Win 8 tickets to ‘Noel, Cole & Me’

Godfrey Johnson in Noel, Cole and Me.

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BY BILLY SUTER

AFTER Vaslav, Godfrey Johnson’s excellent, dark and sophisticated cabaret-drama about dancer Nijinsky, was recently staged at Durban’s Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo, the popular singer-pianist from Cape Town returns there for two very different shows this and next weekend.

Johnson is in much lighter mode for Pianomania, co-starring fellow, award-winning pianist Nicholas McDiarmid, which will run from June 7 to 9.  The review of this will appear on this site on Saturday.

Johnson is by turns equally lighthearted and serious, and excellent on piano. in his fun solo cabaret, Noel, Cole and Me, which will be staged at the Umbilo Rhumbelow Theatre from June 14 to 16.

Good news is that we have eight tickets to give away to one lucky SoSuterBill subscriber for the opening performance of Noel, Cole and Me at 8pm on Friday, June 14, at the Umbilo theatre. See the end of this story for more details on how to enter.

Noel, Cole and Me, celebrating the music of Noel Coward, Cole Porter and others, was first presented locally by Johnson on June 1 at Northlands Bowling Club, Durban North. It is one of a planned series of fundraiser shows for the club to be staged at the Margaret Maytom Avenue clubhouse in weeks to come, in collaboration with the Rhumbelow Theatre.

The club offers a large, spacious, high-ceilinged hall that works quite well for shows, seating being on leather-backed chairs (fancier armchairs in some areas) beside tables, and performances taking place on a raised platform a stone’s throw from the club pub. One can take along one’s own snacks but get drinks from the bar.

Among shows lined up for this temporary new outlet for Rhumbelow Theatre shows are young singer-musician Tanner Wareham and pals in an excellent tribute to Bob Dylan (July 6) and great swing band Platform Jazz with Our Favourite Swings (August 3). Tickets cost R150 (R130 for pensioners) and are available at Computicket outlets or by phoning Roland at 082 499 8636.

Godfrey Johnson in Noel, Cole and Me.

But back to Noel, Cole and Me. If you are after something light, bright and a constant delight, do yourself a favour and see it at the Umbilo Rhumbelow, where performances will be at 8pm on Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15, and 2pm on Sunday, June 16.

Tickets cost R150 (R130 for pensioners) and are available at Computicket outlets or by phoning Roland at 082 499 8636.

Although billed as mostly a nod to the magical music of Porter and Coward, Johnson also dips into a wide and wonderful repertoire of songs, by turns clever, emotive silly, amusing and beguiling.

His songsheet is likely to change depending on whim or circumstance. For example, at the bowling club performance, a very brief technical hitch saw Godfrey recite instead of sing and play piano for Coward’s I’ve Been to a Marvellous Party.

Also, a good few interruptions from the clubhouse cat merely added to the mirth, Johnson even doing a snippet of Memory from Cats to mark the occasion when the feline strutted on to the stage and plonked itself in front of a spotlight.

Highlights of the show we saw included the amusing Coward classics, Don’t Put Your Daughter on the Stage, Mrs Worthington and Mad Dogs and Englishmen, as well as the popular Let’s Do It, I Love Paris, Too Darn Hot and a great, melancholy, slow cover of Miss Otis Regrets. We also had a revamped version of Supertramp’s Logical Song, Billy Joel’s Piano Man, the fun Modern Man and a lightning-speed The Minute Waltz, set to music by Chopin.

The programme at the bowling club also included a request of Godfrey’s slow and aching version of Prince’s When Doves Cry, Being Alive (from the Stephen Sondheim musical, Company) and Jacques Brel’s increasingly giddy Carousel.

His cheerful disposition, wit, camp quirkiness and brilliance at the piano and on vocals make Noel, Cole and Me a show well worth seeing!

For the record, Johnson has appeared in more than 40 productions and has performed throughout Europe, Canada and South Africa.

In 2009, he performed with Claire Watling at The Jermyn Street Theatre on The West End, London, in their award-winning show, Kissed By Brel. He has starred in numerous films, including David Moore’s Once Upon A Roadtrip. He recently appeared on the TV shows Black Sails and Outlander.

In 2015 he composed the music for Pieter-Dirk Uys’s Die Van Aardes van Grootoor which had a successful run at  The Theatre On The Bay.

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WIN 8 TICKETS TO SEE RHUMBELOW THEATRE’S “NOEL, COLE AND ME”.

To put yourself in line to win tickets for EIGHT people to see the fun Godfrey Johnson show, Noel, Cole and Me, at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Cunningham Road, Umbilo – at 8pm on Friday, June 14  – you simply have to be a follower of my site. At no cost.

If you are not already a follower, simply leave your email address in the space provided towards the end of the cover page of this site, sosuterbill.com

You will then be a follower, and receive email notification whenever I file a new story.

Once you have subscribed (there is no cost), send your NAME and PHONE NUMBER via email (NOT THIS SITE’S CONTACT FORM) to sosuterbill@gmail.com and place the words ‘NOEL, COLE AND GODFREY’  in the subject field. 

The lucky winner of the 8 tickets will be chosen and notified after 12-noon on Monday, June 10. Good luck!

NOTE: PLEASE READ ENTRY DETAILS CAREFULLY AS SOME PEOPLE ARE ENTERING COMPETITIONS INCORRECTLY.

ALSO NOTE THAT ONLY ONE ENTRY PER SUBSCRIBER WILL BE CONSIDERED.

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