Spirited Mama

Living a SPIRITED life filled with wanderlust, emotions and everything in between

Category: Entertainment (Page 1 of 3)

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Annual Johannesburg International Comedy Festival returns with more laughs and good times

The Annual Johannesburg International Comedy Festival returns with more laughs and good times: 9 Shows over 4 days, with more than 30 comedians 

It’s official! The much-anticipated Johannesburg International Comedy Festival (JICF) returns with another mouth-watering feast of comedy over four hilariously jam-packed days, promising to be one of the biggest celebrations of funny on the continent for 2020!

The largest independent international comedy festival in Africa, JICF, rolls out its fourth edition with over 30 local, continental and international comedians taking over The Mandela, Lesedi and Space.com Theatres at the Joburg Theatre precinct in Braamfontein, from Wednesday, 15 April to Saturday, 18 April 2020.

Audiences looking forward to great comedy from the best comedians that Africa and the globe have to offer or just wanting to experience a fun night out on the town are in for a massive treat this year.

Once again, South Africa will be strongly represented by some of its funniest men and women proudly flying the flag up high at this year’s edition. The Mzansi contingent for the 2020 instalment includes Jason Goliath, Celeste Ntuli, Mpho Popps, Kagiso Lediga, Joey Rasdien, Conrad Koch and Chester Missing, Tats Nkonzo, Rob van Vuuren, Robby Collins, Mojak Lehoko, Yaaseen Barnes, Thabiso Mhlongo, Lindy Johnson, Ebenaezer Dibakwane amongst others to be confirmed in due course.

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Continental acts confirmed thus far are African giants Salvado (Uganda) and Alfred Kainga (Zimbabwe) who are set to impress Johannesburg audiences with their unique Afrocentric style of comedy.

Over the next few weeks, more shows and international comedy talents will be added to the festival line-up with every indication of another bumper comedy extravaganza in store.

“I am excited to reveal that the Johannesburg International Comedy Festival is back with a bang this year. We are thrilled to bring over 30 of the most exciting acts in SA, the continent and the globe to Johannesburg for a few days of exceptional comedy and memorable fun. We are looking to build on the successes of the previous editions and provide our audiences with another novel and unforgettable comedy experience,” says Takunda Bimha, Founder and Director for JICF.

“We are excited to collaborate with this year’s edition of the Johannesburg International Comedy Festival. Our role is to amplify a great offering the festival has to offer to millions of South Africans. Through this partnership,SABC 2 will be broadcasting the Johannesburg International Comedy festival stand up offering comprising of the best from the previous editions  which will take place every Saturday, over four weeks starting from the 11th of April 2020. Through this partnership, premium comedy content will now be accessible to a wider audience, elevating the JICF to new heights.  SABC 2 is now a channel where JICF belongs.” – Dichaba Phalatse, SABC TV Network Marketing Manager.

JICF proudly brought to you by SABC2 in partnership with Department of Arts & Culture and Savanna.

The current line-up of festival shows to look forward to are:

  • THIS IS SATAFRIKA

Wednesday, 15th April 2020
Mandela Theatre

19:30pm

R250

Proudly brought to you by Kagiso Lediga, the grand opening show of the Festival will feature comedians, celebrities, pastors and other interesting Mzansi personalities. This show will be a comedy extravaganza of epic proportions and a hilarious take on all the funny goings on in South Africa today.

  • TRIGGERED

Thursday, 16th April 2020
Lesedi Theatre
19:30pm

R200

 

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Joey Rasdien

 

 

 

 

 

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Lindy Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hosted by Joey Rasdien featuring Lindy Johnson and international comedians (to be announced soon), these hilarious comedians have got some things to get off their chests. Expect them to bring the heat to the stage! Do not bring your mother-in-law along to this show….or maybe do!

 

  • TRENDING COMICS

Friday, 17th April 2020
Lesedi Theatre
19:30pm

R200

Hosted by Mpho Popps featuring Ebenaezer Dibakwane and a variety of  international comedians. These comedians are tearing it up on the streets right now! Don’t miss this show as you are guaranteed laughs for days and a damn good night out!

 

  • STAND UP AFRICA

Saturday, 18th April 2020
Lesedi Theatre

18:00pm

R200

Hosted by Tats Nkonzo featuring Thabiso Mhlongo, Salvado (Uganda), Alfred Kainga (Zimbabwe) as well as a number of continental comedians. Dubbed as a festival favourite, we bring you yet another mouth-watering line up showcasing some of the continent’s finest comedians. Loudly and proudly African we Stan!

 

  • JICF ALL STARS

Saturday, 18th April 2020
Mandela Theatre

20:00pm

R250

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Jason Goliath

 

 

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Yaseen Barnes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hosted by Jason Goliath featuring Celeste Ntuli, Rob van Vuuren, Yaaseen Barnes and various international comedians to be announced soon. JICF All Stars is a specially curated line-up of the finest local and international headlining comedians that will be a fitting climax to this year’s festival. Fans can expect this to be a comedy show of the year contender!

 

  • ONE NIGHT STANDS – Get up-close-and-personal with some of your favourite Mzansi comedians and their shows at this year’s festival: with more to be announced, the following have already been confirmed


Mojak Lehoko: presents Mojak & Friends

Space.Com Theatre

Saturday 18 April 2020 at 15.00pm


Chester Missing & Conrad Koch: How To End Racism

Lesedi Theatre

Saturday 18 April 2020 at 16:00pm

 

Robby Collins: Iyeza

Space.Com Theatre
Saturday 18 April 2020 at 16:30pm

The age restriction for all comedy shows is 16 years old.

“Our programming strategy for the past three festivals has proven to be a winning formula that’s landed well with our audiences. We are aiming for more of the same, if not even better this year. Particularly, I’m very proud of the local contingent that’s on our bill which combines some of the biggest names in South African comedy with the hottest comedy talent that’s coming out of the local scene today. With the array of world class continental and international talent that we will be announcing soon, this promises to be a truly vintage year for the Festival,” Bimha concludes.

The Johannesburg International Comedy Festival takes place at the Joburg Theatre, from Wednesday15 April to Saturday18 April 2020. For more information on the various show times, line-ups and comedians, visit www.jicf.co.za or www.webtickets.co.za . Tickets range from R150 to R250 and are now also available at www.joburgtheatre.com or by calling 0861 670 670.

With a variety to choose from, which comedian(s) are you most excited to see?

Spirited Mama

x

P.S. Remember the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine”… In a world of busyness, we can all do with some good old laughter!

