Joburg Theatre’s Annual Pantomime Bounces Back

After having had to postpone their annual festive season pantomime production in 2020 because of the pandemic and ensuing government restrictions, Joburg Theatre and executive producer Bernard Jay are delighted to announce that Janice Honeyman’s Cinderella will be on the Nelson Mandela Theatre stage at Joburg Theatre from 5 November to 24 December 2021.

In Janice Honeyman’s telling of Cinderella, you know that the show will be packed with an abundance of comedy, stunning spectacle, hundreds of beautiful costumes and, of course, the legendary panto moment when Cinderella is transformed from rags to riches and whisked off to the Ball – with the help of a little dusting of Fairy Godmother magic.

Now this favourite of all South African family stage shows promises to be more spectacular than ever. South African Andrew Timm has joined the team for the first time as Production Designer in order to transform the stage into a high-tech, 21st century riot of innovative and spectacular special effects – combining live performance with projections and 3D graphics on over 500 LED screens and bringing in hologram effects, giant props, magic techniques and pyrotechnics to surprise and delight audiences of all ages.

Andrew Timm is an award-winning creative director of TV shows, large scale music events, music videos and corporate theatre. Through three decades of experience as a director, designer and writer in the entertainment industry, Andrew’s career highlights include creative director of staging for the live broadcasts of X Factor South Africa and five years of staging gospel’s acclaimed Joyous Celebration. He currently also directs music videos for the world famous Ndlovu Youth Choir.

2021’s Cinderella stars Desmond Dube and Ben Voss as the hilarious Ugly Sisters Fanny Flatulina and Flossie Flemerina, Bongi Mthombeni as Buttons, Kiruna-Lind Devar in the title role, Kyle Grant as her Prince Charming, Dolly Louw as GogoMama the Merry-Fairy Godmother, Graham Hopkins as Baron Horace Hard-Up and Yamikani Mahaka-Phiri as the prince’s sidekick Dandini.  The company also features (in alphabetical order) Tarryn Heard, Venolia Manale, Arno Meyer, Kenneth Meyer, Noni Mkhonto, Brian Ngobese, Funeka Peppeta, Kaylan Sabbadin, Musanete Sakupwanya, Jonathan Blaine Shore, Justin Swartz and Dezlenne Ulster-Weale. 

In an Exclusive I had the opportunity to ask Ben Voss and Desmond Dube a few questions. Here is what they had to say.

What do you love the most about theatre?

What do you enjoy the most about playing the ugly sisters?

The pantomime will be choreographed by Nicol Sheraton; Dale-Ray Scheepers serves as both music arranger and musical director, Bronwen Lovegrove is costume co-ordinator and the sound design will be by Akhona Bozo.

Please visit my YouTube channel for more from this interview. Tickets for Cinderella are now on sale from R240 through visiting www.joburgtheatre.com or by calling 0861 670 670.  Terrific group, family and senior citizen discounts are available.

Information courtesy of BSharp Entertainment.

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The 2019 Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards® Finalists Announced

Comedy is one of the fastest growing industries on the African continent and this year, The Annual South African Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards (CCAs), with Savanna Premium Cider as its main sponsor, is at the fore of celebrating this amazing progression and the individuals whose efforts have earned the industry such results. Once again, the numbers tell the story of an industry booming and being consumed en masse by patrons across platforms at a greater rate than ever before.

The biggest change in this year’s competition process was the move from mobile to an online voting mechanism for the Audience Choice category. We saw well over 100 000 votes come in for 287 comedians from across 70 countries, highlighting that African comedy is truly a global product.

Segmentation, although generally perceived as negative, has been good for comedy and is evident with the Native Tongue category growing considerably over the last 2 years. This subtle market dissection has compelled regions to start establishing venues to cope with this growth, which bodes well for the future of comedy.

The industry, its supporters and the media gathered at The Venue in Melrose Arch on Wednesday the 10th of July where the nominees were revealed. The list this year is one of the most exciting, featuring the very best comedic talent across the continent. The coveted Waldo statuettes will once again be up for grabs and seeking a new place on the mantles of the most deserving comics this year.

