Hilarity is piled upon hilarity as the painter, who takes his acting very seriously, portrays the absent husband. Chaos ensues and we wonder if the truth does come out. Bookings can be made through Computicket or with the Masque Theatre on 021 788 1898 or via email at bookings@masquetheatre.co.za @merryscholar @fishhoekdstheatre #actorslife #stagelife #theatrelife #lovetheatre #thedecorator #donaldchurchill

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Eve Carr played Jane, the unimpressed wife to Marcia’s lover. Carr’s performance stood out for me and this could be the result of good casting on Philbrick’s side. These 3 performers have been on the stage at the Masque Theatre for years. Carr’s performance in 2012’s Move Over, Mrs Markham, has always stuck with me and will be one of her memorable performances. Her ever so calm and thought out process as Jane will be memorable too. Scaryingly memorable, in fact. You will be entertained.

Back on Wednesday the 19 September to Saturday 22 September . Book through computicket or the Masque Theatre on 021 788 1898 or via email at bookings@masquetheatre.co.za

Review: 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve written a review and even though this show is over, I do believe that it deserves another. This show is another production produced by Mish Mash Media Productions that brought us #becauseitsokay and Othello: A Woman’s Story which is currently running at the Baxter Theatre. But let’s get down to business with this hysterical show.

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The cast of 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche return to the Theatre Arts Admin Collective tonight. Tickets are still available. Don't miss out. . . . 27-28 Aug 21:15 1 Sep 14:00 & 17:00 2 Sep 19:00 ⬇️Buy your tickets now!⬇️ http://theatreartsadmincollective.weebly.com/book-tickets.html Cast: Wren Robin: Candice Burgess-Look (@candiceburgess_look) Veronica “Vern” Shultz: Imke Du Toit (@imke_du_toit) Lulie Stanwyck: Regina R. Malan (@regalkakes / @regina_r_malan) Dale Prist: Lee van der Merwe (@lee.vdm) Ginny Cadbury: Jessica-Leigh Stanley (@jessleighstan) Directed by Robert Shenton Produced by Mish Mash Media Productions (@mish_mash_media_sa) “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood . . . #5LesbiansEatingAQuicheSA #play #Allfemalecast #loveislove #instagay #instatheatre #playactor #actress #actor #1950s #quiche #hurrayforplay #mybeautifulsimplicity #love #accent #american #LGBTQ #LGBT #mishmashmediaproductions #headshot #meetthecast #photography #new #photooftheday #southafrica #humour #comedy #5lesbianseatingaquiche #theatre #theatrelife

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It’s 1956 and The Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein are having their annual quiche breakfast. As the assembled “widows” await the announcement of the society’s prize-winning quiche, the atomic bomb sirens sound! Has the Communist threat come to pass? How will the “widows” respond as their idyllic town and lifestyle faces attacks? Winner of the 2012 NYC International Fringe Festival as Best Overall Production, 5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche is a tasty recipe of hysterical laughs, sexual innuendoes, unsuccessful repressions, and delicious discoveries.

The set was simple and effective. The staging was precise and made use of every space provided. Each of these talented actresses brought their characters with such energy and fun. Candice Burgess-Look portrayal of Wren Robin, was strong. She maintained her energy levels throughout the production with such intensity, it was electrifying. Regina Malan’s Lulie Stanwyck was controlled. This was a lovely contemporary with the other ladies and it was done convincingly. Imke du Toit was the obedient follower, Veronica Shultz, who had one job to do. She reminded me of the secretary in Major Dad in the 90’s.

Jessica-Leigh Stanley’s Yorkshire accent was a lovely treat and played well with the other characters. Her social awkwardness towards foreigners was sublime and funny. The one thing that stood out for me with this production is the emotional roller coaster one goes when Dale Prist does her monologue. Lee van der Merwe did not falter one bit and kept you captivated from start to finish. This show was lead very well by the director, Robert Shenton. He knew how to use the stage and interpret the characters and bring them to life. This show will be cemented in memory.

