Christopher Weare directs LAMTA’s new production of Tennessee William’s classic A streetcar Named Desire.

Starring Emily Child.

Designed by Niall Griffin

At Theatre On The Bay from 14 – 24 August.

BOOK HERE!

Ceri Dupree, the UK’s leading female impersonator, brings his spectacular one man, 21 woman show to Cape Town and Johannesburg this September.

Expect glamour, glitter and laughter galore as he impersonates before your very eyes some of the most famous and iconic women in the world, from Queen Camilla, Joan Collins, Marlene Dietrich and Lady Gaga and a host of others in between… you name her, he’s done her!

Changing into more than 15 Fabulous costumes without ever leaving the stage… How does he do that? Well, come and see!

Pieter Toerien’s Theatre On The Bay from 17 – 21 September.

Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre from 25 – 29 September

BOOK HERE!

Age restriction: 16+
Running time is 2-hrs 35-mins (incl. 20-min interval)

Glittering and radiant, Mzansi Ballet presents The Neil Diamond Show, a ballet set to the timeless melodies of Neil Diamond.

This enchanting ballet transports audiences into a world where every movement sparkles with brilliance, echoing the facets of a precious gem.

With Neil Diamond’s iconic music as its backdrop, “The Neil Diamond Show” is a mesmerizing journey through light, color, and the enduring mystique of these treasured jewels!

Tickets available from Webtickets / (021) 438-3301.

25 April, 2025

“I could have danced all night…and still have begged for more!” 

Following the sell-out success of The Sound Of Music, Pieter Toerien with Cape Town Opera presents Lerner & Loewe’s classic musical masterpiece, My Fair Lady. 

Coming this December to Cape Town, and January, 2025 to Johannesburg. 

“My Fair Lady is indisputably one of the greatest musicals of all time.”

– Sir Tim Rice, award-winning lyricist.

This new production kicks off at Artscape, before transferring to Montecasino in the new year. 

Artscape Opera House from 12 December 2024 – 12 January 2025

Teatro Montecasino from 23 January 2025 – 23 February, 2025

Bookings now open at Webtickets

Boasting a bouquet score, containing timeless songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night”, “Get Me to the Church on Time”, “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly”, “I’m Just An Ordinary Man”, “On the Street Where You Live”, “Show Me”, “The Rain in Spain,” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face,” this grand production is set to enthrall audiences of all ages.

This show is the standard that all other musicals are measured by!

Directed by Steven Stead.

Choreographed by Duane Alexander.

Musical direction by Kevin Kraak.

Scenic design by Greg King.

Adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s play and Gabriel Pascal’s motion picture Pygmalion, My Fair Lady, with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe, premiered on Broadway. The legendary original production won 6 Tony Awards including Best Musical and ran for 2,717 performances making it, at the time, the longest-running musical in Broadway history.

South Africa is going to fall in love with Eliza Doolittle! 

Casting to be announced soon!

Cape Town Johannesburg booking link:

https://www.webtickets.co.za/v2/Event.aspx?itemid=1544396949

Johannesburg booking link:

https://www.webtickets.co.za/v2/Event.aspx?itemid=1545487925

 

Social media channels:

Facebook: @pietertoerienproductions

Instagram: @pietertoerienproductions

Twitter: @pietertoerien

TikTok: @pietertoerienproductions

YouTube: @pietertoerienproductions

#MyFairLadySA

For Cape Town media enquiries contact dean@theatreonthebay.co.za

For Johannesburg media enquiries contact mark@montetheatre.co.za

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For Cape Town group bookings contact dean@theatreonthebay.co.za

For Johannesburg group bookings contact geraldine@montetheatre.co.za

Bianca Amato is currently in Cape Town rehearsing ‘LUNGS’ ahead of its run at Pieter Toerien’s Theatre On The Bay from 7 – 24 February, 2024.

‘LUNGS’ is a funny, off-kilter love story, that explores the debate around the environmental impact of having children in today’s world, a world that is becoming more and more focussed on sustainable living.

Dean Roberts.

30 January, 2024.

South African actress and director, Bianca Amato. Images: biancaamato.com

DR: You last appeared on our stages in Pieter Toerien’s 2001 production of ‘Proof’, starring Michael Atkinson. Since then you have worked extensively overseas – how does it feel to be home again?

BA: Shew! Such a wild mix of emotions! I returned for family life and that has been very special. The process of building up a similar work life to the one I experienced in the US has begun and I feel very excited by it. It hasn’t come easy, what with having a baby and then COVID in the middle of it all. But the challenges that I’ve had make it all the sweeter now, as it gains momentum.

