Ballet, laughs and Scrooge

A scene from Mzanzi Ballet’s The Queen Show.

……BY BILLY SUTER……

THE Johannesburg theatre scene is slowly returning to life under Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and the Pieter Toerien Theatre in Montecasino has announced three new shows heading there soon – a revival of Mzansi Ballet’s The Queen Show, a revival of VR Theatrical’s hour-long Scrooge and The Lying King (The Circle of Laugh) by comic Alan Committee.

The Queen Show, a family-friendly production with a diverse cast that has performed from Brazil to the UK, will be the festive season attraction at the theatre, running from December 11 to January 3. It is directed by Dirk Badenhorst.

After capturing the hearts of Brazilian audiences in the ballet-meets-panstula production, Bengingazi, choreographer Michael Revie delivers inspiring movement with his equally-accomplished wife, Angela Revie, at his right hand.

Dancing in the show is South African Craig Arnolds, who recently starred in Chicago. Also featured are Capetonians Sikhumbuzo Hlahleni, and Aviwe November, as well as Lize Mentz, Page McElliot, Alison Sichy Smth, Nehanda Pehuillan and Tsebang Sipambo.

World-renowned fashion designer and stylist David Hutt is the costume designer for The Queen Show. With more than 20 years of experience in the world of advertising, film, and television, he has worked with an array of iconic brands – from French Vogue to Lachapelle. 

Tickets are available from Computicket and range in price from R150 to R250. Performances are scheduled for 7pm Wednesdays to Fridays, 3pm and 7pm on Saturdays, and 3pm and 6pm on Sundays. In addition, special 3pm matinees have been scheduled for December 16 and January 1, plus there will be a 9pm New Year’s Eve performance.

A poster image for Scrooge.

VR Theatrical’s revival of the Christmas staple, Scrooge, is adapted for the stage by Elizma Badenhorst and directed by her and Alyssa Harrison. It is a 60-minute production, ideal for the family, that is small in scale but big on enchantment.

Starring Charles Bougenon as the miserly title character and Amber Burnham as his assistant, the show tells of the cantankerous Mr Ebenezer Scrooge reassessing his life when visited by ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

Based on the Charles Dickens classic, the play is scheduled for performances at the Pieter Toerien Theatre’s small, upstairs Studio theatre, from December 3 to January 3.

Due to Covid-19 theatre capacity restrictions, only 70 patrons will be permitted per show, so early booking at Computicket is advised. Tickets cost R150 each.

Before the Queen and Scrooge shows, laughter will rule at the Pieter Toerien Theatre with The Lying King (The Circle of Laugh), scheduled for a season in the main theatre from November 27 to December 6.

Alan Committie in The Lying King (The Circle of Laugh).

Directed by Christoper Weare, the show sees comedian Alan Committie take a slightly skewered look at events from the past year. He outlines the comically bizarre possibilities for the following 12 months and tries to make audiences laugh their way through the confusions of modern-day living.

“We live in a world that thrives on mistruths, fake news, white lies and ‘mild inconsistencies”… and that’s just on your first date! We have all become ‘lying kings’ in our own little way. Despite our best efforts to fight it,” says Committie, whose show will see him talking about intermittent fasting, ‘Heidi en Klara’ and other ’80s TV deceits, the frustration of autocorrect, the lure of the finger biscuit and the spectacle of wearing glasses. 

Performances are scheduled for 8pm Wednesdays to Fridays, 4pm and 8pm on Saturdays, and 3pm on Sundays. Tickets range in price from R150 to R220 and booking is at Computicket.

Note that the Pieter Toerien Theatre will strictly follow all lockdown protocol procedures and masks will be required at all times. All guests and staff will be subject to a temperature check on entering the Montecasino complex.


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