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Mish Mash Media Productions are bringing the award-wining Off-Broadway comedy ‘ 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche’ to Cape Town. This will be a first for South African audiences. The Galloway Theatre 17th Aug 20:00 19th Aug 14:30 https://tickets.tixsa.co.za/event/lesbians-eating-a-quiche Theatre Arts Admin Collective 21st Aug – 2nd Sept 2018 Tues 21 Aug – 21:15 Thurs 23 Aug – 21:15 Fri 24 Aug – 21:15 Sun 26 Aug – 21:15 Mon 27 Aug – 21:15 Tues 28 Aug – 21:15 Sat 1 Sep – 14:00 & 17:00 Sun 2 Sep – 19:00 http://theatreartsadmincollective.weebly.com/book-tickets.html Photo by Yasmin Hankel “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood . . #5LesbiansEatingAQuicheSA #play #Allfemalecast #loveislove #instagay #instatheatre #playactor #actress #actor #1950s #quiche #food #comedy #accent #american #LGBTQ #LGBT #mishmashmediaSA #mishmashmediaproductions #headshot #new #photooftheday #southafrica #humour #fun #5lesbianseatingaquiche #theatre #theatrelife #mybeautifulsimplicity #hurrayforplay

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I almost forgot the 6th character, the audience. Everyone received name tags with women’s names on them and got to interact with the cast during the show. Good Luck to those who got Majorie.

 

Review: The Open Door and Playing with Fire

Never sit next to your college friends when you go and see a show. We become loud and boisterous. A lot of reminiscing and catching up before settling down for  Friday nights double bill produced by Claremont Dramatic Society. Firstly, The Open Door by Alfred Sutro directed by Jenny Brandt and, Playing with Fire by August Strindberg directed by Bernie Jacobs.

 

Alfred Sutro is an unknown author to me and so is this one act play that starred Laurie Todes and Thomas von Zahn. Lady Torminster (Todes) comes upon Sir Geoffrey (von Zahn) sitting alone. The two begin to talk and express their love for each other, but their duties in life will not allow them to be together. It did take me a while to figure out that they weren’t a couple. This was when I put my glass of wine down and really concentrate of what I was seeing. This was a chess board romance as the two equally played their pieces of how they felt for each other. The sense of control of not really saying what they want to say is measured to the tension they have created, like, when are they going to kiss?

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Playing With Fire is preceded by a performance of another one-act play, The Open Door by Alfred Sutro, which similarly deals with love, jealousy and what might have been. This play stars Thomas von Zahn and Laurie Todes and is directed by Jenny Brandt. The double bill opens at the Masque Theatre on Friday 27 July and runs until Saturday 4 August with shows at 20h00 Wednesday to Friday and 18h30 on Saturdays. There will also be a matinee performance at 14h30 on Saturday 4 August. Tickets are R100. Bookings through Masque Theatre bookings (021 788 1898 or bookings@masquetheatre.co.za) or through Computicket. @lautodes @thomvonzahn #theopendoor #alfredsutro #theatreactors #theatre #stagelife #actorslife #capetowntheatrescene #capetown #southafrica

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The set was in front of the red curtain and furniture was neatly placed on the apron of the stage. The performance was enjoyable leaving me wanting more of Laurie Todes as I see a lot of potential in her and with a really good script she will definitely shine. The stage should see more of Thomas von Zahn who hasn’t been that prolific over the years. His controlled voice was pleasing to the ears and doesn’t the eyes either. Jenny Brandt was successful in creating a flow of tension which the play needed. It was either that or they could have ended the show in 5 minutes by just telling it like it is.

 

August Strindberg wrote a comedy. My friends and I had studied him in college and was a little intrigued by this. Strindberg was in the same boat as Hendrik Ibsen and Anton Chekhov. I shouldn’t critique his writing as I could never measure up to his success but I think he should stick to the drama. August Strindberg, one of Europe’s most respected literary figures, wrote only three comedies, one of which is this one-act play about having nothing to do. Set at the beach house where Knut and his wife Kerstin live with his parents, ‘Playing with Fire’ deals with the ever-present web of relationships, and how to untangle them – if it’s at all possible. Can there be love without jealousy? Strindberg’s hypothesis is that love both generates and feeds off jealousy. Will Knut and Kerstin’s marriage survive the arrival of their close friend, Axel, as all three “play with fire”? Well, you need to see the show and find out.