ABOUT JOHANNESBURG INTERNATIONAL COMEDY SHOW

Established in 2015, the Johannesburg International Comedy Festival has become one of the biggest celebrations of stand-up comedy on the continent. It showcases the very best in local and international comedy talent performing to thousands of fans in multiple shows across the different venues at the world-class Joburg Theatre. The festival continues to have a strong working partnership with one of the biggest properties in Europe, the Montreux Comedy Festival in Switzerland which turns 31 this year!

 #JICF #FunnyAF

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Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards 2020 airing on Nicktoons (DSTV Channel 308), 23 March

Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards ( #KCA) 2020 airing on Nicktoons, DSTV Channel 308, Monday 23 March at 17:30 (CAT)

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Chance The Rapper

The host for the Kids’ Choice Awards 2020, the biggest and slimiest awards show where kids are in control, is none other than CHANCE The Rapper; the Grammy® Award-winning superstar from The Forum in Inglewood, California. The news, which also included this year’s nominees, was announced by Annie LeBlanc and her sister Hayley via a Kids’ Choice Awards nomination event across Nickelodeon’s YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter handles and Nickelodeon.

With surprises at every turn, Chance the Rapper will bring his charisma and upbeat energy to the Kids’ Choice Awards, an epic celebration of kids’ favourite stars across the worlds of film, television, music, sports and more. Viewers everywhere will be able to experience the show on all Nickelodeon screens and platforms, as Nickelodeon offers a front-row seat to slime, stunts and celebrities.

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Locally, the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards 2020 will broadcast on Nick Toons (DStv Channel 308) on Monday, 23 March 2020 at 17h30 CAT, 24 hours after the event in the USA. The show will also be repeated on Nickelodeon (DStv channel 305) on Wednesday, 25 March at 18h00 CAT.

Monde Twala, ViacomCBS Networks Africa Senior Vice President and General Manager commented: “Nickelodeon is a booming success around the continent and kids all over the globe are super excited about this year’s KCA’s. Twala continued, “We would like to congratulate all of this year’s nominees who are representing Africa at this global event. Viewers can expect lots of fun, slime, and laughter from 2020 Kids’ Choice Awards.”

The four prominent stars that have been nominated to represent Africa in the Favourite African Star category, include: Shekhinah (a Pop/R&B vocalist and songwriter born in Durban, South Africa), Teni (a singer, songwriter, performer, actress and social media sensation born in Nigeria) and Patricia Kihoro (singer, actress, radio presenter, event host, moderator, digital content creator and improv comedian born in Kenya) and Sho Madjozi (a rapper and songwriter born in Limpopo, South Africa).

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Sho Madjozi is also nominated in the Global Music Star category, representing African music alongside fellow nominees: BTS (Asia), Dua Lipa (UK), J Balvin (Latin America), Rosalía (Europe), Taylor Swift (North America) & Tones and I (Australia).

Giving a nod to the prevalence of social media and content creators on the continent, the Favourite African Social Media Star category includes: Anne Kansiime (comedian writer, director and actress born in Uganda), DJ Cuppy (a musician, entrepreneur and philanthropist born in Nigeria), Chané Grobler (a prolific and popular social media content creator in South Africa), Prev Reddy,  (a well-known Youtuber, actor, and comedian born in South Africa).

Chance the Rapper is no stranger to Nickelodeon having made a surprise appearance at last year’s Nickelodeon SlimeFest in his hometown of Chicago and taking home a coveted Kids’ Choice Awards orange blimp for “Favourite Collaboration” (“No Brainer” by DJ Khaled, featuring Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Quavo) in 2019. He was also nominated for “Favourite Song” (I’m the One by DJ Khaled, featuring Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Quavo and Lil Wayne) in 2018.

Leading the pack with the most #KCA nominations are: 

Avengers: Endgame, with 11 nominations; Taylor Swift, with five nominations; and Frozen 2Henry Danger and Lil Nas X, with 4 nominations each.

First-time nominees include: John Cena, DaBaby, Tiffany Haddish, Tom Holland, Brie Larson, Lizzo and Megan Thee Stallion. Will Smith becomes the most nominated celebrity in Kids’ Choice Awards history, with another nomination this year bringing him to a total of 29.

Local fans can cast their votes on the official Kids’ Choice Awards website, https://kca.nickelodeonafrica.com/.

The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards 2020 nominees are:

FAVOURITE AFRICAN STAR
Sho Madjozi
Shekhinah
Teni
Patricia Kihoro

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FAVOURITE AFRICAN SOCIAL MEDIA STAR
Anne Kansiime
DJ Cuppy
Chané Grobler
Prev Reddy

TELEVISION:

FAVOURITE KIDS TV SHOW
A Series of Unfortunate Events
All That
BUNK’D
Henry Danger
Power Rangers Beast Morphers
Raven’s Home

FAVOURITE FAMILY TV SHOW
Fuller House
Modern Family
Stranger Things
The Big Bang Theory
The Flash
Young Sheldon

FAVOURITE REALITY SHOW
America’s Got Talent
American Ninja Warrior
America’s Funniest Home Videos
MasterChef Junior
The Masked Singer
The Voice

FAVOURITE TV HOST 
Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen’s Game of Games)
John Cena (Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader)
Nick Cannon (The Masked Singer)
Ryan Seacrest (American Idol)
Terry Crews (America’s Got Talent)
Tiffany Haddish (Kids Say the Darndest Things)

FAVOURITE ANIMATED SERIES
ALVINNN!!! and The Chipmunks
SpongeBob SquarePants
Teen Titans Go!
The Amazing World of Gumball
The Loud House
The Simpsons

FAVOURITE FEMALE TV STAR 
Candace Cameron Bure (D.J. Tanner-Fuller, Fuller House)
Ella Anderson (Piper Hart, Henry Danger)
Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven, Stranger Things)
Peyton List (Emma Ross, BUNK’D)
Raven-Symoné (Raven Baxter, Raven’s Home)
Riele Downs (Charlotte Page, Henry Danger)

FAVOURITE MALE TV STAR
Abraham Rodriguez (Nate Silva / Gold Ranger, Power Rangers Beast Morphers)
Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair, Stranger Things)
Jace Norman (Henry Hart / Kid Danger, Henry Danger)
Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory)
Joshua Bassett (Ricky, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series)
Karan Brar (Ravi Ross, BUNK’D)

FILM:

FAVOURITE MOVIE
Aladdin
Avengers: Endgame
Captain Marvel
Jumanji: The Next Level
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

FAVOURITE MOVIE ACTRESS
Angelina Jolie (Maleficent, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil)
Brie Larson (Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel; Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame)
Dove Cameron (Mal, Descendants 3)
Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow, Avengers: Endgame)
Taylor Swift (Bombalurina, Cats)
Zendaya (MJ, Spider-Man: Far From Home)

