Music

A DOUBLE DOSE OF FUN IN 1 WEEKEND!

The Full Morty : The Fringe @ Joburg Theatre – 8:00pm, Friday, 31 March 2017

AND

Live Jukebox : The Fringe @ Joburg Theatre – 8:00pm, Saturday, 1 April 2017

THE FULL MORTY and LIVE JUKEBOX have both previously enjoyed highly successful seasons, and Ginger Cube Productions have listened to audience demand are are bringing back this double dose of fun over one weekend, re-staging BOTH shows – for one night only – on Friday 31 March (The Full Morty) and Saturday 1 April (Live Jukebox) at The Fringe Theatre, Joburg Theatre. Both shows are at 8pm.

THE FULL MORTYThe Full Morty

Tickets : R120

Bookings at www.joburgtheatre.com / Webtickets / call 0861 670 670

Critically acclaimed actor, madly talented vocalist and professional k*k talker Mortimer Williams navigates that unchartered territory which fascinates us all (especially females)… the mind of the South African male.

It’s a mash-up of  stand-up comedy and cabaret in this hilarious show as Morty takes us through stories and songs while attempting to demonstrate just what it is that makes the SA male tick… with a few surprises along the way!

Morty is the perfect combination; a triple threat of talent, charisma and devilish naughtiness which all combines for a perfect evening of entertainment for guys and girls of all ages (as long as they’re over 16).

The Full Morty first opened  in April 2015 and has exploded onto the SA theatre scene, playing two successful seasons at the Joburg Theatre and two sell-out National Arts Festivals in Grahamstown (2015/2016).

Discounted tickets for groups of ten or more, scholars, students and pensioners are at R100 each and available only by calling Joburg Theatre directly on (011) 877 6853/6815.

Live JukeboxLIVE JUKEBOX

Tickets : R120

Bookings at www.joburgtheatre.com / Webtickets / call 0861 670 670

It’s the only live musical game show in the country! And it’s back for another kick-ass evening of musical mayhem!

Live Jukebox is the brainchild of Ginger Cube Productions. It made its debut at the 2016 National Arts Festival and has been performing to raucous crowds ever since.

Seasoned entertainer Mortimer Williams (of Skeem Saam fame) and theatre personality Kristy Suttner collaborate in this musical rollercoaster that gets audiences tapping their feet and bopping in the aisles.  They’re supported by a 4-piece live band, lead by musical genius Saranti Reeders.

So how does it work?

Remember the TV game shows Liriekeraai and Noot vir Noot?   What about Don’t Forget the Lyrics or Whose Line is it Anyway?

Live Jukebox is a musical gameshow where the audience calls the shots.  In the safe hands of the on-stage team, contestants are led through various games from music trivia to lipsync battles; guess the note and more, with the audience selecting the genre for each game, such as pop, rock, local and decades 60’s through 90’s.

Whether you’re into quietly tapping your foot to your favourite Parlotones classic or unleashing your inner Diva on stage with a Whitney Houston impersonation, Live Jukebox has something for everyone.

As that jukebox is played, the audience decides the content of the show and how their night will turn out, ensuring that no two shows are the same.

Book your seat for Joburg’s sensational musical comedy gameshow and experience a night out at the theatre that will leave you begging for more!

Discounted tickets for groups of ten or more, scholars, students and pensioners are at R100 each and available only by calling Joburg Theatre directly on (011) 877 6853/6815.

The duration of the show is 1 hour 30 minutes including an interval with no age restriction.

You can also purchase tickets to see BOTH shows for a R150 package deal.

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ZOE MODIGA’S LONG AWAITED ALBUM LAUNCH

YELLOW : THE NOVEL

Zoe Modiga 1ZOE MODIGA’s fans have been waiting a long time for this and finally – the  jazz and soul princess is launching her eagerly awaited album Yellow : The Novel on Friday 24 March at The Fringe @ Joburg Theatre at 8pm.

The music industry sat up and took notice of Zoe Modiga when she won the 2015 SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition for singing (Jazz Music). In 2016 she then went on to become a household name as one of the most popular contestants in the first season of The Voice SA, reaching the Top 8.