 

First of all, its set in Hermanus and the set told you that it was close to a beach. The set was amazing and the set designer, Richard Higgs, should be pleased with himself. I want to go live there. Simon Dutton, did the set construction. You can see when he is involved as everything was in its place. The lighting design was phenomenal where blue and red lights symbolized the hot and cold nature of the situation that the characters were in.

 

The actors did what they could with the script as I found it boring. Bernie Jacobs managed to find the pockets of humour and utilized them with every chance she got. She had a well experienced cast on stage to make the show funny. John McConnell and Su Cunningham performances of the father and mother to Knut, didn’t take much effort in punching for the laughs. We wanted more of them. Jenny Brandt’s portrayal as the cousin, Adele, was refreshing to see that she also had the fire within her. It reminded me of her stint in The Odd Couple, the Female Version in 2012.

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August Strindberg, one of Europe's most respected literary figures, wrote only three comedies, one of which is this one-act play about having nothing to do. Set at the beach house where Knut and his wife Kerstin live with his parents, Playing With Fire deals with the ever-present web of relationships, and how to untangle them – if it’s at all possible. Can there be love without jealousy? Strindberg’s hypothesis is that love both generates and feeds off jealousy. Will Knut and Kerstin’s marriage survive the arrival of their close friend, Axel, as all three “play with fire”? Bernie Jacobs, who directed last year’s psychological thriller Equus, directs Playing With Fire for Claremont Dramatic Society and the experienced cast includes Kim R2 as Kerstin, David Sharpe as Knut and Richard Higgs as Axel. Knut’s parents are played by Su Cunningham and John McConnell and the last of the house guests, cousin Adele, is played by Jenny Brandt. All the actors have been in numerous plays for CDS and other societies at the Masque in the past. Playing With Fire is preceded by a performance of another one-act play, The Open Door by Alfred Sutro, which similarly deals with love, jealousy and what might have been. This play stars Thomas von Zahn and Laurie Todes and is directed by Jenny Brandt. The double bill opens at the Masque Theatre on Friday 27 July and runs until Saturday 4 August with shows at 20h00 Wednesday to Friday and 18h30 on Saturdays. There will also be a matinee performance at 14h30 on Saturday 4 August. Tickets are R100. Bookings through Masque Theatre bookings (021 788 1898 or bookings@masquetheatre.co.za) or through Computicket. #auguststrindberg #playingwithfire #actorslife #theatrelife #lovetheatre #capetowntheatrescene

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Richard Higgs played Axel, Knut’s friend from school, one third of a triangle with David Sharpe’s Knut and Kim Randleff-Rasmussen’s Kerstin. Higgs kept to the comedic timing and Sharpe’s portrayal gave us the creeps as the manipulator. Kim gave a good performance with the content she was given and the direction from Jacobs.

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Kerstin (Kim R2) and Knut (David Sharpe) are asking some very impertinent questions of poor Axel (Richard Higgs). August Strindberg, one of Europe's most respected literary figures, wrote only three comedies, one of which is this one-act play about having nothing to do. Set at the beach house where Knut and his wife Kerstin live with his parents, Playing With Fire deals with the ever-present web of relationships, and how to untangle them – if it’s at all possible. Can there be love without jealousy? Strindberg’s hypothesis is that love both generates and feeds off jealousy. Will Knut and Kerstin’s marriage survive the arrival of their close friend, Axel, as all three “play with fire”? Bernie Jacobs, who directed last year’s psychological thriller Equus, directs Playing With Fire for Claremont Dramatic Society and the experienced cast includes Kim R2 as Kerstin, David Sharpe as Knut and Richard Higgs as Axel. Knut’s parents are played by Su Cunningham and John McConnell and the last of the house guests, cousin Adele, is played by Jenny Brandt. All the actors have been in numerous plays for CDS and other societies at the Masque in the past. Playing With Fire is preceded by a performance of another one-act play, The Open Door by Alfred Sutro, which similarly deals with love, jealousy and what might have been. This play stars Thomas von Zahn and Laurie Todes and is directed by Jenny Brandt. The double bill opens at the Masque Theatre on Friday 27 July and runs until Saturday 4 August with shows at 20h00 Wednesday to Friday and 18h30 on Saturdays. There will also be a matinee performance at 14h30 on Saturday 4 August. Tickets are R100. Bookings through Masque Theatre bookings (021 788 1898 or bookings@masquetheatre.co.za) or through Computicket. #auguststrindberg #playingwithfire #alfredsutro #theopendoor #actorslife #theatrelife #stagelife #lovetheatre

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The double bill opens at the Masque Theatre on Friday 27 July and runs until Saturday 4 August with shows at 20h00 Wednesday to Friday and 18h30 on Saturdays. There will also be a matinee performance at 14h30 on Saturday 4 August.