FAVOURITE MOVIE ACTOR
Chris Evans (Steve Rogers / Captain America, Avengers: Endgame)
Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Avengers: Endgame; Agent H, Men In Black: International)
Dwayne Johnson (Hobbs, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw; Dr. Smolder Bravestone, Jumanji: The Next Level)
Kevin Hart (Franklin ‘Mouse’ Finbar, Jumanji: The Next Level)
Tom Holland (Peter Parker / Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Far From Home)
Will Smith (Genie, Aladdin)

FAVOURITE SUPERHERO
Brie Larson (Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel; Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame)
Chris Evans (Captain America, Avengers: Endgame)
Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Avengers: Endgame)
Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, Avengers: Endgame)
Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow, Avengers: Endgame)
Tom Holland (Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Far From Home; Spider-Man, Avengers: Endgame)

FAVOURITE ANIMATED MOVIE
Frozen 2
The Angry Birds Movie 2
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Lion King
The Secret Life of Pets 2
Toy Story 4

FAVOURITE FEMALE VOICE FROM AN ANIMATED MOVIE
Beyoncé (Nala, The Lion King)
Idina Menzel (Elsa, Frozen 2)
Kristen Bell (Anna, Frozen 2)
Tiffany Haddish (Daisy, The Secret Life of Pets 2; Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part)

FAVOURITE MALE VOICE FROM AN ANIMATED MOVIE
Chris Pratt (Emmet Brickowski / Rex Dangervest, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part)
Josh Gad (Olaf, Frozen 2)
Kevin Hart (Snowball, The Secret Life of Pets 2)
Tom Hanks (Woody, Toy Story 4)

MUSIC:

FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST
Ariana Grande
Beyoncé
Billie Eilish
Katy Perry
Selena Gomez
Taylor Swift

FAVOURITE MALE ARTIST
Ed Sheeran
Justin Bieber
Lil Nas X
Marshmello
Post Malone
Shawn Mendes

FAVOURITE MUSIC GROUP
BTS
Fall Out Boy
Jonas Brothers
Maroon 5
Panic! At The Disco
The Chainsmokers

FAVOURITE SONG
“7 rings”- Ariana Grande
“bad guy”- Billie Eilish
“Memories”- Maroon 5
“Old Town Road”- Lil Nas X
“Sucker”- Jonas Brothers
“You Need to Calm Down”- Taylor Swift

FAVOURITE MUSIC COLLABORATION
“10,000 Hours”- Justin Bieber & Dan + Shay
“I Don’t Care”- Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber
“ME!”- Taylor Swift, featuring Brendon Urie
“Old Town Road (Remix)”- Lil Nas X, featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
“Señorita”- Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello
“Sunflower”- Post Malone & Swae Lee

FAVOURITE BREAKOUT NEW ARTIST
City Girls
DaBaby
Lewis Capaldi
Lil Nas X
Lizzo
Megan Thee Stallion

FAVOURITE GLOBAL MUSIC STAR
BTS (Asia)
Dua Lipa (UK)
J Balvin (Latin America)
Rosalía (Europe)
Sho Madjozi (Africa)
Taylor Swift (North America)
Tones and I (Australia)

OTHER CATEGORIES:

FAVOURITE MALE SOCIAL STAR
Brave Wilderness
David Dobrik
Dolan Twins
Dude Perfect
MrBeast
Ryan’s World

FAVOURITE FEMALE SOCIAL STAR
Annie LeBlanc
Emma Chamberlain
Lilly Singh
Liza Koshy
Miranda Sings
Merrell Twins

FAVOURITE GAMER
DanTDM
GamerGirl
Ninja
PrestonPlayz
SSSniperWolf

FAVOURITE VIDEO GAME
Fortnite
Mario Kart Tour
Minecraft
Super Smash Bros.™ Ultimate

FAVOURITE SOCIAL MUSIC STAR
Asher Angel
Blanco Brown
Johnny Orlando
JoJo Siwa
Mackenzie Ziegler
Max and Harvey

FAVOURITE FEMALE SPORTS STAR
Alex Morgan
Lindsey Vonn
Megan Rapinoe
Naomi Osaka
Serena Williams
Simone Biles

FAVOURITE MALE SPORTS STAR
Cristiano Ronaldo
LeBron James
Patrick Mahomes
Shaun White
Stephen Curry
Tom Brady

For more information on the Nickelodeon 2020 Kids’ Choice Awards, log onto www.nickelodeonafrica.com, like Nickelodeon on Facebook or follow Nickelodeon on Twitter @NickAfrica using the hashtag #KCA.

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Who are you rooting for at the Nickelodeon 2020 Kids’ Choice Awards? I have my favourites and so to do the kids. But the music, oh boy, SO GOOD!

Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards 2020 is produced by Nickelodeon Productions.

Spirited Mama

x

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Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids comes to life on stage at the People’s Theatre

Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids comes to life on stage

Celebrating Peoples Theatre’s 20-year anniversary being based at Joburg Theatre, Jill Girard and Keith Smith are thrilled to bring back one of the audience all-time favourites for their first production in 2020, Disney’s The Jungle Book KIDS.

The magic of the jungle comes alive on stage in spectacular fashion, providing children, parents and all those with a love of joy and laughter, the ideal family entertainment to kickstart the year.

Previews of Disney’s The Jungle Book KIDS begin on 2rd March at Peoples Theatre with the official opening taking place on Sunday, 8th March.
The show runs until Sunday 26th April 2020.

The jungle is soon going to be jumpin’ with a jazzy beat! Specially adapted from the classic Disney animated film, Disney’s The Jungle Book KIDS features a host of colourful characters and your favourite songs from the movie.

 

Banished by the ferocious tiger, Shere Khan, a human boy named Mowgli and his panther friend, Bagheera, are on the run in the deepest parts of the jungle. On their journey, the two meet a sinister snake named Kaa, a herd of elephants and a giant bear named Baloo, who teaches them the swingin’ musical rhythms of the jungle.

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After surviving a dangerous encounter with a band of monkeys led by King Louie, Mowgli and Bagheera are forced to run for their lives. When Shere Khan returns, our heroes rally together to defeat Shere Khan in battle and  peace is restored throughout the jungle.

 

Disney The Jungle Book Kids  is directed by Jill Girard and Keith Smith, with Musical Direction by Coenraad Rall, Musical Staging by Sandy (Dyer) Richardson, Set and Lighting Design by Grant Knottenbelt and costumes Linda Wilson

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Baloo will be played by one of Peoples Theatres favourite performers, Luciano Zuppa, Baloo is an easygoing and fun-loving character who shirks at responsibility.  He is a sleepy old bear who teaches Mowgli the law of the jungle and is well known for his song The Bare necessities during their adventure through the jungle Baloo eventually realises that the man village is the best place for Mowgli.