Her voice is instantly recognisable on Amazing Grace under the film scoring of Kyle Shepherd in the Oscar nominated movie Noem My Skollie.

On Yellow : The Novel, Zoe Modiga has created a body of work inspired by self-realisation and the human experience, much like a novel, inviting the audience to themselves.

This 23-track album (uniquely broken up into “Chapters”), with an exquisite, eye-catching cover, has a Soul, Jazzy, African feel: Compositional work with stage presence presentation.

She’s thrilled to invite her fans to join her in celebrating this momentous occasion.

ZOE MODIGA ALBUM LAUNCH – YELLOW: THE NOVEL is taking place for one night only on Friday 24 March at 8pm at The Fringe Theatre @ Joburg Theatre.

Tickets are R150 and R200 and advanced booking is essential as space is limited.  Bookings are now open at www.joburgtheatre.com, by calling 0860 670 670 or through Webtickets.

Yellow: The Novel will be available for sale for the first time at the Album Launch for R70, otherwise it’s included in the top Album Launch ticket price of R200.

Yellow: The Novel will thereafter be available for purchase on all digital platforms as from 25 March.

Download the first single from the album Love (Yahweh) now at https://itunes.apple.com/za/album/love-yahweh-single/id1193898249

ABOUT ZOE MODIGA

Zoe Modiga 2Zoe Modiga was born, Palesa Nomthandazo Phumelele Modiga in Pietermaritzburg. Her love for music at a very young age earned her entrance the National School of the Arts in Braamfontein, where she studied classical piano, clarinet and vocals. Her time at the school provided an excellent platform to pursue music as a passion and career in her later years.

Over the past few years, with some experience behind her, this singer-songwriter’s talent has opened a number of doors in the music industry. Zoe has been fortunate enough to be part of celebrated festivals such as the Aardklop Festival, Artscape Youth Jazz Festival, UCT Jazz Festival, Joy of Jazz and The Cape Town International Jazz Festival and the winner of the Jazz Category of the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition 2015.

On these respected platforms she has had the privilege of sharing stages with the likes of Lira, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Louis Maholo, Gloria Bosman, Matthew Gold, The Kiffness, Breakfast Included, the Frank Paco Art Ensemble, Mark Fransman, Sibusiso Dhlamini, Marcus Wyatt, Benjamin Jephta, Tshepo Tsotetsi and many more.

Despite sharing the stage with a number of performers, Zoe’s pursuit for her own identity maintained its own strong force in these collaborations. She aspires to pursue a multifaceted career where her singing, songwriting and performing is challenged, revered, inspired and influential.

This identity within her music attracted the ear of a number of respected recording artists and she featured on the following tracks in recent times:

  • “Pushing On” with The Kiffness;
  • “Dream” with The Kiffness;
  • “Musukungibambezela” with Frank Paco Art Ensemble;
  • as well as upcoming projects with Soul Sessionz, Kaapstad and the JoKunnuji Experiment.

Enjoy these videos of Zoe Modiga :

Zoe Modiga EPK
https://youtu.be/zDYkF2eB96Q

Zoe Modiga – 2015 SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Winner (Jazz Music)

https://youtu.be/V45pGeqqQLc

Follow Zoe Modiga on Social Media:
Twitter:           @zoe_modiga
Instagram:     @zoemodiga
Facebook :      Zoe Modiga

Original SA RENT Cast Reunites for 1 Night Only!

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Save the date! Showtime Management’s 10th Anniversary Production of RENT IN CONCERT takes place at Montecasino’s Teatro on Monday, 15 May 2017 at 8pm. Tickets are now on sale at Computicket.  Presented by Showtime Management, this celebratory one night fund-raising concert features the much loved iconic and popular numbers from the stage production of RENT including Seasons of Love, Out Tonight, Without You, Will I and Take Me Or Leave Me performed by the original South African cast who reunite especially for this concert. They last performed together to rave reviews in the Tony and Pulitzer Award winning musical production of RENT, produced by Showtime Management ten years ago at the Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein and then Artscape, Cape Town.