Tickets are R100. Bookings through Masque Theatre bookings (021 788 1898 or bookings@masquetheatre.co.za) or through Computicket

Review: The Producers

I didn’t know what to expect when I heard that the Broadway hit musical, The Producers, was coming to the Masque Theatre. The Producers is a hilarious musical comedy that has taken Broadway and the West End by storm, winning a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards and 3 Olivier Awards. So I have to be in for a treat with this and I wasn’t disappointed.

Based on the 1968 film, Mel Brooks`s musical The Producers is a laugh-out-loud, outrageous, crowd-pleasing farce that has been a smash hit since its 2001 stage debut and 2005 film reprise. On the background of the post-war 50`s, fading Broadway producer Max Bialystock is desperate to get to the top of his profession again, and he finds an unlikely ally in mousy accountant Leo Bloom, who hypothesizes that one could make far more money with a flop of a show than with a hit.
Together, the two set out to produce the worst musical ever to hit Broadway, with the worst script, the worst director, and the worst cast they can find; the catch is that they will raise two million dollars to finance the show, and they plan to take the money and head to Rio when the show inevitably closes after just one performance. Too bad for Bialystock & Bloom that, against all odds, the show is a total hit!
With dozens of big and bit parts alike, no shortage of show-stopping musical numbers, and Brooks` signature humour keeping audiences in stitches, The Producers is definitely far from a flop.
This was the biggest and most ambitious set of any production I have seen at the Masque Theatre. The show was produced by Constantiaberg Theatre Players that brought us ‘The Birdcage’ and ‘Jane Eyre’. It was directed by Neil Leachman who did a grand job and choreographed by Sinead Donnelly who whipped the cast in shape. This show is way too funny with witty one liners and physical comedy. Congratulations must be given to the set designers Stephan Fourie and Allegra Whitehouse, who also led a team of superheroes who changed sets like they were chess pieces on a board. I have to name them, Wim Kenis, Chantell Esterhuyzen, Bronwyn Carter and Jordon Ford. As the show progresses, their chess game will be on whole other level.
Mark Wilkes plays Max Bialystock, a producer, that has too many flops on his hands and too little money in his pockets. He did not skip a beat in his performance with singing, dancing and performing. ‘Betrayed’ in the 2nd Act is something to be watched and to be admired at the hard work Wilkes has put into the role. David Wilke, no relation to Mark, played Leo Bloom, not so confident account that suggest to do a flop to make money, was surperb in this role. You may remember him in “The Full Monty, the Musical’, but his role as Leo has now overshadowed that. His character was believable and was maintained through out the show. It was a nice contrast to have ‘Wilke’ play opposite ‘Wilkes’, with their voices, height and talent.

Ariella Barnett as Ulla, was graceful and was nicely paired to Wilke’s awkwardness. She was fabulous to watch. Rob Coutts was a hoot! It felt like he was dreaming for this role as it fitted him perfectly. He played, Franz Liebkind, the unforunate and unlucky script writer to the biggest successful flop for Bialystock and Bloom. Matthew Kingwill and Stephan Fourie portrayal of Rodger DeBris and Carmen Gia, respectively, were phenomenal. They caught the essence of what Mel Brooks was known for. Hilarious and entertaining.

