Isn’t it just ridiculous that in 2018, we adults have learned absolutely nothing … and that the more things change, the more they stay the same … and that the more progress we’ve made, the more backward we really are?!? Well, thank goodness for bright, bold, unapologetic children’s musical theatre! It says it like it is, without sugar coating or subtlety – kids just don’t buy into that nonsense.
Written by Melvin Tunstall III, composed by our very own SA boykie, Greg Borowsky together with Douglas Lyons, who also wrote the lyrics. The original idea of POLKADOTS was inspired by the Little Rock Nine who ended segregation in American schools in the late ’50’s. But before you start yawning, and wondering how on earth this relates to kids of today … sadly it does!
What’s it all about? Lily Polkadot (the gorgeously bubbly Gugu Dhlamini) has recently moved to the town of Rockaway and is apprehensive about her first day of school. She’s the only Polkadot in a school of Squares. And immediately she’s targeted by Mean Girl, Penelope Square (Kirsty Marillier, in fabulous, full-scale viciousness), purely because of the way she looks – she’s a ’round peg, in a square hole’ and isn’t wanted here! She’s misunderstood wherever she turns, and whatever she says (despite her determined optimism), and even confronted with a separate water fountain to drink from! All she needs is one friend so that she doesn’t feel alone. Surprisingly this comes in the form of Penelope’s shy brother Sky (wonderfully awkward and endearing Bonginkosi Jay Hlatshwayo), and also the sunny teacher Mrs Square (vivacious and highly accomplished
Andrea Shine – who also doubles up as Mama Square).
This small, but extremely skilled cast has no trouble keeping its audience enthralled, engaged and entertained and in just 55 colourful, vibrant minutes, our four main characters teach us all some fundamental life lessons!
There’s a very good reason why POLKADOTS recently won the Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best Family Show in New York. The entire show teaches us that what makes us different is what makes us awesome! Not one of us is the same, and why do we even want to be? But then why can’t we accept each other as we are – for after all, we’re all the same on the inside?
Kids of all ages will gain something from POLKADOTS, whether it’s just the fun element, the catchy songs that carry great messages, or the more in-depth meaning of the storyline. There’s really something for everyone here.
This is POLKADOTS’ first international production and it’s not surprising that it’s led by an award-winning local team. Making its debut at this year’s REDFEST, followed by a week of school holiday shows at Redhill, it’s produced by Joseph Gerassi for Redhill School, in association with producers Drew Bakker and Rowan Bakker for &CO, together with associate producer Matthew Counihan. Shelley Adriaanzen directs and choreographs, with musical supervisor by Rowan Bakker and production design by Sarah Roberts.
With its strong anti-bullying message, a tour schedule is in the pipeline. So keep a close eye on the POLKADOTS SA Facebook page for updates.
For info on shows this week, and to book, click here.
Don’t miss POLKADOTS. I can’t recommend it enough!
All cast photo credits: Ronel Hugo
ONE DAY ONLY … ONE STAGE … ALL STAR CAST … SA’S TOP PERFORMERS … JONATHAN ROXMOUTH … TIMOTHY MOLOI … BRYAN SCHIMMEL … ILSE KLINK … and many more!
“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”
― Shannon L. Alder
The Sakellarides/ Devar family are an integral part of the theatre community. Theatre makers, supporters and the like are familiar with this talented unit, and those who have had the fortune of personally becoming a part of their lives, or even briefly interacting with them, all agree unanimously that this family are the warmest, kindest, most generous bunch of people, in an industry that is often extremely cruel.
Over the past few years, the family were faced with the misfortune of Nik Sakellarides falling very ill and ending up in intensive care on two lengthy, different occasions.
This was a very dark time for Brenda Sakellarides who managed to pull through, and with Nik’s strong recovery finally saw the light of day, despite the emotional and financial strain.