I confess, I’m an official Renthead! From the first time I saw the show onstage at The Alexander Theatre  I was hooked! So maybe I arrived at the Rent party a little later than others – but at least I got there, and I never left!

“One is tempted to return just to relive the glorious music,” raved the Tonight on 20 July 2007 and now “Rentheads”, fans of the musical and theatre-goers are invited to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy RENT IN CONCERT.  Based loosely on Puccini’s La Boheme, the musical production of RENT follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished friends struggling to make it in New York’s East City Village as they struggle with relationships, drugs, loss, love, creativity, HIV/AIDS and paying their “rent”.  This concert version presents the entire score sung and performed with minimal staging. It’s all about the music, the songs and the strength of the beautiful voices that will have audiences singing along or sitting mesmerized, longing for more.  All proceeds go to HospiceWits whose “no end to caring” motto resonates with RENT’s themes of love, losing a loved one to a terminal illness, friendship and support. The music and lyrics written by Jonathan Larson performed by the South African cast tell the touching story though song.

“HospiceWits has provided the highest quality of care and support to hundreds of thousands of hopeful patients and families affected by life threatening illnesses in Johannesburg over the past 38 years. The funds provided by this event will be used for the continuation of that care in our compassionate environment which enables patients to feel supported and encouraged on the journey of life threatening illness.” says Joy Ruwodo, Marketing Manager, HospiceWits.

The cast is passionate about the concert and eager to give of their time to support HospiceWits. All the 2007 leads – including Shaun V who is flying in from Dubai – and some from around the country, sees Duane Alexander, Aubrey Poo, Zane Gillion, Thokozani “Zano” Nzima, Talia Kodesh, Sivan Raphaely and Ilse Klink together with fellow cast members Chantal Herman, Jaco Van Rensburg, Anton Luitingh, Megan Victor-Carelse and Lorri Strauss on stage on 15 May. New to this staging will be Phillip Schnetler and Nicholas “Nicksoul” Nkuna, who are looking forward to joining the original performers.

What started as a light-hearted Facebook chat about getting together for the 10th Anniversary of RENT is now becoming a reality.  Hazel Feldman and Tony Feldman of Showtime Management, the original producers of RENT are lending their full support to RENT IN CONCERT and Montecasino, the concert host is providing the Teatro as the concert venue. Technical companies Gearhouse Splitbeam, ProSound and Computicket have donated their services while Music Theatre International New York and the Jonathan Larson Estate has waivered performance royalties, therefore greatly assisting in raising funds for Hospice Wits.

The concert also reunites the 2007 creative team of choreographer Jill Somers with Anton Luitingh and Duane Alexander who will recreate their performances in RENT as well as co-direct the concert version. Music Supervisor, Bryan Schimmel will once again, lead the band.

“Rent radically changed the Broadway musical in the 1990’s, so in keeping with our vision to continually provide world class entertainment that is unique to our venue, the Teatro at Montecasino is thrilled to be hosting this once off event to raise money for a very hardworking organisation such as Hospice Wits” Bryan Hill, General Manager, Teatro

No day but TODAY! Tickets for this one night only concert are limited and patrons are encouraged to book at Computicket as soon as possible. #RentConcertSA

BOOKINGS: Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, visit www.computicket.com or visit your nearest Computicket service centre.

 

CATCH THE VALENTINES BLUES!

Fall in love with nature, art and the blues in the Cradle of Humankind this Valentine’s Day