And the nominees are:

COMEDY G AWARD

Chris Forrest (JHB)

Loyiso Gola (JHB)

Barry Hilton (CPT)

Conrad Koch (CPT)

Celeste Ntuli (JHB)

SAVANNA NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR

Reagen Allen (CPT)

Cyril Basker (DBN)

Waylene Beukes (JHB)

Emilio Tobias (JHB)

Chomi Ya Jeso (JHB)

NEXT LEVEL AWARD

Tsitsi Chiumya (JHB)

Bongani Dube (JHB)

Lindy Johnson (CPT)

Abuti Lolo (MPUMALANGA)

Nonto R (KZN)

THE NATIVE TONGUE AWARD

Chomi Ya Jeso (JHB)

Mashabela Galane (JHB)

Celeste Ntuli (JHB)

Siyabulela Seya (JHB)

Simphiwe Shembe (KZN)

THE FLYING SOLO AWARD

Loyiso Gola (JHB)

Skhumba Hlophe (JHB)

Conrad Koch / Chester Missing (CPT)

Mpho Popps Modikoane (JHB)

Celeste Ntuli (JHB)

THE COMICS’ PEN AWARD

Lazola Gola (JHB)

Kagiso Lediga (JHB)

Milo (Camilo Saloojee) (JHB)

Rea Moeti (JHB)

Mpho Osei-Tutu (JHB)

Almost News with Chester Missing (JHB)

THE BEST FRIEND OF COMEDY AWARD

Goliath & Goliath (JHB)

David Kau (JHB)

Parkers Comedy Club/Joe Parker (JHB)

Simphiwe Shembe (KZN)

#ER Comedy What What ((JHB)

THE HEADLINER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Robby Collins (JHB)

Skhumba Hlophe (JHB)

Mpho “Popps” Modikoane (JHB)

Siyabulela Seya (JHB

Carl Weber (CPT)

THE SAVANNA COMIC OF THE YEAR AWARD

Robby Collins (JHB)

Loyiso Gola (JHB)

Skhumba Hlophe (JHB)

Mpho “Popps” Modikoane (JHB)

Celeste Ntuli (JHB) 

THE SAVANNA PAN-AFRICAN COMIC OF THE YEAR

Now in its third year, this award has transcended borders and helped many comedians speak the same language – funny. Savanna Premium Cider continues to support comedy across the continent, making it even more accessible to fans. This year the nominees feature luminaries revered on the African continent and beyond.

This year’s nominees are:

Kansiime Anne (Uganda)

Basketmouth (Nigeria)

Chingliz (Zambia)

Long John the Comedian (ZIMBABWE)

Alfred Kainga (ZIMBABWE)

THE AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD

The voice of the fan is supremely important and this award is for them to shout their favourite’s name from the rooftops. With this being the only award that’s open for public voting, the five nominees in this category will have their work cut out for them in creating a campaign that garners them maximum votes from the public to ensure their victory. Voting for this category is accessible online at www.comicschoice.co.za and closes on the 31st of August 2019.

The nominees are:

Blaque Gzus (NORTH WEST PROVINCE)

Chantal Jax (CPT)

Thato Malebati (LIMPOPO)

Pele-Pele (JHB)

Kwanda Radebe (KZN)

THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT RECIPIENT

“The wise person doesn’t ask, What have I achieved?, but rather, What have I contributed?” – Marianne Williamson

This year’s recipient of the prestigious Lifetime Achiever Award is Soli Philander. Soli Philander is a South African actor, director, comedian, playwright and columnist. A well-respected member of the comedy fraternity, the Cape Town native is no doubt a pioneer and legend deserving of this accolade through his work on TV and at theatres around the globe.

As our Lifetime Achiever Award Recipient, Soli Philander will be featured in the ceremonial “Grilling of a Lifetime”, which will take place on the 21st of August 2019 in Johannesburg. We have become accustomed to this type of occasion being the ultimate sign of endearment within the comedy scene and this year will be no different.

About the Award Ceremony

The Savanna CCAs spring to life on Saturday the 7th of September 2019 at The Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg. The night promises to once again elevate the status of comedy as an A-List offering. There will be fashion, entertainment and of course loads of laughs. The theme this year – “Funny Money,” – explores the journey of the comedian from Newcomer to Lifetime recipient and their interactions with unscrupulous promoters and managers. This one is not to be missed.

There are only a limited number of tickets for the award ceremony on sale to the public; get yours here:

The dress code is “glamorous with emphasis on designer labels”.