But just when life started normalising, another devastating bit of news came to the fore: their 16 year old son Ziya Devar was diagnosed with aggressive Ulcerative Colitis.
Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in your digestive tract. It affects the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum. It can be debilitating, sometimes leading to life-threatening complications. While it has no known cure, treatment can greatly reduce signs and symptoms of the disease, even bringing about long-term remission.
About two and a half months ago, Nik took to Facebook, asking the Theatre/ Entertainment Community and beyond to please assist Brenda and the family with any donations they could contribute towards the increasingly exhorbitant medical costs for Ziya’s recovery.
This sparked Owen Lonzar’s idea to produce a show with some of the biggest names in the theatre industry, to raise money so that young Ziya and his family can fight this illness without worrying about the financial burden placed on them.
Lonzar explains: “There are genuinely very few good people in the world, who are always willing to help others. Brenda and Nik are always willing to help others. They are very special people, so I thought I need to do this. It’s also great because the community are involved. We don’t always have the money to give in this industry, so at least if these artists can perform, other people can buy tickets. It’s also important to be actively involved. We have a small community and we need to be able to look after each other, and this is one way that we can.”
Caitlin Clerk came on board to assist with administrative detail, and a wonderful night of music, musical theatre, talent and of course, community and giving has been organised to entertain audiences, but more importantly to raise money for Ziya’s recovery.
Silver Linings Songbook takes place on Sunday, 24 June 2018 at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square at 18h30. As this show sold out so quickly, an additional matinee has been added at 15h30!
Tickets cost just R200 each!
Never again and nowhere else will you get the opportunity to see such a fabulous lineup of South Africa’s top theatre talent performing on one stage, for a bargain price like this!
Can’t make it but still want to participate? Call the theatre on (011) 883-8606 and ask for a ‘ghost ticket’ … they’ll know what you’re talking about!
Bookings through computicket.com or call (011) 883-8606. If you can, try and go to to a Computicket kiosk and pay cash – they’ve been tremendously awesome and waivered their fee for the show if you do this!!!
Not only will you be helping others in need, but the line up of performers boasts some of the best talent in the country. This includes Jonathan Roxmouth, Timothy Moloi, Angela Killian, Sylvaine Strike, Ilse Klink, Bryan Schimmel (piano solo), Itu Sings, Kiruna – Lind Devar, Noni Mkhonto, Judy Ditchfield, Dolly Louw, Andrea Shine, Natasha van der Merwe, Caitlin Clerk, Nqobile Sipamla, Tonya Koenderman, Hayley Christian Francis, Luciano Zuppa, Dennis East, Claire Taylor and Toni Morkel.
Special Appearance from Kate Monster (aka Ashleigh Harvey) from Avenue Q, and Malcolm Terrey will be MCing the event.
A huge thank you to Daphne Kuhn for the use of the Auto & General Theatre on the Square, and to all the artists and crew involved in the giving of their time for such an important cause.
Book now for Silver Linings Songbook on Sunday, 24 June 2018 at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square.
‘Visiting Mr Green’, currently onstage at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square has been getting such rave reviews that Daphne Kuhn has added an extra (final) show – Sunday 10 June, 3pm.
This exceptional production features superb performances from both Michael Richard and Roberto Pombo. It’s most ably directed by Alan Swerdlow with a set designed by Denis Hutchinson, that will instantly transport you into the typical realms of a Manhattan inhabited by those who still maintain their own little corner of Eastern Europe … in America.
Be prepared to run a gamut of emotions as you enter the home and heart of elderly Mr Green, struggling to come to terms with facing life without his beloved soulmate. He’s alone with his fading memories until young, sassy executive, Ross Gardiner unexpectedly shows up, tasked with spending time with Green as community service in return for almost knocking him over!
Together they manage to navigate the choppy waters of what it means to be alone in modern Manhattan, dealing with the judgment, intolerance and narrow-mindedness of others, about all manner of matters. And surprisingly they realise they have a lot to learn from each other, as well as a lot to share.