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On Sunday, the 12th of February 2017 NIROX Sculpture Park, in association with Caleo Wealth Management, MINI and the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, invite you to celebrate Valentine’s Day with that special someone with a collection of South Africa’s finest Blues’ musicians, surrounded by the serene beauty of the NIROX Sculpture Park.
The exciting line up of musicians include:
            – Albert Frost
            – Gerald Clark
            – Ann Jangle
            – Gunshot Blue
            – Tidal Waves
            – Manny Walters
The spectacular surroundings of NIROX Sculpture Park offer an oasis in which to enjoy a day of leisurely romance.
One can also take a romantic walk around this scenic venue to view the beautiful art and sculptures on display.
Delicious, healthy and locally sourced cuisine, courtesy of the Epicurian Emporium – a collective of high-end diverse food traders – will be available for purchase. The curated bar will offer champagne, wines, lavish cocktails and local craft beers for those wishing to toast this special day.
Lovers and friends are invited to enjoy a day of fine food, Blues legends, nature and art.
 Co-producer of the acousticsNOW concert series at NIROX, Lloyd-Anthony Smith is excited to be hosting this event, following the previous 2 successes. I had the opportunity to pose some questions to him.
  1. How did the ‘Valentines Blues’ idea originate?

Our music programme consists of various different genres – folk, jazz, classical, roots, instrumental guitar – and we had always wanted to host a blues concert: thus Valentine’s Blues was born. A celebration of Love and the Blues. Often two closely related topics.
  1. And from there … how long until the actual event came into being?

Due to our now established music programme, once we have a new idea/theme/concept we are generally able to produce the concert easily from there. By way of example we hosted our first ever opera at NIROX Sculpture Park last month; Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’ was performed in our outdoor amphitheatre.
  1. How did you go about finding such a beautiful, perfect venue?

I see NIROX as a great gift to the World. The Foundation exists to foster the arts and hosts various sculptors, painters, poets, photographers, dancers, musicians, etc from all corners of the globe. NIROX Sculpture Park is a curated space of undulating lawns, meandering waterways and dams and large-scale contemporary sculpture neatly nestled in the Cradle of Humankind.
  1. Why Blues? Why not Jazz … many would argue that it’s just as romantic?

Apart from already having a successful springtime jazz concert ‘Jazz in the Cradle’, Love and the Blues are often entangled in each other. But all musical genres carry a degree of romanticism.
  1. How do you source your participating musicians, or do they request participation?

We look to foster young musicians who we believe should be given the opportunity to perform to a discerning audience. Added to that we also host more seasoned professionals but encourage/challenge them to perform in different formats to their usual set-ups. This balance sets the tone and flow for the day.
  1. Any plans to do ‘Valentines Blues’ in any other cities?

Valentine’s Blues has its home at NIROX…
  1. Why in Joburg? (Not that we’re complaining AT all!!!)

Thanks entirely to the pristine surroundings of NIROX Sculpture Park in the and the Foundation’s kindness in allowing us to host this programme on their premises.
  1. What can people expect when they come to this year’s event if they’ve never been before?

Guests can look forward to a glorious day of Music, Food, Art & Nature in the  Cradle of Humankind. Gates open at 10h00 with the music programme commencing at 11h00. Epic festival cuisine will be on offer courtesy of the Epicurean Emporium, as well as other accoutrement including champagne, cocktails, a Bombay Sapphire gin & tonic bar, oysters, desserts, artisan ice-cream, coffees, etc. The festivities conclude around sunset.
  1. And if those attending have attended either of the previous 2 Valentines Blues events, are there any surprises in store? Anything new on the program?

Somewhat ambitiously we are hosting NIROX’s largest-ever artists residency in the preamble to the concert. We have invited the entire line-up to stay at NIROX for the 2 days preceding the concert for a chance for the artists to engage, collaborate and rehearse for Sunday.
In addition, we have invited additional instrumentalist to supplement each set by way of cello, flute, saxophone, harmonica, keys, bass, lapsteel slide guitar and voice to create an entirely unique production.
  1. What’s the over-riding message you’re trying to convey with your event?

The event is first and foremost a showcase of the invited artists. This access to the arts, coupled with a beautiful natural environment and curated food and beverage selections, creates a space for guests to enjoy and engage in the experience.

 

What you’ll need to know:
Gates open at 10h00.
Tickets are available for online pre-sale from www.acousticsnow.org at R330.
Tickets for sale at the gate at R360 – subject to availability.
Kindly note no food or drinks allowed on the premises, these may be bought on site.
Bring a picnic blanket for your comfort and allow NIROX Sculture Park to host you and your special person.
Attendance is restricted. Right of admission reserved.
Tickets for children under 12 are R165 online and R180 at the gate.
Infants aged 2 and under enter free of charge.
(While children are welcome, parents are required to ensure that they do not disturb the performance).

