BY BILLY SUTER
IT’S that time of year when Durban theatre fans start wondering if another mini panto, a festive season institution in the city for two decades, will be staged again.
The answer, boys and girls, is… yes! As was the case last year, the naughty panto, produced on a shoestring budget and strictly aimed at adults, will be performed in the quaint supper theatre venue, On Stage@Altitude, at Durban’s intimate Club Altitude in Silver Avenue, Stamford Hill. It will run from November 14 to December 30.
This year the zany gang of singer-actors will be sinking their teeth into a lopsided, nudge-wink variation of Dracula, and longtime panto dame regular, Anthony Stonier, who was absent from last year’s mini panto, will star in the title role.
The five-member cast includes another Durban panto regular, Thomie Holtzhausen, who also owns the venue, has devised and scripted Dracula, and directs and will also appear in the show.
The cast is completed by Kerry-Lee McKibbin, Jaziel Vaugh’hann and Mpilo Nzimande, all of whom, with Holtzhausen, appeared in Once Upon a Fairy: NOT the Adult Panto, the first mini pantomime at this venue, staged last year.
After Durban producer Sue Clarence decided to call quits on the annual, naughty adult panto in 2015, Holtzhausen, decided to take over the reins last year in his intimate venue.
“Over the past 20 years, the panto has been based on a traditional fairytale but, this year, the script has been captured by the fairytale of the Rainbow Nation. Be prepared for an experience with an edgy and a tantalising bite,” he says.
He goes on to describe the panto as “a potjie filled with delicious South African flavours… and spiced with sarcasm, innuendo and naughty jokes”.
“Stonier, who will be starring in his 20th adult panto, is ready to suck you dry with laughter as Count(ess) Dracula. We guarantee every fe(male) will swoon over his legs and be willing, not only to be courted by his melodic voice, but die for his bite!”.
Holtzhausen will appear in a variety of roles, while Vaughánn will return to the panto stage with all the aplomb of a carnival minstrel, McKibben will showcase her sultry voice; and the comedic antics of Mpilo Nzimande will guarantee an escape from life.
“Gather your friends, family, colleagues and cronies – bring along a picnic basket (there is no restriction on the food being brought into the venue) and support the venue’s bar,” adds Holtzhausen.
Tickets for Dracula cost R140 each and seating is at tables of eight. Only 10 tables are available in this quaint venue, so book early.
For further information, or to book as a group, contact Ailsa of GoingPlacesSA at 071 865 8199 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Booking is also available at Computicket outlets.