The 11 members of the ensemble cast did not disappoint us. Playing multiple roles through out the show. The were all phenomenal.
You have to come see this show. You will laugh, you will be entertained and you may be inspired to write a musical yourself.
The Show runs from 4-21 July 2018 and the tickets are R120.
Bookings can be made through Computicket or through the Masque Theatre on 021 788 1898 or via email at bookings@masquetheatre.co.za

Review: Othello: A Woman’s Story

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Welcome to Cell Block C. Mish Mash Media Productions (@mish_mash_media_sa) will stage an all-female production of Shakespeare’s Othello called Othello: A Woman's Story. The play is set in a modern-day female prison with no male characters, the first of its kind for Shakespeare in South African theatre. The traditional production of Othello is a Shakespearian tragedy believed to be written in 1603. It follows the story a powerful black general (Othello, played by Annitha Judith Kontyo) whose life and marriage are ruined by scheming villain (Iago, played by Regina R. Malan) who feels betrayed by Othello’s promotion of a soldier (Cassio, played by Leku Dube-Rudling) over himself. Iago’s clever plot to take down Othello involves playing on Othello’s insecurities about his race and manipulating him into believing that his wife (Desdemona, played by Candice Burgess) is guilty of adultery, which leads to a fatal series of events. The issues that Shakespeare was dealing with in this play over 400 years ago, are still relevant today and the prison setting is used as a metaphor for mental and physical barriers that people set for themselves, showcasing how people do not have to be from the opposite sex, race or religion to be sexist or patriarchal. Cast of Othello: A Woman's Story Othello: Annitha Judith Kontyo
Iago: Regina R. Malan
Desdemona: Candice Burgess
Cassio: Leku Dube-Rudling
Emilia: Lizanne Peters
Roderigo: Nathasha Futeran
Bianca: Marine George Senator: Tara Dominique Macpherson Directors: Adolph J. De Beer and Regina R. Malan Producers: Mish Mash Media Productions Photos: Yasmin Hankel (@yasminhankel) Publicity: @koj_communication The Galloway Theatre : 20 June – 23 June 2018 The Drama Factory : 27 June – 1 July 2018 The Galloway Theatre : 4 July – 8 July 2018 . . . #photoshoot #photooftheday #Othelloawomansstory #mishmashmediaproductions #mishmashmediaSA #allfemalecastOthelloCT #OthelloCapeTown2018 #theatrelife #actresslife #actorlife #capetown #southafrica #orangeisthenewblack #wentworth #badgirls #theatre #instatheatre #LGBT #LGBTQ #loveislove #photography #poster #play #shakespeare #othello #iago #desdemona #actor #actress #instadaily

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Most of you know or know me that I’m not a fan of the works that is William Shakespeare. I find this, also, hypocritical of me being that I have been cast in “The Comedy of Errors” which will be done later this year. But what I saw last night made me realize that this man wrote plays with colourful characters and gripping story lines that inspires adaption to the piece. With that being said, go see this freaking show.

The story of Othello was adapted and set in an all-women’s prison. The set was simplistic and brilliant which got the audience to focus more on the characters presented to us. I like it this way. This show has been produced by Mish Mash Productions who has been quite busy this year. The cast was outstanding in all of their performances and it was very hard for one to pick a weak link. There was none. Those with smaller roles brought the same energy and dedication than those who were on stage most of the time. The cast worked like an oiled machine that could possibly destroy anything that was put in their way.

 

Lize van Rooyen deserves praise all on her own for this production at The Galloway Theatre. Sound cues and lighting cues were on point and kept to the rhythm of the show. One hiccup could lose the sense of the story. Literally, if this was the Olympics, she would win gold. Regina Malan and Adolph de Beer were the directors. They cast the production very well and guided them in revealing naturalist performances from their actors. Right, can we talk about who is in it already? Listen, this is a show that must be seen and this is only my opinion.

 

Annitha Kontyo who played the title role of Othello, was captivating. She kept the physicality of her character throughout the show and convinced me that we were in a prison and in love with Desdemona, played by Candice Burgess. It seemed that Christmas came early for Regina Malan as she played the devious and the oh so manipulative role of Iago. You may find that I have been following her career of late and it seems that there is nothing she can’t do. Her little nuances of showing her manipulations did not miss a beat and was entertaining right to the end…oh and Iago’s ending is not to be missed.

Candice, as Desdemona, made me believe that she speaks ‘Shakespeare’ when she is at home. Her natural take on the character was convincing and her love towards Othello was believable. Tash Futeran tackled the role of Roderigo. If you have been following her acting career you will see that this role was far from what she is used to. It only proves that there is more to her that meets the eye with this one and has broadened her capabilities.