 

Bagheera is Mowgli’s mentors and protector, and is tasked with getting Mowgli to the man village but he is met with many obstacles along the way, Bagheera will be played by the wonderful Thokozani Jiyane, who was last seen playing the role of Marty the zebra in Madagascar Jr.

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Kaa will be played by Bethany-Joy Jiyane and this will be her first performance for the Peoples Theatre. Kaa is surprisingly one of Mowgli’s wise mentors and friend. who is also feared throughout the jungle for her mesmerizing “hunger dance”. She plays her part in getting Mowgli to safety.

Bethany will also be playing the roles of Mrs Hathi and King Louie’s Wife.

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Shere Khan, is a vicious man-eating Bengal Tiger who is the main villain and the archenemy of Mowgli and will be played by Clive Gilson.  Peoples Theatre were very fortunate to work with Clive in Peter Pan in 2016 and are happy to have him back on their stage to bring alive the three characters he will be portraying (Shere Khan, Colonel Hathi and King Louie).

Says Jill Girard;

Why the Jungle Book? 20 years at Joburg theatre! 30 years of Peoples Theatre!

Disney’s The Jungle Book KIDS has always been a special production for both Keith and myself! It is a show filled with warmth and laughter, a show about loyalty, kindness, friendship and courage. We can all relate to Mowgli and his adventure in the jungles in India!”

 She continues; “This is a story that has delighted generations of children and continues to do so, it is a story that comes to life on the stage as the audience become more and more involved in the exploits of Mowgli.

It is the ideal show to introduce and bring young audiences into the magic of live theatre, and in so doing, encouraging a lifetime of theatre going.”

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Disney’s The Jungle Book KIDS opens at the Peoples Theatre at the Joburg Theatre Complex with preview performances from Monday, 2nd March. The official show opening is on Sunday, 8th March. The season runs until Sunday, 26th April.

Performance times are Mondays to Friday at 9am and 11am, Saturdays at 10:30am and 2.30pm as well as all Sundays and Public Holidays.

Ticket prices are R145 for general public or R100 for members of the Peoples Theatre kids Club (You can become a member for R120 membership fee – contact Peoples Theatre on 011 403 1563/ 2340 for more information).

To book tickets call Sean on 011 403 1563 / 2340 or email the theatre at info@peoplestheatre.co.za.

For more information visit www.peoplestheatre.co.za

Special school performances are available at R85 per learner plus for every 20 learners there is one complimentary ticket per educator – extra educators R85 each and all other accompanying adults are R105 each.

For more information and to make these bookings, contact the Peoples Theatre directly on 011 403 1563 / 2340.

“Look for the Bear necessities, the simple bear necessities. Forget about your worries and your strifes! Yeah man!”

I’ve been a parent for 10+ years and still today, after watching the movie, on repeat, I still love that song!

Have your kids, or you 🙂 seen The Jungle Book Kids? It makes for a wonderful family day out. 

Spirited Mama

x

#JungleBookKids

 Peoples Theatre creates memories for the whole family, enriching lives by the magic of professional theatre and thereby creating our audiences of the future. A storybook comes to life in the theatre!

 

 

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Paul Slabolepszy’s Suddenly The Storm returns to MonteCasino

Paul Slabolepszy’s Suddenly The Storm returns for an explosive season at Montecasino

 Suddenly the Storm, Paul Slabolepszy’s highly acclaimed award-winning play, returns for a limited three-week season at The Pieter Toerien Theatre at Montecasino from 12th – 29th March.

Launched initially to coincide with the 40th Anniversary of the Soweto Uprising, Suddenly The Storm had its World Premiere at the Barney Simon at Jozi’s’s Market Theatre on the 7th June 2016. A season at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town as well as Durban’s Playhouse followed, where the play continued running to capacity audiences and nightly standing ovations.

The play walked away with three Naledi AwardsBest New South African Script (Paul Slabolepszy), Best Theatre Set Design (Greg, King) and Best Lighting Design (Wesley France) as well as a Fleur Du Cap Award in Cape Town for Greg King’s Set Design.

Suddenly The Storm has been described as one of the most powerful South African plays since the birth of Democracy.

Set in contemporary South Africa, the play poses the question of whether the wounds of the past can ever really be healed.

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Suddenly The Storm, a South African play

Suddenly The Storm features Renate Stuurman (as Namhla), Charmaine Weir-Smith (as Shanell) and Paul Slabolepszy (as Dwayne). Bobby Heaney directs.

The nail-biting story takes place in Johannesburg’s East Rand at the home of an ageing former policeman Dwayne Combrink and his much younger wife Shanell.

Combative, volatile, constantly on the verge of exploding, Dwayne and Shanell Combrink are two halves of a white South African working-class couple, living an uneasy truce as they struggle with the day-to-day trials of scraping together a living and dreaming competing dreams.

Beneath Dwayne’s angry, violent exterior lies the heartbreak that governs his attitude to life. Dwayne is a man in mourning. Shanell believes his current level of despair was sparked by the death of his childhood friend and recent work partner, Jonas, but the source of his mourning and anger lies much further back.

When the elegant and self-contained Namhla Gumede, born on 16 June 1976, arrives on their doorstep seeking answers to questions that have remained buried for 40 years, Dwayne and Shanell finally discover the truth.

What begins as a smouldering dark comedy, suddenly turns into a roller-coaster ride of startling revelations, of rage and recrimination, before the storm finally breaks.

This is theatre that throws up a whirlwind of mixed emotions – greed, love, loss and healing – touching on distinctly South African topics that make this country so rich and rewarding for those who can brave its storms.

The experience and proven track record of both Slabolepszy and Heaney coming together once again creates the perfect storm of talent – powerful acting, inspired writing and incisive direction – promising to make this production a truly memorable event.

Slabolepszy has never flinched from facing the harder truths. He uses the tool of story-telling to excavate underlying seams of racism, self-hatred, insecurity.

Says Director, Bobby Heaney; “Paul has the ability of making people laugh but then feel sick to the stomach when all is laid bare, yet it’s filled with hope, something we all need in these uncertain times.”

He continues;  “It’s a terribly moving play and the message of optimism comes at a time when we are all foundering. While it’s a very real play, so utterly real, it’s highly entertaining.”

Slabolepszy adds; “There are so many stories in South Africa, yet to be told. Suddenly The Storm is a story, a play, that springs from the heartland and it will always be relevant because it explores issues that are seldom visited beyond the walls of that sacred space which is The Theatre. Warm and uplifting, the play doesn’t shy away from the hurts and injustices of the past and looks at what we are as a nation; where we have come from and where we could go when love and compassion become the values that guide us”.

