KickStArt create theatre magic with Roald Dahl’s classic ‘James and the Giant Peach’

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‘James and the Giant Peach’s’ five magically altered human-sized, talking garden bugs, (from left) Miss Spider (Clare Mortimer), Mr Green Grasshopper (Peter Court), Earthworm (Nhlakanipho Manqele), Centipede (Lyle Buxton), and Ladybird (Belinda Henwood). Photo: Val Adamson

ESTELLE SINKINS reviews KickStArt Theatre Company’s James and the Giant Peach, which is at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre at UKZN. Continue reading

KickStArt Theatre Company’s ‘Chicago’ is ‘razzle-dazzling’ entertainment

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Roxie Hart (Jessica Sole, left) and Velma Kelly (Katy Moore) make a dynamite double act in KickStArt Theatre Company’s ‘Chicago’. Photo: Val Adamson

ESTELLE SINKINS review’s KickStArt Theatre Company’s Chicago, which is at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre in Durban until April 30. Continue reading

Top Durban musos to perform in KickStArt Theatre Company’s ‘Chicago’

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Get ready to be Razzle Dazzled by (from left) Katy Moore, Jessica Sole and Charon Williams-Ros in KickStArt Theatre Company’s ‘Chicago’. Photo: Val Adamson

Some of Durban’s top musicians will be performing live for every performance of KickstArt’s high-kicking razzle-dazzle, Kander and Ebb musical, Chicagowhich is at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre until April 30. Continue reading

Play about Whoonga drug crisis wins big at 2016 Durban Theatre Awards

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Ulwembu, a play which examines the Whoonga drug problem in KwaZulu-Natal, won five prizes at the Mercury Durban Theatre Awards. Photo: File

ULWEMBU, a play which tackles the serious consequences of the Whoonga (low grade heroin) drug problem in Durban, was one of the big winners at this year’s Mercury Durban Theatre Awards.

Over the course of 2015, award-winning playwright and director Neil Coppen (Tin Bucket Drum, Tree Boy, Abnormal Loads and Animal Farm), actress Mpume Mtombeni, KwaMashu-based community-theatre group, The Big Brotherhood, and educational sociologist, Dylan McGarry, set about exploring the crisis.

The result of the two-year research/play-making process was a powerful new theatre production, which gave audiences the opportunity to walk in the shoes of users, dealers, police officers, social-workers and parents of drug users. Continue reading

It’s time to go Into the Woods with KickStArt

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The cast of Into the Woods. Photo: Val Adamson

I remember sending a message to Steven Stead, artistic director of KickStArt Theatre Company, after seeing Disney’s film version of Into the Woods whether he had plans to do a stage version. He just said ‘watch this space’.

This week Durban theatregoers get to see Into the Woods on stage at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on the University of KwaZulu-Natal Howard College campus from April 15 to May 1. I for one cannot wait to see Stephen Sondheim’s classic and I urge all my friends and family in Durban and Maritzburg to go and see it. Continue reading

KZN well represented in the Naledi Award nominations

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Clare Mortimer and Ralph Lawson in A Voice I Cannot Silence at the 2015 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. The play, directed by Greg Homann, is based on the life, stories and poems of Alan Paton. (Photo: CuePix/Sithasolwazi Kentane)

THE nominees for the Naledi Awards 2016 – which will take place at the Lyric Theatre in Johannesburg on April 19 – have been revealed and according to executive director, Dawn Lindberg, the standard has never been higher.

Several Durbanites are in the running for this year’s awards including KickStArt Theatre Company’s Steven Stead for Sweeney Todd and Little Shop of Horrors, Greg King, Tina le Roux, Neil Stuart Harris, Charon Williams-Ros for Sweeney Todd, Caroline Smart for Hinterland and Clare Mortimer and Menzi Mkhwane for A Voice I Cannot Silence.

Short, Stories, Alive, the Nobulali Productions show, directed by former Durban resident, Neil Coppen, is also nominated; as is former Durban actress Janna Ramos-Violante, who gets a nomination for her work in Doubt. Continue reading