Lizanne Peters and Marine George played dual roles and they played them to perfection. The staging of the court case was beautifully done. Only their profiles were seen and their voices were heard. They weren’t forgettable. Peter’s, vocal control was consistent and George fitted her role very nicely. Leku Dube-Rudling and Tara Macpherson gave solid performances. There were no weak links in this show. They got a standing ovation, they got a full house. Follow Mish Mash Media Production on Instagram and Facebook for future dates of Othello: A Woman’s Story.

Review: Charley’s Aunt

I didn’t expect this show to be this funny but then what do you expect when you put Gary Green in a dress. Wikipedia is a delightful website so you can read the blurb below
Charley’s Aunt is a farce in three acts written by Brandon Thomas. It broke all historic records for plays of any kind, with an original London run of 1,466 performances. The play was first performed at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds in February 1892. It was produced by former D’Oyly Carte Opera Company actor W. S. Penley, a friend of Thomas, who appeared in the principal role of Lord Fancourt Babberley, an undergraduate whose friends Jack and Charley persuade him to impersonate the latter’s aunt. The piece was a success, and it then opened in London at the Royalty Theatre on 21 December 1892 and quickly transferred to the larger Globe Theatre on 30 January 1893 to complete its record-breaking run. The play was a success on Broadway in 1893, where it had another long run. It also toured internationally and has been revived continually and adapted for films and musicals.

This production was produced by Muizenberg Dramatic Society and directed by Barbara Basel. She brought us Design for Living and Fallen Angels, a definite knack for comedies. The scene starts off with Jake Chesney played by the newcomer to the Masque Theatre stage, Lee Speechly and Charles Wyckham played by Sebastian Lanser. They kept the momentum going from the first word and both showed the skill of comic timing which is the reason why this show is hilariously funny. Gary Green entered the scene as the destined ‘Charley’s Aunt’ who really raised the energy. His characterization was on point and you knew what sort of character he was portraying. These 3 young men worked well together and if you get to see the show you will know why.

This cast is quite big with many talented actors young and old. David Muller was hilarious to watch as Stephen Spettigue. Alistair Duff as Colonel Sir Francis Chesney was equally hilarious and could have past as the real father to his on stage son. Thomas Bowman enjoyed his role as the dutiful butler. Tayla Sargent and Laurie Todes carried their characters, Todes over pronunciation left me giggling quite a few times
In Act 2 brought us Miranda Lewis and Jessica Pybus, who played Donna Lucia d’Alvadorez – Charley’s aunt from Brazil and Ela Delahay respectively, they really stood out. In the midst of this funny comedy, they brought depth and vulnerability to their characters. Lewis really understood the text and brought the comedy through for her character.

This is definitely a show you need to come watch and have a really good laugh. They are back on stage from Wednesday to Saturday. Bookings can be made through the Masque Theatre on 021 788 1898 or via email at bookings@masquetheatre.co.za

Review: Billy Liar

I have never come across a production that was so relatable like Billy Liar. Especially when its a British comedy set in the 60’s. The show was written by the talented duo Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, and this production is directed by Lynn Moss for Claremont Dramatic Society.
It tells the story of Billy Fisher, a lazy dreamer bored with his job and life at home with his family, who takes refuge in his own invented world, which makes his life tolerable, but intolerable for everyone else around him. He lies his way in and out of every situation, creating tensions at home with his parents and ailing grandma, trouble at work with missing money, as well as romantic problems with the three very different girls he’s promised to marry.

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You need to march on to your phone and book for this hilarious comedy. It tells the story of Billy Fisher, a lazy dreamer bored with his job and life at home with his family, who takes refuge in his own invented world, which makes his life tolerable, but intolerable for everyone else around him. He lies his way in and out of every situation, creating tensions at home with his parents and ailing grandma, trouble at work with missing money, as well as romantic problems with the three very different girls he’s promised to marry. Written by the talented duo Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, this production is directed by Lynn Moss for Claremont Dramatic Society. Starring one of the Masque’s favourite comedy actors, James Skilton, with the hilarious Bryan Look as ‘our Billy’. Ticket prices for Matinees, Wednesday, Thursday evenings R90, and Friday, Saturday evenings R100. Bookings at Computicket or 021 788 1898 or bookings@masquetheatre.co.za Performances Friday 25th May @ 8pm, Saturday 26th @ 2:30pm & 6:30pm and Wednesday 30th, Thursday 31st May, Friday 1st June @ 8pm, and Saturday 2nd @ 2:30pm & 6:30pm #billyliar #capetown #capetowntheatrescene #theatreactors #actorslife