Visiting Mr Green is absolutely unmissable! It is heartwarming in a way that many modern scripts just aren’t. This year it celebrates its 20th anniversary!
Book through Computicket or by calling the theatre in 011 883 8606.
Back by popular demand, Joburg Theatre is proud to present Woza Albert! by Percy Mtwa, Mbongeni Ngema and Barney Simon, on The Fringe Theatre stage from Friday 1 June – Sunday 17 June.
Woza Albert! will always remain as one of the most vibrant examples of satirical anti-apartheid South African Theatre, demonstrating innovation and creativity during one of the most pivotal and ground-breaking periods of theatre in this country.
Woza Albert! is still a relevant story today, which is why it’s a school set-work in the South African GDE school curriculum, and therefore essential viewing for learners. The theatre piece offers a great tool for audience development while assisting with the school curriculum. The play portrays so much truth and clarifies a simple approach to the human condition, therefore making it continually relevant to South Africa.
Segomotso Modise and Hamilton Dlamini play the roles of various black South Africans – a vendor, barber, domestic worker, manual labourer and soldier – each receiving the news that Christ (Morena) has arrived in South Africa, where they live under a Calvinist, white elite imposed apartheid.
2018 SAFTA award winner for Best Actor – TV Soap/Telenovela, Hamilton Dlamini, had a starring role as bumbling private investigator TT in the Mzansi Magic comedy series Boomba and TT, in 2012. In 2015 he had a starring role as Mnqobi Simelane, a self-made man in his 40s who is in a polygamous marriage with two wives and a possible third, in the e.tv drama series Umlilo.
Segomotso Modise started his theatre career in 2005 starring in a production titled ‘Question Mark’ which earned him the award best actor in the leading role in the stop crime drama festival. In 2014 he made his musical debut when he starred in MARIKANA – THE MUSICAL by Aubrey Sekhabi which walked away with 6 Naledi awards, and after a sensational performance in the musical he was called to star in the recent musical TAKING BACK THE FUTURE by Tshepo Ratona and Presley Chweneyagae. His television work includes an awareness ad for children and women abuse and a Guest appearance in a popular local sitcom Ga Re Dumele. His international tours include Germany, Amsterdam, Austria, Poland and the UK, with various acclaimed award winning plays like ‘Interracial’ & ‘Rocksburg’, to name just a couple.
These two theatre veterans make it easy for audiences to relate in the new South Africa, where people are desperate for a better life despite their political freedom. The parts played by Bheki and Hamilton show off their skills in acting, mime, singing and dance. They also have the unique ability to create images using a few words and actions.
The play is a political satire that imagines the second coming of Christ in apartheid-era South Africa. It looks at a wide range of characters in South Africa at the beginning of the 1980s and attacks the pass laws that prevented Black people from moving freely at the time. The production uses the metaphor of Morena (Jesus) to show what would happen if he came back to South Africa during apartheid. Would he like what he saw? And if he saw the atrocities of the time then why would he not do anything about them?
Woza Albert! will be on stage at The Fringe Theatre @ Joburg Theatre from 1 – 17 June 2018.
There are morning performances on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11h00.
Fridays and Saturdays at 20h00.
Sundays at 15h00.
In this 60th anniversary, Diamond Jubilee year of the Miss South Africa competition, the selection panel has been increased to a record seven – and includes a strong line up of some of our country’s most respected and influential personalities, each looking for that unique special ‘something’ to help them decide who will wear this year’s glittering Miss SA crown.
The spectacular Miss South Africa 2018 event will take place on Sunday, May 27 at Sun International’s new flagship venue, the Sun Arena at Time Square, Pretoria. It will be televised live and simulcast on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) and Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161).