A ROMANTIC VALENTINES WITH NIANELL & THE GAUTENG OPERA

Faircity Roodevallei hosts Nianell and Gauteng Opera

valentine-2017-faircity-nianell-gauteng-opera

Faircity Roodevallei in Pretoria has planned the perfect date for couples to celebrate Valentine’s Day.  On Saturday 11 February 2017, they will host the inimitable Nianell, accompanied by the Gauteng Opera.  Dining options offered by the hotel include a picnic basket or a summer finger fork buffet.

Guests will enjoy the afternoon in a peaceful setting on the banks of the Pienaar’s River, listening to the captivating voice of Nianell – a world-class, platinum-selling, international artist and proud South African success story.  Nianell has shared the stage with artists like Christina Aguilera, Westlife, Diana Ross and Shakira.  In 2010, she performed with the legendary Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli, at the Celebrate Africa event held during the FIFA World Cup.

With the mission of wanting everyone to experience the joy of Opera, the Gauteng Opera will bring an air of elegance and sophistication to the afternoon.  South Africa has incredible talent, and the Gauteng Opera takes great pride in identifying and nurturing individuals to deliver riveting operatic performances.

The romantic rendezvous does not need to end after the concert!  Accommodation can be booked at Faircity Roodevallei, including a leisurely breakfast the following morning.  There is also the option of booking a serviced apartment at Faircity Grosvenor Gardens.

–       Concert ticket                            R180.00

–       Picnic Basket for two                 R375.00

–       Summer finger fork buffet          R155.00 per person

Concert tickets may be booked via Computicket.
Dining options and accommodation may be booked with Faircity Roodevallei.

PANTO ENCHANTS AND ENTERTAINS

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Once again, it’s panto season, which means Christmas and the silly season are upon us … the most wonderful time of the year! And for the 29th time, Janice Honeyman presents us with her year-end pantomime. This year, it’s a brand new offering … Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood. Partnering once again with producer Bernard Jay, this is a bit of a mash-up of stories, all merged together to create an absolutely delightful couple of hours where audiences can immerse themselves in sheer fantasy and fun!

Izak Davel (currently playing hunky Bradley Haines on our small screens in Isidingo) makes his panto debut as the well-meaning Robin Hood. He hangs out in the forest with his band of Merry Men (they’re ‘butch’!), and doesn’t seem to realise that pretty Maid Marian, played by the beautiful Carmen Pretorius (also Bradley’s love interest, Tiffany in Isidingo) is trying to catch his eye. She’s not too phased though, she’s far from a damsel in distress, until the evil Sheriff of Rottingham, errrm, sorry, Nottingham, decides to claim her as his latest conquest! Gasp! Renowned stage and screen actor, Graham Hopkins throws himself into the role with gusto … and hilarious results.

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Graham Hopkins is Norman the Nasty, Sheriff of Nottingham

Meanwhile the Sheriff’s evil sister-in-law, played with true panto elegance and style by LJ Urbani, is plotting to do away with her down-trodden husband’s two kids, Tokkel and Tina (actually Hansel and Gretel, but this is Mzansi you know!). And while Robin Hood and crew are foraging the forest looking for people to rob (only rich people, so they can give to the poor, you understand, and no weapons allowed), they come across Much the Miller’s son, enthusiastically portrayed by Candida Mosoma, who so impresses the butch boys with his ability to defend himself (and his donkey) that they invite him to join their merry little band.

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LJ Urbani is Dame Emmarentia the Ugly!

Keeping the storyline together is the marvellous Kate Normington as Silly Sylviana, the Spirit of the Forest. Amusing, clumsy, kind, caring and just a little bit bossy when she needs to be, Sylviana lets us know what’s what, who’s who, and pretty much makes sure that everything in her Forest is running according to plan. If that plan fails, she has a firm Plan B as part of a girl band with Pretorius and Mosoma – they’re a helluva of a team, and boy, can they belt out a tune!