Paul Slabolepszy needs no introduction; award-winning actor, playwright, screenwriter and director, he’s done it all over an illustrious career spanning 50 years.

He has written more than thirty-five plays as well as radio, television and film scripts.

His many plays include Saturday Night at the Palace; Mooi Street Moves, Boo to the Moon, Making like America, Smallholding, Braait Laaities, Pale Natives, My Low-Fat Almost Italian Wedding, the multi-award-winning The Return of Elvis du Pisanie and Heel Against the Head (with the inimitable Bill Flynn as Tjokkie)

Says Jaco van Rensburg, Executive Producer of VR Theatrical; “What a privilege to be working with industry giants such as Paul Slab and Bobby Heaney.  Reviving this award-winning play is a dream come true for young theatre makers such as Wessel and I.  Presenting new work is hard in South Africa, but we deem this important in a growing industry such as ours.  We can’t wait to share this powerful play with Joburg audiences!”

Suddenly The Storm runs at The Pieter Toerien Theatre at Montecasino from Thursday 12th March – Sunday 29th March.

Performances are Tuesdays – Fridays at 20h00, Saturdays at 16h00 & 20h00 and Sundays at 15h00.

Ticket Prices range from R100 – R240 and Bookings can be made through Computicket .

SCHOOL PERFORMANCES

Suddenly The Storm is part of the 2020 School Curriculum, and the play is being mounted with this in mind.

Schools making block bookings of 10 or more, qualify for great group discounts and can arrange for an after-show Q & A with the cast, answering questions about the play as well as explaining the nuts-and-bolts of how a play is written.

Should your school wish to be a part of this exciting opportunity, contact Geraldine at Geraldine@montetheatre.co.za for more information on the great school rates and discounts.

Suddenly the Storm is published by Wits University Press and is available at Exclusive Books and other bookstores.

SPECIAL Q & A PERFORMANCES OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

On Saturday 21st and 28th March after the 16h00 performances, Paul and the cast will remain on stage for an audience Q&A / Talk-Back session to answer any and all questions the audience members might have about the play, the industry and the like.

The wealth of knowledge and experience by these renowned performers will be an unforgettable experience, so book soon to avoid disappointment. These two shows are set to be quick sell-outs!

Have you seen Suddenly The Storm?

Spirited Mama

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Disney’s The Lion King LIVE In Concert with The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra

10th, 11th and 12th of December 2019

The Sun Arena at Times Square in Pretoria

 

Disney’s The Lion King LIVE in Concert

I’m sure that by now you have seen the ads on TV about the Disney’s The Lion King LIVE In Concert with The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Last night, I was invited to the rehearsal show. Man alive, what an experience! The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra has just taken the Lion King up a few levels! It’s definitely an experience not to be missed. Also, did I mention that it’s family-friendly 🙂

In The Lion King LIVE In Concert, the all-new Disney film that was released  a few months ago, will come to life on an epic scale as it’s screened and accompanied LIVE by the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra.

Disney and the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra brings you even more magic in a perfectly synchronised live orchestral performance.

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Credit: Celeste van der Berg Photography

This unique family entertainment experience combines the screening of Disney’s The Lion King directed by Jon Favreau with the epic live orchestral performance of Oscar® and GRAMMY®-winning composer Hans Zimmer’s original motion picture soundtrack that also features South African legend Lebo M.

Disney’s 2019 release of The Lion King features the voices of artists such as South African Dr John Kani, as well as James Earl-Jones, Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, and Beyoncé bringing the unforgettable host of characters to life.

“Now begins another tale told about my continent, about my country, about my people and about my heritage. These animals are mine. That’s what the great generations of my ancestors left to me to inherit and when that story is told I feel SO proud that the world is listening to Africa,” says Dr John Kani. “It warms my heart knowing that it’s now being taken to even greater heights as an all new live orchestral experience – I cannot wait for local audiences to experience The Lion King in this way,” he added.

The all-star cast includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon. Utilizing pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring treasured characters to life in a whole new way.

The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra

The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, which has always provided the best of local and international soloists and conductors will add harmony to the new film. The Orchestra epitomises the highest standards and world class skills in performing arts.

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Credit: Celeste van der Berg Photography

The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO) was formed in May 2000 by a group of committed and resilient musicians following the demise of the National Symphony Orchestra. It has continued to consistently perform regular series of Symphony Seasons, attracting the best international and local soloists and conductors, as well as being the orchestra of choice for State functions in Gauteng.

 

  • The film is presented, on a 13mx7m projection screen, its full duration of 118 minutes and accompanied by the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra throughout. Computicket is the official ticketing partner.

 

Are you going to see the Lion King LIVE in concert with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra?

10, 11 & 12 December 2019 at The Sun Arena, Times Square Pretoria.

Here’s an opportunity to add an unforgettable experience to your family festivities this month.

Spirited Mama

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** Disclaimer: I was invited to attend the rehearsal. Thank you Just A Mamma for  graciously sharing Celeste van der Berg Photography’s beautiful pictures with me.

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Michael Jackson Tribute, HIStory: King of Pop featuring Dantanio coming to Johannesburg this December!

World-renowned MJ Tribute, HISTORY: King of POP, returns to Johannesburg next month with yet another dose of enthralling performances.

HIStory: King of Pop @ Emperors Palace, 6-22 December 2019

Presented by Showtime Australia

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Shamone! The festive season is set to become a thrilling musical experience as one of the world’s most-loved tribute productions pays homage to the legendary pop icon, Michael Jackson, in HIStory: King of Pop, in Johannesburg next month.

The world-famous King of Pop tribute concert is a two-hour musical spectacular, which takes audiences on a nostalgic journey back to MJ’s early days as a member of the Jackson 5, his ground-breaking theatrics in the 80s and his continued reign as the King of Pop into the 21st century.

Having rung in 2019 with a successful performance run in Cape Town earlier in January, it’s now the turn for Johannesburg fans to experience the music, costumes and amazing production celebrating the iconic Michael Jackson, at Theatre of Marcellus at Emperors Palace from 6-22 December 2019.

Long-time fans of MJ, are in for a treat when they come to experience the HIStory: King of Pop show as they get the full concert experience with accomplished Kimberley-born and Johannesburg-based singer and impersonator Dantanio – electrifying in his role as Jackson – plus a live band, choreographed dancers, authentic costumes, state-of-the-art sound and theatrical lighting, vision and effects.

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The phenomenal lighting and effects team makes use of 160+ moving lights and over 2,000 lighting cues to create a production that truly evokes the creative spirit of The King of Pop, live on stage.