Queen of SA talk, fun and funky radio jock Anele Mdoda, (a previous Miss SA judge in 2014), returns to the panel and will be joined by marketing personality Khaya Dlanga; businesswoman and media mogul Khanyi Dhlomo; entrepreneur and television presenter Janez Vermeiren; award-winning magazine editor Michelle van Breda; celebrity chef and TV personality Siba Mtongana and Miss World 2014, Dr Rolene Strauss.
Strauss, a businesswoman and chairperson of the Strauss Foundation truly appreciates what is required of a Miss South Africa.
“As a previous Miss South Africa and Miss World, I have been in the shoes of the contestants and understand what challenges they face. I believe it would ease their minds to see a familiar face and a person who knows what they are going through. I understand what an international competition like Miss World expects of a Miss South Africa and thus know exactly what to look for in a Miss South Africa who can represent our country internationally,” she says.
“I will be looking for a strikingly beautiful woman who becomes more beautiful as you get to know her. Someone who is hardworking, selfless, resilient and handles difficult situations with ease and grace.”
Anele Mdoda offers pertinent advice for the Top 12: “Your competition is not the other 11 women. The task at hand is to shine as the best form of yourself. Show us why the crown has your name on it. Show us what your intent is. Win it on purpose.”
And what will she be looking for when judging? “All the finalists have the potential. We are in an amazing place where all of them are worthy of the crown. What I am looking for is growth since being announced Top 12 and the young woman who shows me that her life will propel her forward with or without the crown,” explains Mdoda.
Khanyi Dhlomo describes what she is looking for in a potential Miss South Africa: “I think that South Africa, particularly in the current socio-political climate … needs even more self-assured, compassionate and intentional female voices. The winner must most certainly be beautiful but, more importantly, she must have self-belief as well as a strong desire and personal plan to move both herself and her country forward in her area of influence.”
Marketing mogul Khaya Dlanga has this to say: “I will be wearing both hats, that of a marketer and a writer, when casting my vote. My marketing hat will look for someone who is able to represent themselves effortlessly and is able to resonate with an audience that will only ever have access to them through the media and someone who is able to connect on a deeper level on a one on one basis as well. As a writer, I will be looking for someone who has a transcendent story that will resonate across all sectors of South Africa and can connect with the globe as well.”
Van Breda’s offers the following advice to our finalists: “You cannot save the world. But never underestimate the power of women and the power of one. So, show us who you are. You got to the Top 12 because the judges identified something they were really impressed with and liked – something original, something authentic, something different, something powerful. That is your strength. Stick to it. Use it. Talk and act from the heart.”
“Modern women are not afraid to get real and to get the job done. These are the very traits I will be looking for in Miss SA 2018. Someone who will be an ambassador and a spokesperson for women, our country and the Miss SA brand. For the winner, it could be a life-changing experience. This is that one-in-a-million opportunity! She must be prepared to give it her absolute all.”
Renowned media personality Janez Vermeiren, has been in the media industry for almost two decades, and has filled numerous roles, from model and model agency owner to TV presenter and now producer. He says: “Naturally Miss South Africa has to look the part but the most important for me is someone who is well rounded. I will be looking for someone who is media savvy, confident, compassionate and understanding of the challenges our country faces. My advice to all finalists is to clear their minds of all the hype and focus on bringing the best of themselves to the table. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, keep it real and keep it natural.”
Popular foodie host Siba Mtongana understands the pressure of what it takes to succeed on a global stage and reveals what she is looking for in the young women who takes the crown: “I want to find South Africa’s next IT girl. Someone who steps into a room and commands everyone’s attention, without even saying a word. She is confident, yet humble, she has international appeal, yet is firmly grounded on local soil. She has a clear vision of who she is and what she wants to achieve and is looking to make an impactful mark on the world, not only for herself but for our nation.”
Sound advice from every member of the panel, each giving their own distinct opinion on what they’ll be looking for, and how they think the finalists should approach the big event on Sunday.
