KickStart Theatre Company’s ‘Sinbad the Sailor’ is panto-tastic!


Dame Donna Kebab (Bryan Hiles), Sinbad (Lyle Buxton) and Silly Billy Souvlaki (Graeme Wicks) get a lift from a feathered friend in Sinbad the Sailor. Photo: Val Adamson

ESTELLE SINKINS reviews KickStArt Theatre Company’s Sinbad the Sailor at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, Durban

CAN you fall in love with a camel? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’ if it’s name is Dimple and its starring in KickStArt Theatre Company’s latest pantomime, Sinbad the Sailor.

Dimple is one of several magical creations brought to life by Greg King, the company’s award-winning designer. There are also breath-taking sets, several puppets and a ginormous — and very pink — bird.

Written and directed by KickStArt’s artistic director, Steven Stead, Sinbad is based on stories of the legendary sailor, Sinbad, a hero from One Thousand and One Nights.

In this version our handsome hero, played by Lyle Buxton, find himself without a job. Not the ideal situation when you are used to sailing the seven seas and battling inumerable monsters.

And then he has to deal with his less than supportive mother, Dame Donna Kebab, played by Bryan Hiles, who dons the high-heeled shoes of the panto dame for the first time, and his dimwitted little brother, Silly Billy Souvlaki (Graeme Wicks).

Enter the evil Morgiana the Magnificent, Sultana of Baghdad, played with relish by Belinda Henwood. She has plans to steal the Pearl of Power, but needs a person with a pure heart to do the dirty work.


Dimple the Dromedary, Graeme Wicks (left) and Bryan Hiles in a scene from ‘Sinbad the Sailor’. Photo: Val Adamson

Morgiana enlists the help of pirate captain, Long John Slither (Darren King), and his hilarious bosun, Mustapha Kitkat (Mthokozisi Zulu), to get Sinbad to join his pirate crew.
Unfortunately for Long John Slither, Sinbad comes with some baggage – his mum and brother.

And, they are soon joined by the pirate captain’s fesity daughter, Marina (Amanda Kunene), and her governess, Ameena Labeeba (Marion Loudon), making this journey anything but plain sailing.

Fortunately for those on the side of good, there is help from the Genie of the Seven Seas, played by Sandile Mabaso, in his first panto. His voice is a festive treat of note.

Kathryn Anderson, Kirsty Ndawo, Pavishen Paideya and Muvo Hlongwana also deserve applause for taking on numerous dance sequences and characters ranging from pirates to temple guards and maidens.

Sinbad the Sailor is gloriously over-the-top fun, with plenty of topical jabs, sing-along songs, costumes, made by Shanthi Naidoo, that will make you laugh out loud.

One of the choice moments is the cast’s performance of If I Were Not Upon the … which proves rather challenging for the actors and hilarious to watch.

The dance sequences have been well choreographed by Evashnee Pillay and the lighting is superb, courtesy of Tina le Roux.

KickStArt’s Sinbad the Sailor is panto-tastic, so get tickets for the little people in your life. They, and your inner child, will thank you.

Sinbad the Sailor runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre until January 7, 2018.
Performances are Tuesday to Sunday at 2.30 pm with evening performances on Fridays at 7 pm. There are no performances on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.
Tickets start at R150 (R120 for children under 12 and pensioners). Book at Computicket.



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