In 2014, Dantanio was scouted by the show’s director, Johnny Van Grinsven, to take on this challenging role, in what’s been billed as “a mind-blowing stage production”.

“Michael Jackson inspired me to sing and dance. I have been preparing for this role my entire life and I get to live out my dream of paying tribute to my idol on stage around the world,” admits Dantanio.

Expect to hear all the major hits being belted out on stage, such as: Thriller, Billie Jean, Smooth Criminal, Bad, Beat It, ABC, Don`t Stop Til You Get Enough, Human Nature, PYT, They Don`t Really Care About Us.

So what can Jozi fans expect to experience this festive season?

“I am so excited to be back in Johannesburg, where I get to share my love for MJ with other die-hard fans of the pop icon. It’s such an honour and a privilege to perform as Michael across the globe and what a treat it is for me to close out 2019 in style – celebrating the life of the King of Pop right here on home soil.”

Visit www.mjhistoryshow.com for ticketing and further information. Tickets for this spectacular show can also be purchased via Computicket at either www.computicket.com or via Checkers and Shoprite retail stores, countrywide, and range between R144 and R490 each.

What are your favourite Michael Jackson songs?

Spirited Mama

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International singing SuperStar, Belinda Davids, releases her first ever Christmas Album this November!

Belinda Davids – I Love Christmas

International singing superstar, Belinda Davids, set to release her first ever Christmas album this month – ahead of her limited series of Orchestral Concerts at Artscape Theatre in Cape Town.

She’s taking over the global concert stages one mesmerizing performance at a time, and now Showtime Australia artist Belinda Davids is set to heat up the Christmas season with the release of her very first holiday album: Belinda Davids – I Love Christmas.

The Port Elizabeth-born Davids, who just returned from touring the UK and Russia last month, is expected to drop her first Christmas album on Wednesday 20 November – the same day of her much-anticipated opening night concert in Cape Town, marking a two-year wait for her Mother City fans to catch the singing diva again live in concert.

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Belinda Davids – I Love Christmas is a 12-track soulful album that is guaranteed to encourage all Christmas-lovers who are eager to get into the Christmas spirit early.

Recording a Christmas album became a special and personal project for Davids when she realised, in recent years, the significance and privilege of being able to spend the festive season with her two children and extended family. “My touring schedule is so hectic, sometimes I barely have time to breathe, so when I can be at home over Christmas and truly be present with my children it is the greatest gift, and super important to me – it’s the creation of memories,” she says.

With this album Davids wanted to give her fans a taste of what her own earliest Christmas memories were like:

“These are the Classics that were played at Christmas time when I was young. I adore Christmas songs, but they are often so cheesy, so when I sat in the studio I wanted to record those same Classics that are timeless and nostalgic, but with a soulful and playful vibe that reflects the diverse musical influences I had in my upbringing. I think we managed to deliver just that.”

 

Some of the festive season classics to expect on the album include: Silent Night, Joy to the World, Away in a Manager, Do You Hear What I Hear, and When a Child Is Born.

 

Davids, who now calls Cape Town her home, recorded the album in Johannesburg earlier this year, with studio time juggled between her international touring commitments over a period of four months.

It’s been a long time coming for Davids to finally release more solo music; she was just 16 years old in 1996 when she released her debut album Belinda which included the hit single ‘We Go Together’.


So what magical Christmas memories does Davids ponder on every festive season?

“Christmas in my grandmother’s house was a highlight for me, where all her kids and grandkids gathered and there was just always so much presence of family throughout the holidays. We would all decorate the house, walls and the Christmas tree – all while our favourite Christmas classics were playing in the background. It meant the world to be around family and to celebrate Christmas Day with my loved ones”.

Belinda Davids – I Love Christmas will be available for purchase on all major global digital music platforms from 20 November 2019.

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Belinda Davids takes over Cape Town with The Greatest Love of All: A tribute to Whitney Houston

The Greatest Love of All: A Tribute to Whitney Houston will showcase with orchestral accompaniment at Artscape Opera House at Artscape Theatre in The Mother City from 20 November until 1 December, and is billed as one of the “most anticipated concert performances of the year”.

These special and limited orchestral concerts featuring South African-born Davids, are a first for South Africa, having already performed to sold-out arenas in the UK and Russia earlier this year.

The Greatest Love of All: A Tribute to Whitney Houston is set to be backed by a South African orchestra, dancers and stunning theatrical effects this time around, as the vocally-talented Davids is set to yet again impress local audiences in a jaw-dropping musical tribute experience to one of music’s most loved-icons.

Tickets for this spectacular concert experience in Cape Town can purchased via Computicket at either www.computicket.com or via Checkers and Shoprite retail stores, countrywide, and range between R250 and R390 each.

The Greatest Love of All: A Tribute to Whitney Houston is also set to tour its orchestral concert series to Johannesburg later next year. The show will perform at The Mandela at Joburg Civic Theatre, from 5- 28 June 2020. Tickets are available now via the theatre box office or by visiting www.thegreatestloveofallshow.com.

I can’t wait for Belinda Davids – I Love Christmas to drop! A new Christmas album is LONG overdue in the Spirited Family house 🙂

What’s you favourite Christmas album?

Spirited Mama

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Benny Bushwhacker: Human Nature heads to PRETORIA for one night only!

Starrring BEN VOSS

Written by John van de Ruit (SPUD)

Directed by Janice Honeyman

Atterbury Theatre, Pretoria

ONE NIGHT ONLY!

Wednesday 13 November 2019

 

If you missed seeing Benny Bushwhacker – Human Nature, like I did, during the Joburg season in October, don’t despair, Ben Voss returns to Gauteng for ONE NIGHT ONLY at The Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria on Wednesday 13 November at 20h00.

Benny Bushwhacker aka Ben Voss continues his successful national tour of his brand-new, one-man-show and will soon be in Pretoria to delight Gauteng audiences once again.

 

Pretoria audiences loved Ben’s previous shows, including Bend it Like Beauty and Beauty and the BEE and will remember him as Beauty on the Jacaranda 94.2 breakfast show. Audiences get the chance to see this award-winning actor, comedian, writer and producer back on stage in his brand new show!

Benny Bushwhacker : Human Nature kick-started a fabulous tour when it won two Standard Bank Ovation Awards at the National Arts Festival Makhanda in Grahamstown – the very first staging of the show.

The Republic of South Africa proudly welcomes home Benny Bushwhacker (aka Ben Voss), the world’s funniest conservationist. The legend returns to share what it takes to survive the African bush … and for the African bush to survive.

