KickstArt: best of the best

Jason Ralph and Charon Williams-Ros in KickstArt’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,

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BY BILLY SUTER

WITH Durban’s award-winning KickstArt theatre company once again reeling in acclaim and packing out the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre – this time with director Steven Stead’s great vision of the musical Chicago – what better time to look back at many magical memories provided by this talented team since it formed 17 years ago.

 

We all have our favourites and, yes, one man’s treasure can well be another man’s trash… so I go to great pains to point out that it is purely from a personal point of view that I rate the shows below as the best of the best from one of Durban’s most precious assets.

 

The company was formed by artistic director Greg King, and since the inaugural production of Ben Elton’s Popcorn, has regularly won applause and awards both locally and nationally.

In 2003, King was joined by Steven Stead as executive director, and together they have worked to develop the company’s output and status.

They initially ran shows at Greyville’s intimate Kwasuka Theatre for three years, then moved on to collaborations with larger theatres such as the Playhouse, Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town, and the Liberty Theatre on the Square in Johannesburg.

 

They have also formed a very strong relationship with celebrated South African impresario, Pieter Toerien, who has co-produced several of KickstArt’s recent successes on tour in Johannesburg at his Montecasino Theatre, and in Cape Town at his Theatre on the Bay.

I have reviewed KickstArt productions since the company formed in 2000 – and over that time, for various reasons that I cannot recall now, have missed only three productions: Proof, Miracle and Road to Mecca. Obviously, then, my choices do not include these praised productions.

Here then, strictly for fun, are my lists of what I consider to be the finest productions to date from KickstArt.

MUSICALS………………………………………………………………..…………………………

1 SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET (2014)

2 INTO THE WOODS (2016)

3 CHICAGO (2017)

4 CABARET (2011)

 

5 LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (2009)

6 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2012)

7 SHREK THE MUSICAL (2015)

8 I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE (2011)

9 THE WIZARD OF OZ (2008)

10 SNOOPY (2015) and ANNIE (2014)

DRAMAS……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

1 WIT (2009)

2 VENUS IN FUR (2012)

3 SHIRLEY VALENTINE (2008)

4 OLEANNA (2008)

 

5 KEELY AND DU (2002)

6 DUET FOR ONE (2010)

7 THE MEMORY OF WATER (2003)

8 STEEL MAGNOLIAS (2002)

9 CRIMES OF THE HEART (2005)

10 RED (2012) and DANGEROUS LIAISONS (2004)

COMEDIES……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

1 JEEVES AND WOOSTER IN PERFECT NONSENSE (2015)

2 THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP (2007)

3 NOISES OFF (2009)

4 BOSTON MARRIAGE (2006)

 

5 DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER (2012)

6 THE GOD OF CARNAGE (2011)

7 THE LADYKILLERS (2013)

8 ART (2006)

9 PRIVATE LIVES (2002)

10 POPCORN (2000) and THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (2001)

CHILDREN’S THEATRE……………………………………………………………………….………..

1 PUSS IN BOOTS (2015)

2 SLEEPING BEAUTY (2016)

3 ALADDIN (2014)

 

4 JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (2013)

5 PETER PAN (2009)

6 SNOW WHITE (2011)

7 CINDERELLA (2008)

8 CINDERELLA (2004)

9 THE JUNGLE BOOK (2007)

10 WINNIE THE POOH (2006)

 


One thought on “KickstArt: best of the best

  1. I have seen the following Kickstart Productions and have listed them in order ‘by favourite’:

    SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET (2014)

    CHICAGO (2017)

    CABARET (2011)

    INTO THE WOODS (2016)

    WIT (2009)

    BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2012)

    LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (2009)

    THE WIZARD OF OZ (2008)

    JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (2013)

    THE JUNGLE BOOK (2007)

    ALADDIN (2014)

    WINNIE THE POOH (2006)

    Liked by 1 person

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