The Savanna CCAs thanks its partners – Savanna Premium Cider, Chatz Connect, Kaya FM 95.9, Channel24, Sound Stylists and Stageworks.

For more information:

Event Info: www.comicschoice.com

Email: info@comicschoice.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sa.comics.choice.awards

Twitter: @Comics­_Choice

Instagram: ComicsChoice

In partnership with Savanna Premium Cider, Chatz Connect, Kaya FM 95.9, Channel24, Sound Stylists and Stageworks.

Issued on behalf of The Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards

By Whacked Management

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Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Mirror Mirror on the wall…was this the finest panto of them all?

Absolutely YES!

This years Snow White Pantomime was truly phenomenal. And I’m not the only one who says so. From everyone I have met and know in the industry I have only heard and read positive reviews.

Okay so what makes this Panto so unique to others?

  • Firstly, you have Desmond Dube and John Robbie on the same stage!
  • You are guaranteed to laugh , sign and dance right through the show.
  • The performance from the cast was spectacular.
  • The costumes were out of this world
  • And when we arrived we received a pair of 3D glasses with our tickets. You’ll just have to go watch the show and see for yourself why those will be needed.
  • Some people enjoyed the show so much, that they have already gone back for round two.

Are you intrigued and want to know more?

No problem here is all you need to know about Janice Honeyman’s Snow White Pantomime…

Panto Joburg Theatre

Joburg Theatre and Bernard Jay present Janice Honeyman’s Snow White, The Fairest Panto in All The Land, opening on The Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre on November 3rd  and running until December 23rd!

“It’s panto-time again!  Music, dancing, sensational sparkly sets and a super story, jokes, laughter and ‘happy-ever-after’”, declares Janice Honeyman.  “And this year it’s back to my very first panto ever, Snow White.  It has always been a great favourite of mine!  Why?  Because it’s sweet and sad, romantic, rollicking, funny, and full of fantasy. 

We have a kind, loveable heroine, a handsome, hunky prince, seven cute dwarfs, a magic mirror and of course the ultimate example of Evil – the wicked Queen Hildegonda.  And then, as always, there are all sorts of sensational surprises – I’m not saying what they are – you must come and discover them for yourselves!”

South African movie, television, stage and comedy star Desmond Dube returns to his sixth Joburg Theatre pantomime, playing the comic role of Dame Dolla Diddledaddledoodledragon, having become one of Joburg audiences’ most loved panto stars.  Desmond is best known for his movies Hotel Rwanda and Hopeville, the TV series No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Friends Indeed and Suburban Bliss and, of course, his roles in the Amaglugglug and Clientele Life commercials.

Legendary 702 talk radio show host and international champion rugby player John Robbie makes his pantomime debut in Snow White as The Major-Dumb-Ou of the Royal Palace of Cool Cornucopia.  John recently retired after thirty years on 702, having built an unrivalled reputation on air for professionalism, integrity and fairness.

Ben Voss is a comedian, actor and playwright, best known for his portrayal of the fictional South African businesswoman, Beauty Ramapelepele, using the alter ego of Beauty to deliver satirical social commentary.  In Snow White, Ben will play the role of the Wicked Queen Hildegonda Hoggenham.  Ben set up the production company Mamba Productions together with John van de Ruit and they have produced and performed the comedy skit shows Green Mamba and Black Mamba across the country and in London.

Janice Honeyman's Snow White Panto

Snow White also features two of South Africa’s most highly acclaimed rising theatre stars, Kiruna-Lind Devar (Sweet Charity, Saturday Night Fever, Evita) as the Princess and Tshepo Ncokoane (Janice Honeyman’s Sleeping Beauty, Priscilla, The Color Purple) as Prince Chuck B Charming.

Also in the all-South African cast are (in alphabetical order) Oscar Buthelezi, Matt Counihan, Sne Dladla, Daniel Keith Geddes, Emil Haarhoff, Dirk Joubert, Saxola Ketshengane, Sebe Leotlela, Dolly Louw, Namisa Mdlalose, Noni Mkhonto, Sabelo Radebe, Senzesihle Radebe, J P Rossouw, Kaylan Sabbadin, Nicol Sheraton, Nkanyiso Shezi, Lindo Sithole and Sarah-Ann Van Der Merwe.