 

The genial South African, who recently trended worldwide for banging heads with swashbuckling British survivalist Bear Grylls, is touring South Africa’s theatres and festivals with an hilarious yet sobering look at the collision between man and environment.

For somebody who has spent more time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life than a hibernating Arctic wood frog, Benny Bushwhacker brings untainted humanity and delicious humour to his performance that will have you laughing out loud and wondering why, when it comes to the bush, the most uncommon human trait is common sense.

Whether it be his opinion on how to spot a know-it-all in Kruger, or the relative chances of his estranged wife, Brenda, replacing the buffalo in the Big 5, Benny delivers time and again with his unique sense of humour and classic bush logic.

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Benny Bushwhacker’s stories and experiences have been translated from bush to page by his unofficial biographer, John van de Ruit, (of Spud fame) and directed from page to stage by the lioness of theatre, Janice Honeyman.

 

When asked about the project, Director Janice Honeyman said:

“I have worked with Ben before and have always enjoyed it. He’s a good actor, and a thinking actor. His Mamba series impressed me, so I chose to direct his alter ego, Beauty Ramapelepele. Ben then worked with me last year on the Snow White Pantomime as Evil Queen Hildagonda, in which he was fantastic. The opportunity to work with him again as Benny Bushwhacker is great fun. The concerns of the content are very close to my heart and putting it into a less didactic, preachy context feels good for me.”

 

 

Writer of the piece, John van de Ruit, expressed his involvement thus;

“Ben and I have been friends and collaborators for over twenty years. In that time, I have had the best seat in the house to witness his talent and versatility as a comedic actor. He has the unique ability to capture reality and extremity, often simultaneously, with hilarious consequences. It does help that he was born with a rubber face, a razor-sharp mind and the body of Frankenstein. This made him the perfect fit for Benny Bushwhacker, a celebrity conservationist with a big heart and little education to speak of.”

 

van de Ruit continues;

“Historically, Ben Voss and I have collaborated on both scripting and performance, but this time we have made a deliberate decision to separate ourselves into writer and actor. This means I won’t steal Benny’s favourite lines on stage, and he won’t tamper with my favourite lines in the script. I think that’s called collaborative uncoupling. It’s been a terrific time developing the idea of Benny Bushwhacker with Ben Voss, although of late it’s been rather difficult to tell the pair apart.”

 

While touring South Africa, Benny Bushwhacker is raising awareness and Moola for the Lebombo Leopard – Human Conflict Survey. And while leopards are not known to change their spots, through this initiative, Benny will try to help humans to do so.

 

Ben Voss states; “I am closely involved with the Lebombo Leopard Human Conflict Survey in Mkuze, Northern Zululand. A big part of this project is to raise money to set cameras to monitor leopard movement in the area after two children were taken by these cats on the reserve boundary. My interest is not so much conserving pristine bush, as conserving the line between humans and nature. These boundaries are critical. As a roving species, Leopard are under constant threat from humans, and communities are under threat from Leopard. So this conflict seemed like a “natural” fit for my show. I care about nature, I care about humans and if the leopard is to survive we are going to have to create more green spaces, and keep communities healthy and happy.

 

Voss continues; “The theme of the show is even based around saving the leopard and there are donation boxes for the project at every show. Every single cent in those boxes goes towards the initiative. At the moment we are raising on average R1000 a show and I have nearly 100 shows this year. So R100 000 is my target!”

 

Book your seats soon for this wonderful look at life on the wild side, because, like the rhinos of Africa, you never know if you will get the chance to see it again.

Benny Bushwhacker : Human Nature is on stage at The Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria for ONE NIGHT ONLY on Wednesday 13 November at 20h00.

Ticket prices are R140 – R160

Bookings are via iTickets by calling 086 1000 291 or online at https://itickets.co.za/events/427342

The duration of the show is 65 minutes with no interval.

There’s no Age Restriction (although there’s “No Under 3’s” for the comfort of other patrons)

 

Check out www.benvoss.co.za for general information or to click through on booking links to the various venues around the country.

National Tour Dates of Benny Bushwhacker still coming up:

Hexagon Theatre, Pietermaritzburg, 4 – 9 November

Atterbury Theatre, Pretoria, 13 November

Somerset West Playhouse, 15 – 16 November

Baxter Theatre, Cape Town, 10 December – 18 January 2020

Pretoria, are you ready for Benny Bushwhacker?

Spirited Mama

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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. comes alive at the Peoples Theatre

For the first time at Peoples Theatre, the magic of one of society’s all-time favourite films CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG Jr. comes alive on stage in spectacular fashion from Monday, 28th October – Sunday 22nd December.

Take a fantastic musical adventure with an out-of-this-world car that flies through the air and sails the seas. Based on the beloved film version of Ian Fleming’s children’s book, and featuring an unforgettable score by the Sherman Brothers (Mary Poppins), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. is a family-friendly blockbuster that audiences will find “Truly Scrumptious.”

An eccentric inventor, Caractacus Potts sets about restoring an old race car from a scrap heap with the help of his children, Jeremy and Jemima. They soon discover the car has magical properties, including the ability to float and take flight. Trouble occurs when the evil Baron Bomburst desires the magic car for himself. The family joins forces with Truly Scrumptious and batty Grandpa Potts to outwit the dastardly Baron and Baroness and their villainous henchman, the Child Catcher.

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Filled with amazing stage spectacle and unforgettable songs including the Academy Award-nominated title song, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a high-flying, fun-filled adventure for the entire family.

 

Says Director Jill Girard; “Peoples Theatre presents for the first time ever this fantastic musical adventure which features the most unforgettable score by the Sherman brothers. This is a feel good, heart-warming family musical which is an absolute delight to direct, as it takes the audience back to their childhood while enchanting the next generation.”

 

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang  JR is directed by Jill Girard and Keith Smith, with Musical Direction by Coenraad Rall, Musical Staging by Sandy (Dyer) Richardson, Set and Lighting Design by Grant Knottenbelt and costumes by Merry Whillier and Sean McGrath.

 

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Newcomer Mondé Sibisi recently qualified in the UK, plays the role of Caractacus Potts who is Jeremy and Jemima’s father. He is an eccentric inventor who cares deeply about his children.

Peoples Theatre is delighted to have Caroline Borole grace our stage, playing the role of Truly Scrumptious who is a smart, confident, adventurous daughter of Lord Scrumptious who quickly earns the Potts family’s trust.
(Caroline recently wowed audiences on stage as Tina in Tina – Simply The Best.)

One of Peoples Theatres favourite performers, Luciano Zuppa will be back again. He will be playing the role of Grandpa who loves Jeremy, Jemima, and Potts with all his heart; the most important thing to Grandpa is his family.