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The set was a magnificent masterpiece that stood out as its own character with its believable garden and brickwork. It was designed by the masterful, Zanodean Cassiem, whose reputation for Best Set Awards is a constant. The director, Lynn Moss, should consider herself blessed as it seems that her cast were made for the roles they played. You could tell by the programme of how experienced the cast is. They all played their parts with great energy and they were all fabulous and can’t really fault their performances.
Those who stood out for me was, Jessica Still who played Rita, debuted for the first time at the Masque Theatre made me believe that she was Rita. Spewing insults like it was her 2nd language. She was believable in her role. Jaime Uranovsky’s portrayal as Barbara was rather comical and was driven by her facial expressions and naivety. Side note, Jaime will make through this winter without a flu shot with the amount of oranges she has to eat on stage.

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Don't fight who is going to phone a book for BILLY LIAR. It tells the story of Billy Fisher, a lazy dreamer bored with his job and life at home with his family, who takes refuge in his own invented world, which makes his life tolerable, but intolerable for everyone else around him. He lies his way in and out of every situation, creating tensions at home with his parents and ailing grandma, trouble at work with missing money, as well as romantic problems with the three very different girls he’s promised to marry. Written by the talented duo Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, this production is directed by Lynn Moss for Claremont Dramatic Society. Starring one of the Masque’s favourite comedy actors, James Skilton, with the hilarious Bryan Look as ‘our Billy’. Ticket prices for Matinees, Wednesday, Thursday evenings R90, and Friday, Saturday evenings R100. Bookings at Computicket or 021 788 1898 or bookings@masquetheatre.co.za Performances Friday 25th May @ 8pm, Saturday 26th @ 2:30pm & 6:30pm and Wednesday 30th, Thursday 31st May, Friday 1st June @ 8pm, and Saturday 2nd @ 2:30pm & 6:30pm #actorslife #capetowntheatrescene #billyliar #theatreactors #theatrelife

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Bryan Look, who plays Billy Fisher, who was last seen on stage as the murderer, Michael Starkwedder, in The Unexpected Guest was a delight to watch. It’s quite hard to play a character that is annoying. Look’s comedic timing is on point throughout the play but you get to see Billy’s vulnerability in the 2nd Act that you start to see his view point.
Opening Night is tonight so don’t forget to book your tickets. If you don’t laugh in this show, your face is on too tightly.

Ticket prices for Matinees, Wednesday, Thursday evenings R90, and Friday, Saturday evenings R100. Bookings at Computicket or 021 788 1898 or bookings@masquetheatre.co.za

Performances Friday 25th May @ 8pm, Saturday 26th @ 2:30pm & 6:30pm and Wednesday 30th, Thursday 31st May, Friday 1st June @ 8pm, and Saturday 2nd @ 2:30pm & 6:30pm

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Banish the winter blues with this hilarious play, ‘Billy Liar’, which was a successful book, play, movie and TV series. It tells the story of Billy Fisher, a lazy dreamer bored with his job and life at home with his family, who takes refuge in his own invented world, which makes his life tolerable, but intolerable for everyone else around him. He lies his way in and out of every situation, creating tensions at home with his parents and ailing grandma, trouble at work with missing money, as well as romantic problems with the three very different girls he’s promised to marry. Now which one is this one. I don't think we can keep up with our Billy. Written by the talented duo Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, this production is directed by Lynn Moss for Claremont Dramatic Society. Ticket prices for Matinees, Wednesday, Thursday evenings R90, and Friday, Saturday evenings R100. Bookings at Computicket or 021 788 1898 or bookings@masquetheatre.co.za Performances Friday 25th May @ 8pm, Saturday 26th @ 2:30pm & 6:30pm and Wednesday 30th, Thursday 31st May, Friday 1st June @ 8pm, and Saturday 2nd @ 2:30pm & 6:30pm @claremontdramatic @blion84 #billyliar #act #theatrelife #stagelife #actorslife #capetowntheatrescene

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