Some great theatre productions currently showing in Joburg

Joburg Theatre never has a huge number of shows on offer as there is only a limited number of theatres, but as always what is available, promises not only a wide range of productions (although mostly in the comedic vein) but also excellent quality theatre.

The wonderful holiday fare starts with Janice Honeyman’s annual festive season pantomime – Jack and the Beanstalk at the Joburg Theatre.  Great review including

Potted Potter opens on 23rd Nov at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre. It is a very funny parody by Dan & Jeff (double Olivier Award Best Entertainment nominees Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner) – Starring Gary Trainor and Jesse Briton & condensing all seven Harry Potter books and a game of Quidditch into 70 minutes.  It is billed as brilliant family entertainment – perfect for ages six to Dumbledore (who is very old indeed).  The show is a must-see for Potter addicts and a great introduction to the series for anyone who’s ever wondered what all the fuss is about.  Runs until 6th January.

Jonathan Roxmouth & Taryn Sudding play Noel and Gertie in the musical revue by Sheridan Morley based on the words and music of Noel Coward and showing at Pieter Toerien’s Studio Theatre at Monte Casino. The production, which tells the story of Noel Coward and Gertrude Lawrence, is directed by Alan Swerdlow.   Lukewarm review from Lesley Stones:    Also finishes on 6th January.

Another festive season show, just right to lift the spirits with a supremely funny, talented and energetic cast, is Greg Homann’s Pirates of Penzance at the Old Mutual Theatre on the Square. I saw it last year and loved every minute – it’s the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta done by five men and a piano- very very funny and very very clever and NTBM – Not To Be Missed.  You have until  22nd Dec to see it.
A completely different genre of comedy is showing at The Market Theatre in a Music and Comedy Festival.  Comedians include – Mark Banks, Alan Committie, Siv Ngesi, Eugene Khoza, Trevor Gumbi & Tumi Morake while music stars include Lira, Thandiswa Mazwai, Zahara, Oliver Mtukudzi, Trompies, Rebecca Malope. And this is not all – in the theatre’s intimate setting, audiences can experience wonderful opera and classical music from the likes of  Opera Africa, Soweto Quadro and Inferno Opera.  Finishes 9th December.

Pieter Toerien’s current big stage show at the Teatro Monte Casino is Dirty Dancing (l’m looking forward to seeing it in early December) which has had good reviews.  It shows until 13th January and after that we have Tap Dogs to look forward to (opening on 12th March until 10th March) and then Jersey Boys from 3rd to 28th April.

And keeping to the comedy vein is The Miser, Sylvaine Strike’s Fortune Cookie Theatre Company contemporary interpretation of Moliere’s 1668 classic, showing at the Market Theatre.   Lesley Stones in The Daily Maverick of  29th October  writes:  ‘The script is witty, barbed and insightful, the acting is outstanding, the comic touches of movement and expressions are superb and the costumes are amazing. It all comes together to create a deliciously over-the-top show bubbling with humour and satire’  And : ‘The Miser is Commedia dell’Arte in style … [featuring] stock characters like foolish old men and devious servants.  …. It’s almost a precursor to farce or pantomime, with flamboyant characters, innuendos, misunderstandings and plenty of exits and entrances. … It’s delightfully ludicrous and ludicrously delightful’.   I’m looking forward to seeing it before  it closes on 9th December.

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