This year Miss South Africa announced a dramatic and exciting change to its format. Following the cut to the top five finalists, the organisers will go straight to a top two announcement, (rather than the previous approach of 2 runners-up – 2 Princesses – and 1 Miss South Africa winner). One of the pair will be named Miss World South Africa and one will receive the title of Miss Universe South Africa. Both will go on to represent South Africa on the global stage in each respective competition.
However, as there can be only one reigning Miss South Africa, the two winners will be asked one final question by the selection panel as the competition draws to a close. Their answers will determine who is crowned the official Miss South Africa 2018 and she will walk away with the R3 million prize package.
The runner-up takes home nearly R600 000 – R250 000 cash and R350 000 in prizes!
This year’s Top 12 finalists are Akile Khoza, Anzelle von Staden, Bryoni Govender, Daniellë de Jager, Karishma Ramdev, Margo Fargo, Noxolo Ndebele, Tamarin Bensch, Tamaryn Green, Thandokazi Mfundisi, Tharina Botes and Thulisa Keyi.
Tickets for this year’s pageant are available at TicketPro and cost between R160 and R560. Go to: www.ticketpros.co.za
Organisers reveal exciting new format
Pretoria, May 3: This year’s Top 12 Miss South Africa finalists have been announced as the pageant proudly celebrates its 60th anniversary, with a dramatic and exciting change to its format.
Traditionally, during the final on pageant night, the top 12 finalists are reduced to five, from which a second princess is announced, followed by a first princess and then the winner.
This year, following the cut to the top five finalists, the organisers will go straight to a top two announcement. One of the pair will be named Miss World South Africa and one will receive the title of Miss Universe South Africa. Both will go on to represent South Africa on the global stage in each respective competition.
However, as there can be only one reigning Miss South Africa, the two winners will be asked one final question by the judges as the pageant draws to a close. Their answers will then determine who is crowned as the official Miss South Africa 2018.
The Top 12 finalists, who each receive a prize package valued at R180 000, come from six of the country’s provinces – five from Gauteng; two from KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape respectively and one each from the Free State, Mpumalanga, and the Western Cape. They’re an extremely impressive group, including several medical, science and law students and a number of BComm and BSc graduates.
They are (in alphabetical order of their first names):
· Akile Khoza (23) from Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga who is studying for her Masters in neuroscience at Stellenbosch University.
· Anzelle van Staden (25), from Centurion in Gauteng, has a BComm degree from the University of Pretoria and is currently a full-time model.
· Bryoni Govender (21), from Kempton Park in Gauteng, is a third year LLB student at the University of Johannesburg.
· Daniellë de Jager (20) from Benoni, Gauteng, is currently studying biokinetics at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth.
· Karishma Ramdev (23), from Chatsworth in KZN, is a fifth-year medical student at the University of Pretoria.
· Margo Fargo (25), originally from Heidedal in the Free State, has a BSc consumer sciences honours degree and is a co-founder of a NPO.
· Noxolo Ndebele (24), from KwaNongoma in KZN, has a BComm Acc degree and worked as a financial controller.
· Tamarin Bensch (25), originally from Bedfordview in Gauteng but now living in Somerset West, works in property management and interior renovations.
· Tamaryn Green (23), from Paarl in the Western Cape, is in her final year of medicine at the University of Cape Town.
· Thandokazi Mfundisi (23), from East London in the Eastern Cape, is a final year LLB student at Fort Hare.
· Tharina Botes (21), from Roodepoort in Gauteng, is a first year BComm marketing and business degree student at Damelin and a part-time model.
· Thulisa Keyi (26), originally from East London and who now lives in Gauteng, is currently doing her articles after graduating from the University of Cape Town.
The Miss South Africa Organisation (Cell C and Sun International) has the exclusive licences for the Miss South Africa title holder to compete annually in both the Miss Universe and Miss World pageants. Traditionally, the reigning Miss South Africa competed in both these international competitions. However, if Miss South Africa won on the international stage – as Rolene Strauss did with Miss World in 2014 or there was a conflict with dates that overlapped (which happened last year when Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters lifted the Miss Universe title) – the first runner-up was called upon to represent South Africa.
