One of the presentations for this year's Suidoorsterfees at the Fugard, THE ORANGE EARTH tells the story of Johnny Adams, who stands accused of planting a bomb that killed a young white girl in a shopping centre. In the courtroom and in his prison cell, his thoughts turn to the past and to the orange-red soil of his Boland birthplace. Director Matthew Wild looks forward to working with 'a killer cast of 5 made up of Oscar Petersen, Quanita Adams, Albert Pretorius, Andrew Laubscher and Cedwyn Joel - it doesn't get much better than an ensemble like that!'
STARLIGHT EXPRESS, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe's spectacular Cinderella story about trains will have an extended run on the Mandela Stage at the Joburg Theatre from July through September. Directed by Janice Honeyman, with choreography by Karen Bruce, this new production will feature scenic design by James Macnamara, costume design by Sarah Roberts and lighting design by Declan Randall. The company will be led by HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL alumnus David Schlachter as Rusty and Carly Graeme (THE BOYS IN THE PHOTOGRAPH) as Pearl.
KickstArt returns to Theatre and the Bay with DON'T DRESS FOR DINNER,a nifty comedy farce about double adultery and gourmet cooking from BOEING-BOEING playwright, Marc Camoletti. Set in a stylish private game lodge, this farce follows the antics of Bernie, who hopes to entertain his mistress, Suzy, for the weekend. Bernie thinks he is well-prepared: he has hired a cordon bleu chef, prepared to send his wife to her mother's and has even invited his best friend as a suitable alibi. What Bernie is not prepared for is when things go wrong....
Having completed the Johannesburg leg of its South African tour, DIRTY DANCING moves to the Artscape Opera House in Cape Town this month. The show takes the beloved film, telling the story of Baby and Johnny whose lives intertwine in the course of one magical summer, and puts it on stage. Describing itself as 'an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance and sensationally sexy dancing,' the show features the hit songs from the film - such as "Hungry Eyes" and "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" - performed by a live band.
In BETWEEN, three separate, yet suggestively interlinked, stories explore how love can transcend sexual boundaries and what happens when the love disappears and the loss becomes acute. Oskar Brown, the director of FourwoRD Productions is excited to be travelling with BETWEEN: 'It is a two hander play about sex, love and everything that happens in between. It has been described as 'sexy and engaging theatre with male sexuality rarely portrayed so honestly.' We are excited because we will not only be performing in Brighton, Edinburgh and Berlin, but also back where it all started in Cape Town and Johannesburg.'
Godfrey Johnson will be back onstage at the Kalk Bay Theatre with THE GODFREY JOHNSON SHOWCASE in February, presenting a different selection from his acclaimed repertoire of shows - which include THE SHADOW OF BREL, STORIES OF CRIME AND PASSION and COWARD AND COLE - each night. Johnson is also looking forward to a new play he will be tackling this year: 'A piece by Karen Jeynes, VASLAV, about the great ballet dancer - Vaslav Nijinsky. I am looking forward to paying homage to one of my other great heroes. Karen has written a very beautiful piece and I cannot wait to be part of it.'
The first instalment of BIG BOYS DON'T DANCE followed the bachelor party and pre-wedding high jinks of brothers Ash and Brad, drawing the audience in with high energy dance and feel-good comedy. This year, say Vanessa Harris and Ash Searle, the co-owners of Follow Spot Productions, the big boys will return to South African stages in BIG BOYS DON'T DANCE II. Who knows what they have been up to since we last saw them?
Of course this list does not cover nearly everything that will appear on South African stages this year. To find out more about what is on stage in South Africa as 2013 progresses, make sure to visit BroadwayWorld South Africa for information, listings and reviews. In the meantime, scroll down to the comments section below to share what you are looking forward to on stage in South Africa this year - and go see a show!
Photo credit: Niels Bouman (BETWEEN)