This panto doesn’t let up for a minute, moving along at a cracking pace. It’s vibrant, it’s glitzy, it’s dynamic and it’s 100% on trend politically and musically, with a nod being given to most of the current fads doing the rounds – as one has come to expect. Honeyman and Jay once again prove they’re a formidable team and watching their cast being put through their paces only goes to show that they don’t make their choices lightly. Davel has all that’s required of a panto leading man: his almost effortless delivery, paired with a slightly quirky, comical manner, not to mention the voice and the moves to go with it all ensure he’ll be a hit as Robin. Desmond Dube, Phumi Mncayi and Bongi Mthombeni are all pure gold in their roles, elevating the level of humour here to something of an entirely superior nature.

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The ensemble of this production is a troupe of seasoned performers, and it shows. They’re polished and peppy; smart and sassy. The energy flows easily, and one can’t help but get caught up in the rhythm of it all.

Mention must be made of Musical Director, Rowan Bakker – you’ll notice (because of course, you’re going to see the show) that there are a lot more musical numbers in this panto than in previous ones. So it goes without saying that the musical director had a hand in all the extra arrangements, and is a lot busier than he’d usually be! He’s done a sterling job. The band’s contribution to the superb nature of this show is unquestionable.

I also need to comment on the incredible sets and the absolutely magical use of lighting. The sets themselves are spectacular, but Graham McLusky has created pure enchantment in some of the scenes, which transport the audience into a true fairy-tale land. It’s quite captivating.

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We call it magic!

I highly recommend this year’s Pantomime. It’s first-rate entertainment and escapism. Book your tickets, go along and just lose yourself in it for a little while. That’s what it’s all about. They don’t call it magic for nothing!

Book through the Joburg Theatre on 0861 670 670 or via www.webtickets.co.za

PLEASE NOTE: All photo’s were taken during a rehearsal, and not during an actual performance. Please always be considerate to the cast and your fellow theatre-goers. DO NOT take photo’s, recordings or video’s during the show.

Meet the Men who Bring the Magic …

GETTING TO KNOW SOME OF THE CAST OF ROBIN HOOD AND THE BABES IN THE WOOD

Theatre is many things to many people: smoke and mirrors to some, a means of political and social rhetoric or commentary to others. But there’s no doubt that when it comes to Pantomime, it’s pure magic! There can be no doubt as to the intention of pantomime … it’s there to entertain the audience, whether young or old, and it needs to cater to a wide spectrum of fans. This is the 29th time that Janice Honeyman will be doing just that. She’s the unrivalled master at writing scripts that delight all who see her shows, incorporating just the right balance of slightly risqué fun for the adults, and good-natured humour for the kids. Together with Bernard Jay, this team has a sure-fire approach that ticks all the boxes for the ultimate in excellent entertainment.

And part of that approach is ensuring they have the right people for the job! This year’s pantomime is the all-new Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood, a mash-up of the old Robin Hood tale (he stole from the rich to give to the poor … I’m sure our brains are all in overdrive as to how this is being applied to current SA news stats!), and the story of Hansel and Gretel coming to visit the evil witch … errrrm, their not-so-nice uncle, the Sheriff of Nottingham. And who better to play the dashing, daring, darling Robin Hood than Izak Davel, currently better known as arrogant Bradley Haines in Isidingo? Every hero needs a sidekick, and in this case there’s a group of merry men led by the jolly Little John – Phumi Mncayi.

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l-r: Phumi, Desmond, Izak

I was interested to get to know the people behind the magic a little better, so I recently met with Izak and Phumi to find out who these guys really are, and what special sparkle they have that makes them perfect for their roles. I got a bit more than I bargained for as some extra laughs were thrown in by Desmond Dube (Friar Tuck), who was keen to join the action. I can honestly say I don’t remember the last time I spent such an enjoyable hour in the company of such down-to-earth authentic guys, who genuinely love what they do!

