BY BILLY SUTER
DURBAN’s award-winning KickstArt theatre company has announced further plans for 2017 productions, among them a new drama – the company’s first since the award-winning, touring Venus in Fur, three years ago – and a July season in Johannesburg for their delightful 2015 pantomime, Puss in Boots.
“We at KickstArt are delighted to announce a bumper year of contrasts and surprises, to keep you and your families entertained throughout the year,” KickstArt director, Steven Stead, wrote on Facebook.
“We have four major productions scheduled for Durban, and a second pantomime, Puss in Boots, going to Gold Reef City in Johannesburg in July. It’s going to be a full and busy year for us… but we know it will be well worth the effort.”
The KickstArt drama for Durban is Rabbit Hole, scheduled to run at Durban High School’s cosy Seabrookes Theatre from September 20 to October 1. Performances will be at 7.30pm Tuesday to Saturday, and 2.30pm and 6pm on Sunday.
Described as a moving and often surprisingly amusing examination of love and loss within a family, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Rabbit Hole is a 2005 play by David Lindsay-Abaire. It was turned into a 2010 film starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest, directed by John Cameron Mitchel.
The Durban stage production will be directed by Steven Stead, and will team Liesl Coppin and Bryan Hiles.
KickstArt has also announced, on Facebook, casting details for its children’s productions, James and the Giant Peach and the panto Sinbad the Sailor.
Starring Bryan Hiles, Clare Mortimer, Peter Court, Belinda Henwood, Nhlakanipho Manqele and Lyle Buxton, James and the Giant Peach will run at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from July 5 to 23.
Performances have been scheduled for 2.30pm Tuesday to Friday, 11am and 3pm on Saturday, and 2.30pm on Sunday.
Greg King will direct and design this fun Roald Dahl tale about a young orphan, James, who has a remarkable adventure involving a giant peach and five eccentric giant insects.
Casting has also been confirmed for the pantomime Sinbad the Sailor, which will run at the Sneddon from December 1 to January 7. Performances are set for 2.30pm Tuesday to Sunday, and 7pm on Friday. There will be no performances on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.
The cast will include Lyle Buxton as Sinbad, Bryan Hiles as Dame Donna Kebab, Darren King as Long John Slither, Belinda Henwood as Morgiana the Magnificent, and Amanda Kunene as Princess Marina. Also featured are Marion Loudon, Nhlakanipho Manqele and Mothokozisi Zulu.
First up for KickstArt, as announced earlier on SoSuterBill, will be the musical Chicago, scheduled for the Sneddon from April 7 to 30, with performances set for 7.30pm Tuesday to Friday, 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Saturday, and 6pm on Sunday.
The show, set in 1920s Chicago, where the gin is cold and the piano’s hot, is directed by Stead, designed by King (sets) and Neil Stuart Harris (costumes) and has choreography by Janine Bennewith.
Starring are Jessica Sole as Roxy, Katy Moore as Velma, Jason Ralph (who wowed local audiences as Sweeney Todd) as Billy Flynn, Bryan Hiles as Amos, Charon Williams-Ros as Matron Mama Morton and Anne-Marie Clulow as Mary Sunshine.
Booking for all KickstArt productions is at Computicket outlets.