Roberto Queiroz, who was seen in Shrek Jr at the People Theatre as Lord Farquard, will be playing the role of Lord Scrumptious, the all-powerful owner of the candy factory.

Peoples Theatre is excited to have newcomer Matthew Otto play the role of the larger than life, evil Baron and by his side the mischievous and manipulative Baroness played by Joelle Rochecouste who charmed us as Gloria in Madagascar Jr.

Peoples Theatre is happy to have Raymond Skinner back playing the role of Boris, the worst spy ever.

 

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr. opens at the Peoples Theatre at the Joburg Theatre Complex with preview performances from Monday, 28th October. The official show opening is on Sunday, 10th November. The season runs until Sunday, 22nd  December.

Performance times are Mondays to Friday at 9am and 11am, Saturdays at 10:30am and 2.30pm as well as all Sundays and Public Holidays.

Ticket prices are R140 for general public or R100 for members of the Peoples Theatre kids Club (You can become a member for R120 membership fee – contact Peoples Theatre on 011 403 1563/ 2340 for more information).

To book tickets call Sean or Beth on 011 403 1563 / 2340 or email the theatre at info@peoplestheatre.co.za.

For more information visit www.peoplestheatre.co.za

Special school performances are available at R80 per learner plus for every 20 learners there is one complimentary ticket per educator – extra educators R80 each and all other accompanying adults are R100 each.

For more information and to make these bookings, contact the Peoples Theatre directly on 011 403 1563 / 2340.

Spirited Mama

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Benny Bushwacker: Human Nature on stage at Monte Casino

BENNY BUSHWHACKER: Human Nature

Starring BEN VOSS
Written by John van de Ruit (SPUD)
Directed by Janice Honeyman

Already that is enough information to get you hooked 🙂

 

Benny Bushwhacker, aka Ben Voss, continues his successful national tour of his brand-new, one-man-show and will soon be heading to Gauteng to delight Joburg and Pretoria audiences.

Benny Bushwhacker : Human Nature will be on stage at The Studio Theatre at Montecasino from Thursday, 3rd – Sunday, 20th October for a strictly limited season.

Joburg audiences loved Ben’s previous shows, including Green Mamba, Black Mamba, Mamba Republic, Bend it Like Beauty and Beauty and the BEE to name but a few. Now they get to see the chance to see this award winning actor, comedian, writer and producer back on stage in his brand new show!

Benny Bushwhacker : Human Nature kick-started a fabulous tour when it won two Standard Bank Ovation Awards at the National Arts Festival Makhanda in Grahamstown – the very first staging of the show.

The Republic of South Africa proudly welcomes home Benny Bushwhacker (aka Ben Voss), the world’s funniest conservationist. The legend returns to share what it takes to survive the African bush … and for the African bush to survive.

 

The genial South African, who recently trended worldwide for banging heads with swashbuckling British survivalist Bear Grylls, is touring South Africa’s theatres and festivals with an hilarious yet sobering look at the collision between man and environment.

 

For somebody who has spent more time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life than a hibernating Arctic wood frog, Benny Bushwhacker brings untainted humanity and delicious humour to his performance that will have you laughing out loud and wondering why, when it comes to the bush, the most uncommon human trait is common sense.

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Whether it be his opinion on how to spot a know-it-all in Kruger, or the relative chances of his estranged wife, Brenda, replacing the buffalo in the Big 5, Benny delivers time and again with his unique sense of humour and classic bush logic.

 

Benny Bushwhacker’s stories and experiences have been translated from bush to page by his unofficial biographer, John van de Ruit, (of Spud fame) and directed from page to stage by the lioness of theatre, Janice Honeyman.

When asked about the project, Director Janice Honeyman said:

“I have worked with Ben before and have always enjoyed it. He’s a good actor, and a thinking actor. His Mamba series impressed me, so I chose to direct his alter ego, Beauty Ramapelepele. Ben then worked with me last year on the Snow White Pantomime as Evil Queen Hildagonda, in which he was fantastic. The opportunity to work with him again as Benny Bushwhacker is great fun. The concerns of the content are very close to my heart and putting it into a less didactic, preachy context feels good for me.”

 

Writer of the piece, John van de Ruit, expressed his involvement thus;

“Ben and I have been friends and collaborators for over twenty years. In that time, I have had the best seat in the house to witness his talent and versatility as a comedic actor. He has the unique ability to capture reality and extremity, often simultaneously, with hilarious consequences. It does help that he was born with a rubber face, a razor-sharp mind and the body of Frankenstein. This made him the perfect fit for Benny Bushwhacker, a celebrity conservationist with a big heart and little education to speak of.”

 

While touring South Africa, Benny Bushwhacker is raising awareness and Moola for the Lebombo Leopard – Human Conflict Survey. And while leopards are not known to change their spots, through this initiative, Benny will try to help humans to do so.

 

Ben Voss states; “I am closely involved with the Lebombo Leopard Human Conflict Survey in Mkuze, Northern Zululand. A big part of this project is to raise money to set cameras to monitor leopard movement in the area after two children were taken by these cats on the reserve boundary. My interest is not so much conserving pristine bush, as conserving the line between humans and nature. These boundaries are critical. As a roving species, Leopard are under constant threat from humans, and communities are under threat from Leopard. So this conflict seemed like a “natural” fit for my show. I care about nature, I care about humans and if the leopard is to survive we are going to have to create more green spaces, and keep communities healthy and happy.

Voss continues; “The theme of the show is even based around saving the leopard and there are donation boxes for the project at every show. Every single cent in those boxes goes towards the initiative. At the moment we are raising on average R1000 a show and I have nearly 100 shows this year. So R100 000 is my target!”

Book your seats soon for this wonderful look at life on the wild side, because, like the rhinos of Africa, you never know if you will get the chance to see it again.

Benny Bushwhacker : Human Nature is on stage at The Studio Theatre @ Montecasino from Thursday 3rd – Sunday 20th October.

Performances are Wednesdays – Fridays at 20h00, Saturdays at 16h00 & 20h00 and Sundays at 15h00.

Ticket prices are R130 – R180 and bookings are through Computicket.

The duration of the show is 65 minutes with no interval.

There’s no Age Restriction (although there’s “No Under 3’s” for the comfort of other patrons)

Check out www.benvoss.co.za for general information or to click through on booking links to the various venues around the country.

Follow Benny Bushwhacker on Social Media:
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/BennyBushwhacker

 

For those Pretoria residents not able to make the excursion to Jozi, there will also be a one-night-only opportunity for Pretoria audiences to see the show at Atterbury Theatre on Wednesday 13th November at 20h00.

Ticket Prices are R140 – R160. Bookings are via iTickets.

 

Spirited Mama

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