Izak tells me that he’s “just a laatjie who grew up in a dorpie in the Eastern Cape who just wants to enjoy life.” He’s happiest when he’s spending time with his wife, or walking his dogs. I’m openly incredulous, and beg him to tell me how on earth he landed up in the acting industry! Well, he initially wanted to be a rugby player, but due to damaged knees he took up ballet as a means to strengthen them. Realising his dreams of rugby-playing fame and fortune had been thwarted, he was thinking of becoming a physiotherapist or a biokineticist – you know, down to earth stuff! But he then went on to study musical theatre at TUT, and the universe, as they say, obviously had different plans for him!

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Izak in his Robin Hood regalia! Photo Credit: Mariola Bela

His first theatre role was in 2004, in a Pieter Toerien production of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’. He’s already recorded one studio album, and will be back in-studio in January to begin recording his second, signed under SNP (Snyman Musiek Produksies). He strongly believes that in the industry, at this point in time, you most definitely need to be a triple threat (i.e. you need to be able to sing, dance and act – usually all at once!), in addition to having some other sort of business interest on the back-burner to sustain you financially. He’s level-headed and under no illusions of glitz and glamour!

It’s inevitable that we chat about his role in Isidingo, which he hopes to continue into next year, and his participation in one of our local seasons of Celebrity Survivor where he became (in)famous for wearing nothing but a red speedo most of the time! I ask if it was a publicity stunt and he tells me it wasn’t. It all came about purely because he was being the perfect gentleman. Cindy Nel needed a pair of shorts so he gallantly gave her his! He jokes that his mom always taught him to have manners!

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Of course we chat about his participation in ‘Robin Hood’. It’s his first panto role and he’s thoroughly enjoying it, anticipating the interaction that the cast gets from an excited audience, especially the school-kids, many of whom have never seen live theatre before.

Phumi joins us, at which point Desmond chirps loudly from the table next to us that he’s most upset that I’m only chatting with the ‘pretty boys’! I tell him they may be pretty but he’s beautiful! Much laughter ensues before we continue. He’s actually busy with his own separate interview! I promise there’s no favouritism here!

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Yes! Izak is a photo-bomber!! 🙂

Having been part of the cast of Bernard Jay’s recent production of Saturday Night Fever, already having been cast in Jay’s 2017 production of The Color Purple, and having worked with many of the current cast before, Phumi feels very strongly about the loyalty that exists between directors, producers, and their cast members. “The people make the show,” he says. “The synergy between them is what makes it all come together. Without that, there’s nothing.”

Once again, as with Izak, I’m humbled by the complete lack of affectation this man has by the industry he works in. He’s an outgoing, fun family man who proudly tells me that his wife and small son are his prized possessions and motivators, his entire reason and purpose for being. He sums it up by saying “You can lose yourself in the illusion of what you do. People need to ground you.”

For a final laugh, I ask them both which Superhero they’d be, given the chance. Actually I don’t get the chance to ask Izak because he’s guessed the question before I’m even halfway through asking it and immediately assures me that he would be Wolverine! When asked why, he replies, “because he’s tough, funny, strong and he protects.” Clearly 4 traits he associates himself with!

Phumi, on the other hand thinks for a couple of minutes, and then tells me he’d like to be Ant Man!! After I’ve finished falling over myself laughing, I pull myself together enough to reply that I’ve never heard of him. They’re both amazed! (No, really!) Unsurprisingly (I suppose, after that reaction!), I then got an in-depth tutorial on Ant Man: who he is, what he does. Ant Man views the world from the bottom up, and that’s something Phumi would like to do!

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Phumi & Izak

As for what they would consider to be their ‘theme songs’. No surprises when Phumi decides on ‘People who need People’, and Izak takes ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’.

And finally it’s time to send them back to rehearsals, knowing undoubtedly that this year’s pantomime is going to be one whole bundle of fun if they have anything to do with it! And with all that laughter, it’s going to weave that magical spell as it always does, bringing delight and enjoyment to all who see it.

Make sure you’ve got your tickets booked. Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood opens this week at the Joburg Theatre and the fun continues until 30 December. Book through the Theatre at www.joburgtheatre.co.za or 0861 670 670, or you can book at Pick n Pay Stores and WebTickets.

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