Denise Britz and Lilli Slaptsilli


Every now and then I dip into scrapbooks that piled up during my 24 years as Arts Editor of The Mercury newspaper in Durban and, just for fun, dig out reviews and interviews from yesteryear. Today we go back to 2000.

The first post, above, is my interview with Lili Slaptsilli of Cape Town drag, lip-sync act Mince (a duo also featuring Kieran Legacy), that often played to good houses at Durban supper theatres. Leggy Lilly is now performing solo nationally, both as a lip-sync artist, fun MC and, more recently, a standup comic.

The interview here was done on the eve of Mince’s two sold-out weekend shows in late June 2000, at the now-defunct Langoustine Theatre By the Sea in Durban North. It has Lilly reminiscing about her most embarrassing moment on stage involving a microphone getting stuck in her Tina Turner wig during a lip-sync routine.

“It dangled there for a while, then fell to the ground and accidentally got kicked across the stage while I tried to retrieve it. Believe me, Tina had never looked so out of control,” she said.

Lilli also speaks of wearing size 10 shoes (making it difficult to get shoes for a drag act) and using up to 11 wigs per show.

Below is my interview with former Durban dance darling Denise Britz, noted for her choreography for many floorshow cabarets in the 1980s at Durban venue Ruby Tuesday and the Wild Coast Sun.

At that time her husband then, Don Clarke, contributed original songs to her fun routines… and one that always readily springs to mind is a naughtly mickey-take of Jingle Bells that was used in festive season dance cabarets at Ruby Tuesday, where Pedro Carlo was resident DJ.

The interview below was to promote her choreographing the Durban Designer Collection at Durban harbour’s N Shed – and Denise mentions early in the interview that one of the highlights of her own dancing career was “when I quit!”.

She also chats about having met Rudolf Nureyev, Dustin Hoffman, Ann-Margret, Elton John and Margot Fonteyn – and having had Liberace at her birthday party in the 1970s, at the home of Joan Brickhill and Louis Burke.


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