Says Suzette van der Merwe from Cell C on behalf of the Miss South Africa Organisation: “In 2018, we’re adopting international best practice in terms of our finalist judging in order to ensure that our contestants are given a bigger share of the global spotlight by strengthening our pageantry presence internationally. We are delighted that this new format will give two finalists the opportunity to represent South Africa and enable them to prepare thoroughly in advance.”
Adds Gareth Flusk from Sun International on behalf of the Miss South Africa Organisation: “We are thrilled with the calibre of the finalists in our 60th anniversary year. Any of these contestants would do us proud on the international stage. We are delighted that this year two women will be given the opportunity to shine.”
Miss South Africa 2018, the Diamond Jubilee spectacular with host Bonang Matheba, will take place on Sunday, May 27, at Sun International’s new flagship venue, the Sun Arena at Time Square, Pretoria.
Tickets for this year’s pageant are available at TicketPro and cost between R160 and R560. Bookings can be made at: www.ticketpros.co.za
Golf Day Fundraiser in aid of the Born to Perform Platform
The Young South African Performers’ Association
Dainfern Golf Club
Thursday 17 May from 11h00
To continue providing mentorship, showcasing and training young artists for a career in the arts, Born To Perform in association with The Young South African Performers’ Association, will be holding a fun Golf Day as a fundraiser, taking place on Thursday 17 May at Dainfern Golf Club, with tee off times beginning from 11h00.
Says Matthew Marinus of Born To Perform; “We are excited that the BTP Platform is gaining momentum and that more and more extraordinarily talented youths are being given such incredible opportunities in the industry. We are holding a Golf Day in order to fundraise money for this years Gala show (taking place at The Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City in September), in order to expand the platform to even greater heights.”
You can participate by booking a 4-ball and join them for a fun day out while supporting a great organization!
The cost of a 4-ball is R4200 and includes:
- Green Fees
- Halfway House
- Dinner, entertainment and prize giving afterwards
- Goody Bag
The fee EXCLUDES golf carts.
Non-golfers are welcome to attend afterwards, at a cost of R300 per person, which will include the dinner, entertainment and involvement in the auction.
Bookings can be done by contacting:
Charmaine : email@example.com / 082 308 8998 or
Laurelle : firstname.lastname@example.org / 082 460 6178
Monies raised will ensure that the Born to Perform Gala Concert in September will be even bigger than the previous shows!
We are excited to announce that Born To Perform 2018 will take place at The Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City on Saturday 15 September at 19h30 and Sunday 16 September at 11h00 and 15h00. Details of this exciting show will be available within the next few weeks, so “watch this space!”
More information on Born To Perform
Born To Perform is a platform created by Gemma Donnelly Marinus and Matthew Marinus to create professional opportunities in the Performing Arts Industry for young budding talented children and teens.
Originally coming from the UK, Gemma has been a major player in the musical theatre industry in SA for over 8 years before opening up an elite performing arts school (Stageworx School Of Performing Arts) in 2009. Here is a video giving you more information:
Passionate about growing a bright future for our budding artists Gemma and Matthew are heavily involved in training and showcasing the future stars of SA.
Matthew is best known as the talented drummer for The Graeme Watkins Project, but most recently is fast making a name for himself as “Dream Canvas Productions” – video production company he has recently formed – where he produces music videos and EPK’s for SA artists.
The combination of Matthew and Gemma led to the Born To Perform Platform.
Follow Born to Perform:
Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/Borntoperformgala
YouTube: Born To Perform TV
Enjoy highlights from Born To Perform Gala Concert 2016:
Enjoy highlights from Born To Perform Gala Concert 2015:
Highlights from “A Night with the Stars” in association with the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra: