Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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The Pantomime Is Back With A Bang As Theatre Officially Reopens

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 November 5th to December 24th 2021.

Once Upon A Time a girl named Cinderella lived with her two stepsisters. Poor Cinderella had to work hard all day long so the others could rest. One day, big news came to town. The King and Queen were going to have a Ball! It was time for their son Prince Charming to find a bride…..

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, de-signer 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.

“Being appointed production designer for Cinderella is definitely a bucket list moment for me,” admits Andrew. “With specially created animated content, we will transport the au-dience from the interior of a lavish castle, lit by hundreds of burning torches and candles, to the depths of a dark and foreboding forest complete with the glowing eyes of unknown creatures blinking in the darkness. The set virtually becomes another character in the show, because it can – and will – have a life of its own. The possibilities are endless!”

Writer and director of the pantomimes, Janice Honeyman adds “It’s going to be such a jol working closely with Andrew Timm this year. Everything will be geared to retain the best of what has made our pantos so popular in the past – the audience-involvement traditions of the genre, my sly but purposeful double entendres, the unwrapping of the fairy tale itself through good and evil – but now adding the best of what technology and visual effects can offer to take the panto into the future. I can’t wait to get into the rehearsal room again!”

2021’s Cinderella stars Desmond Dube and Ben Voss as the perennially hilarious Ugly Sis-ters, Bongi Mthombeni as Buttons, Kiruna-Lind Devar in the title role, Kyle Grant as her Prince Charming, Dolly Louw as the Fairy Godmother, Graham Hopkins as Baron Horace Hard-Up and Yamikani Mahaka-Phiri as Dandini. The company also features (in alphabetical order) Cameron Botha, Tarryn Heard, Venolia Manale, Arno Meyer, Kenneth Meyer, Noni Mkhonto, Tshepiso Moeketsi, Brian Ngobese, Funeka Peppeta, Musanete Sakupwanya, Jon-athan Blaine Shore, Justin Swartz, Carmen Tromp and Dezlenne Ulster-Weale.

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.

“The Festive season in Joburg would be nothing without the traditional panto and its mag-ic,” says Joburg City Theatre’s CEO, Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema. “Although postponed last year due to the pandemic, we certainly look forward to hosting patrons this year as we are well-positioned to share the magic whilst staying in line with Covid regulations and protocols. We are excited to know that this most popular South African family show will definitely be back on our newly upgraded, iconic Mandela Stage. We pride ourselves in continuously producing shows that will enrich debates and provide edutainment, but more importantly create job opportunities for the creatives within the industry who have been negatively im-pacted by the lockdown.”

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.

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