Actress Lisa Bobbert will unveil her sizzling new comedy showcase, I Feel Pretty, written by Clinton Marius and directed by Darren King, at 7.30 pm on June 23 and 24 as part of Hilton College Theatre’s 25th anniversary celebrations.
Written by acclaimed South African playwright Clinton Marius (Lollipop Lane, B!*ch Stole My Doek, Sweetie Darling) as a virtuoso showcase for Bobbert’s unrivalled comedic talent, I Feel Pretty is directed by award-winning theatre luminary, Darren King (Laughing Wild, Noises Off, Kiss of a Spiderwoman) – who brings his signature showbiz panache to the new work’s premiere staging.
The scene opens in 1972. Angel Erckett has just triumphed in a Miss Teen Queen Beauty pageant, only to be stripped of her title moments later when her tell-tale waistline reveals an all-too-apparent bump in her belly….
Fast-track 15 years, back onto the slippery slopes of another beauty competition. Angel, now a hard-nosed showbiz mum, again takes centre-stage as she pushes ahead for her daughter Emerald to seize the crown as 1987’s Miss Teen Queen.
While she prepares to knock her arch nemesis, Denise (and her daughter Cherise) out of the contest, Angel determines to make good her own lost dream through her Emerald’s winning the title (Think Honey Boo-Boo meets Gypsy Rose Lee).
As the plot unravels the redoubtable Ms Bobbert freewheels gleefully through a cavalcade of all-too recognisable, behind-the-scenes persona, graphically plucked from the go-getting world of talent-scouting.
I Feel Pretty is laced with outrageous renditions of ’80s Latin, Tap and Tango numbers, with la Bobbert putting her inimitable stamp on songs such as Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made For Walking, Madonna’s Like A Virgin and Jocelyn Pook’s Women’s Magazine Tango.
Tickets are R130 and R150. Book at http://www.hiltontheatre.co.za or call 033 383 0126.
DID YOU KNOW?
The theatre, which is home to the Hilton Arts Festival, opened in March 1991 with a performance of Royal Hunt of the Sun directed by Ant Lovell, who was a teacher at the time with a very keen dramatic sense of purpose, and the show was performed entirely by Hilton Boys.
The school has a dynamic interest in school theatre and produces a major production every year, alternating between a musical and a straight dramatic performance. The music department is also active in the theatre with two to three concerts a year being hosted.
Apart from the annual festival that takes over a big part of the school, the theatre welcomes the International Cecchetti Ballet Summer School every second year in December.
It also has ThinkTheatre’s matric set work in February which plays to about 5,000 pupils every year. The theatre also hosts conferences, school related activities such as subject presentations as well as guest speakers and assemblies.
Some highlights of commercial ventures are Noises Off, Abnormal Loads and Tree Boy, Wit, Doubt, A Voice I Cannot Silence, John Kani’s Nothing But the Truth and Sizwe Banzi to name a few. The theatre has a lot of local support from dance studios and the Midlands Youth Ballet as well as The Pietermaritzburg City Orchestra.
Regular visitors to the stage include Pieter Dirk Uys, Lisa Bobbert and Aaron McIlroy.
“For me the most memorable school production would have been Les Miserables schools edition which we staged in 2014. This was when we used the orchestra pit for the first time in 20 years and the stage underwent some alterations to build in and secure the orchestra pit for future use. This show pushed all the boundaries and the entire ‘school production process’ onto a different level. It was an incredible show to have been a part of,” said theatre manager, Sheryl Hodkin.