2013 looks set to be an exciting year on South African stages, with a diverse mix of plays, musicals, opera, dance, physical theatre productions and cabarets set to appear in theatres across the country. Here is a look at just 13 of the productions that will take to the boards this year.
THE THREE LITTLE PIGS begins with the murder of two good pigs, two police officers whose bodies are found on the scene of a savage revenge crime. With the third little pig's life at risk, the hunt for the prime suspect, a wolf, begins, resulting in a taut psychological thriller set in a world where ANIMAL FARM meets RESERVOIR DOGS. Director Tara Notcutt has named 2013 'The Year of the Pig': 'We will be touring THE THREE LITTLE PIGS to Cape Town, Perth, Jo'burg, Grahamstown, New York, Amsterdam, London and Dublin - wowzer.' The Cape Town leg of the run kicks off this month at the Baxter Theatre's Golden Arrow Studio.
'2013 is going to be a very exciting year for Abrahamse & Meyer Productions,' says Marcel Meyer. 'One of our major projects will be staging the South African premiere of Tennessee Williams's "sophisticated fairy tale", THE MILK TRAIN DOESN'T STOP HERE ANYMORE, starring the great Antoinette Kellermann as Flora "Sissy" Goforth. Sissy, a much-married, now-widowed millionairess, is spending her last days dictating her memoirs when she is interrupted by the arrival of a handsome young poet.' Following the company's production of Williams's KINDGOM OF EARTH last year, this production is one that should not be missed.
The Tony Award-winning musical JERSEY BOYS opened on Broadway in 2006. Telling the story of the Four Seasons, the show has music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe and a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. Of this production, which features a local cast, Resident Director Anton Luitingh says: 'I am looking forward to seeing the South African audience reaction to what has to be one of the most dynamic books written for a musical in a long time. Accompanied by some of the greatest songs of the 60s, this will most certainly be the slickest, most sophisticated and sexiest production on South African stages in 2013.'
With six production projects on the go, Simon Cooper, the co-owner of the Kalk Bay Theatre and co-counder of KBT productions, picked THE SNOW GOOSE as one of the productions to which he is looking forward: 'If I have to pick one, I will choose THE SNOW GOOSE - an adaptation of Paul Gallico's classic with James Cairns and Taryn Bennett. Why? Because this is close to my heart and is interwoven in my life and it is going to be amazing.' Cairns and Bennet were electric together in SIE WEISS ALLES, a show that also dealt with the themes of friendship and love against the horrific backdrop of war.
Danced to the music of Leo Delibes, COPPELIA is an enchanting and light-hearted ballet. Doctor Coppelius creates a life-sized dancing doll, who becomes the object of village swain Franz's attraction, much to the dismay of his beloved, Swanilda. Laura Bosenberg and Thomas Thorne feature in the lead roles, alternating with Elizabeth Nienaber, Celeste George, Ivan Boonzaaier and Alexander Vivian-Riding. In a production by Robin van Wyk, Cape Town City Ballet promises an 'ideal entertainment for the whole family.' Be quick though - there are just a few performances left at the Artscape in Cape Town before the show closes.
CARDENIO, Shakespeare's "lost play", reimagined by Gregory Doran, tells the tale of a young, courtly and handsome Spaniard, who has to battle the lusty challenges of a young nobleman, Fernando, to re-capture the woman he loves. Under the direction of Roy Sargeant, CARDENIO is one of the two Shakespearean presentations at Maynardville this year, an open-air venue where the Bard's work is presented annually in the mid-summer. (The other production is A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, under the direction of Fred Abrahamse, in a production seen at the National Arts Festival and at the Artscape Theatre Centre last year.)