Here is a link to the behind the scenes interview  with some of the cast at their first costume photo shoot by fellow blogger Waydene Laing, to see what the stars had to say about the show.

Snow White is written and directed by Janice Honeyman, with musical direction by Coenraad Rall and choreography by Nicol Sheraton.  Bernard Jay serves as executive producer of this, his 18th Janice Honeyman pantomime.

Here’s a fun behind-the-scenes video for you to enjoy, taken at the costume publicity photo shoot held recently, and it was also the first time the whole cast got together :

 

Janice Honeyman’s Snow White will be on the stage of The Nelson Mandela Theatre at Joburg Theatre from November 3rd to December 23rd, 2018. Performance times vary according to the Festive Season schedule – consult www.joburgtheatre.com to get exact dates and times.

Tickets range from R245 – R375 and can be booked at www.joburgtheatre.com or by calling 0861 670 670. Theatre patrons can also book online and pay at selected Pick N Pay stores.  A wide range of discounted rates for groups is available by calling the theatre’s VIP Ticketing office on (011) 877 6853.

Snow White is presented by Joburg Theatre and Bernard Jay in association with the panto’s much valued and long-term partners, MNet, 94.2 Jacaranda FM and Your Family Magazine.

To experience the magic of Panto book your tickets now!

Information and Pictures courtesy of The Colab Network.

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Deep Fried Man: In Good Taste 2:0

Winter is slowly drawing to a close and things are warming up this September. It’s time to celeberate the new season In Good Taste and head on over to Montecasino to enjoy a good laugh with one of South Africa’s favourite comedians…

Deep Fried Man, whose unique blend of music, comedy and satire has been seen on television, radio and comedy stages nationwide, is back with brand new material for his fifth solo show.

Since 2010, Deep Fried Man has established himself as South Africa’s number one musical comedian. He has appeared in films (Material, Mrs Right Guy), on television (Late Nite News With Loyiso Gola, Laugh Out Loud, The Mayor) and has been featured in four Comedy Central specials.

Onstage he has gone from opening for Trevor Noah to featuring in some of SA comedys biggest shows (Blacks Only, Bafunny Bafunny, Kings and Queens of Comedy) and writing custom songs and performing for some of SAs biggest brands. While he is perhaps best known for his TV appearances, Deep Fried Man is best seen live, where his audience interaction and improvisation skills ensure that no two performances are the same.

The original In Good Taste was met with acclaim when it premiered at the Lyric Theatre. Now he is out to prove that sometimes the sequel is better than the original, with an intimate one-man show packed with hilarious songs and magnificent musical improv that will have the audience joining in and singing along.

My Review:

After the busy week I just had, I welcomed the opportunity to watch the show on a sunday afternoon. As this was my first time watching Deep Fried Man live on stage, I was excited to see what he had in store for us. The show was opened by comedian Kraai Du Toit, who gave us a few laughs to start off the show.  While waiting for Deep Fried Man to make his entrance on stage, there seemed to be a start up of loud chatter two rows behind us. When I turned around it was indeed Deep Fried Man’s way of making his grand entrance.

Deep Fried Man

One of the things I loved about the show was Deep Fried Man’s engagement with the audience. A few times through his set he would stop and ask the audience for a topic or subject, and then turn that into a song that left us in a rage of laughter. At times we even sang along to the chorus of a song. I’ll just be straight with you… I absolutely loved the show! I laughed so much that I was literally in tears from all the laughing through out the show, and so was everyone else in the audience. The show is hilarious and just what I needed to end off this week In Good Taste.

Deep Fried Man

You have one week left to watch the show, so for a comedy show like no other do yourself a favour and book your tickets now. In Good Taste 2.0 runs from 5 to 16 September 2018 at Montecasino. Ticket prices range between R130 to R180 and  are available from the Box Office at Montecasino, and through Computicket

Deep Fried Man: In Good Taste

Show runs from Wednesday to Saturday at 20h00, Saturday Matinee at 16:00 and Sunday Matinee at 15:00.

Deep Fried Man in In Good Taste 2.0 will be showcasing at The Pieter Toerien Theatre in Montecasino. Book now at Computicket to not be disappointed.

Information and Pictures Courtesy of Whacked Management

Show Images are my own.

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