With Heritage Month behind us, KZN’s live entertainment scene continues apace. Durban’s Playhouse Company boasts a busy roster of shows. ‘To House’, Ashwin Singh’s drama about racial tensions between disparate Durban population sectors, runs in the Drama Theatre from 5 to 7 October. With cast headed by Michael Gritten, Menzi Mkwane and playwright Singh, the production is directed by Ralph Lawson.
The Playhouse’s Loft Season, which offers free admission to productions to be seen, showcases several home-grown Durban shows that have won acclaim. Heading the roster is the run-away hit, B!#ch Stole My Doek, written and directed by Clinton Marius and starring Shona Johnson. Set in Wentworth, the laugh-a-line comedy with a twist won a prestigious Standard Bank Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, as well as a slew of Durban Theatre Awards. Don’t miss its performances on 6 and 7 October at 7.30pm.
Other notable shows on the Loft Season’s roster include, among others: Trafficked, a physical theatre piece that combines poetry and media projection to tell the story of a South African girl tricked into a dangerous human trafficking syndicate; Liberty, a dance piece around South African stories of lost souls in an idealistic world who have fallen by the way side; Touch My Blood, a tale of a young man growing up in Hammersdale Township in the 80s; and the drama, Cell Block Double, a two-hander new South African play about two women who are incarcerated in a cell together.
Another not-to-be-missed event at The Playhouse is the eagerly anticipated annual Last Night of the Proms concert, presented as always by the British Cultural and Heritage Association. With South Africa’s ‘Mr Music’, Richard Cock, on the podium, and a bumper programme of Proms favourites set to be performed in cracking style by the KZNPO with a powerhouse combo of choirs and soloists, the event will be one to remember! Diarise 22 October at 3pm, and be there! For full programme details about shows at The Playhouse, visit www.playhousecompany.com.
The Melanie Kisten Dance Academy celebrates 21 years in the entertainment industry with an exciting new theatre production – The Bread, The Porridge and The Mix Masala.This theatrical fusion of comedy, dance and music is written, directed and produced by Melanie Kisten, runs at Sibaya Casino’s iZulu Theatre on Saturday 21 October at 6pm and on Sunday 22 October at 3pm. Tickets via Computicket @ R120pp. To book, call 0861 915 8000 or book online at www.computicket.com.
Also at the iZulu Theatre, catch the return of music wiz Ian Von Memerty’s phenomenally long-running revue, Handful Keys. Now expanded to include three keyboards and three pianists and more, the hugely popular show runs from 8 to 19 November. Book at Computicket.
Actor Tim Plewman once again dons the Caveman’s skins and steps onto stage to add to his record breaking slew of sold out performances of the longest-running and most successful solo comedy in South African theatre history: Defending the Caveman plays at UKZN’s Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre in Durban, from 4 to 14 October.
And to get a revised history lesson from South Africa’s most famous white woman, Evita Bezuidenhout, note she will present her side-splitting, satirical stand-up Evita Bezuidenhout & the Kaktus of Separate Development at the Elizabeth Sneddon theatre for a three week run from Tuesday 31 October until Sunday 19 November. Tannie Evita takes her audience on a unique great trek as she follows the journey of the Kaktus of Separate Development (Kaktaceae Apartica) from its arrival in 1652 to its reinvention in 1994 – right up to the headlines of today. Assisted by visual aids reflecting a familiar terrain of history, from the arrival of a small Dutch ship called the Drommedaris to the coronation of a former political prisoner called Madiba. She will have you in stiches while tackling one of the most controversial issues in our democracy: the real history of South Africa and the right to laugh at the lies. Evita was last at the Sneddon in 2013. Tickets available from Computicket www.computicket.co.za 0861 915 8000 / Shoprite Checkers Money Market Counters.
Finally, a note for classical music lovers and concert goers, the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra’s World Symphony Series 2017 Late Spring Season runs in the Durban City Hall on Thursday evenings at 7.30pm between 19 October and 16 November. For details about the seasons exciting programmes, to be performed by stellar line-up of international artists and leading South African musicians, visit www.kznphil.org or call 031-369 9438.