Bianca Amato and Michael Atkinson in ‘Proof’, July 2001 at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre. Image: Pieter Toerien Productions / Instagram.

DR: A performing highlight that you wish to share?

BA: Do I have to pick just one? Working with Jack O’ Brien and Tom Stoppard in the Coast of Utopia trilogy at Lincoln Centre. All the Shakespeare I got to do in NYC. The Importance of Being Earnest directed by Sir Peter Hall.

Bianca Amato with Christine Baranski and Matt Czuchry in The Good Wife (2009). Image: IMDb.

Playing Amanda in Private Lives directed by Maria Aitken. Playing Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion at the wonderful Guthrie Theatre. Playing opposite Bill Irwin, sharing a stage with Billy Crudup, Ethan Hawke, Martha Plimpton, David Harbour, Lynn Redgrave, Miriam Margolyes. Being directed by Athol Fugard in NYC. I have been beyond lucky.

Sahr Ngaujah, Caleb McLaughlin, Bianca Amato and Leon Addison Brown at the opening of Athol Fugard’s ‘The Painted Rocks At Revolver Creek’ (Off-Broadway 2015). Image: Monica Simoes.

DR: A production that posed unique challenges, and how you overcame them?

BA: Ha! I had to play a ballerina in Mr.Fox: a Rumination. A play by Bill Irwin about a famous clown in 19th century New York City. I played the clown’s wife and I had to learn ballet in 3 weeks. Faking it obviously, not on pointe at all. I had to work VERY HARD to become a little bit graceful. 

DR: South African audiences will of course remember you as Philippa De Villiers in Isidingo, which do you prefer stage or screen?

BA: Stage. I won’t say no to screen, but ja, Stage.

Characters Derek Nyathi (Hlomla Dandala) and Phillipa de Villiers (Bianca Amato) get married on Isidingo – The Need, in 2001. Image: Facebook

DR: Can you tell me about ‘LUNGS’, and how you came across the play?

BA: ‘LUNGS’ is really a peek into a private conversation that spans 40 years. It is both a love story and a searing look at where we are now, us little humans. It is brave, probing, funny, and achingly poignant. It is a play that has come into its time a decade after it was written – it’s actually quite unsettling to see how much more relevant it is now, given the current climate crisis. I read it in 2018. It spoke to me. I could hear it. Duncan Macmillan writes in a very particular way and I feel very connected to it.

British playwright Duncan Macmillan. Image: Evening Standard.

[LINK] Read more on Playwright Duncan Macmillan and how ‘LUNGS’ came to be.

DR: What attracts you to this project?

BA: The style of it – it’s vital and smart and potent and demands virtuosity from its performers. The humanity of it. The humor. The joy of it! It’s a rollercoaster ride, and it’s such a great piece for two young actors to revel in. Jazzara and Sanda are just extraordinary – I cannot wait for people to fall in love with them.

Jazzara Jaslyn and Sanda Shandu, star in Duncan Macmillan’s ‘LUNGS’, on at Theatre On The Bay from 7 February, 2024. Image: Claude Barnardo.

DR: How do you approach casting a play – this play in particular?

BA: Very carefully! I saw many people, many lovely performers, but I was looking for two people who have an instinct about the essence of the characters, as well as an understanding of what is needed from them stylistically. And most importantly, they need to have chemistry with each other. The piece is very intimate and asks for vulnerability and connection.

DR: How do you collaborate with actors, to bring about their best performances?

BA: Every actor is unique, and their process is too. Respecting this is very important to me. But the most important thing, especially when you have a good play on your hands, is to honor the text. To really investigate together, to be exacting and specific. If we can do that together, find each other in the investigation, put the text first, and play, play, play, while always staying true to the intentions of the writer, we’ll be on our way.

DR: What do you wish the audiences to take away from this experience?

BA: I hope they feel that they have been given a gift, that they have been allowed to eavesdrop on two people’s lives, and that they feel richer for it. I want them to have a good laugh and a good cry. And perhaps, who knows, maybe they will feel galvanised to help tackle the climate crisis in some personal way? At the very least, recycle! 

DR: You have formed your new production company, The Quickening Theatre Company. How did this come about, and what sort of projects are you looking at producing in future?

BA: In South Africa you can’t just wait for the phone to ring. We as artists have to forge ahead and make our own work. I have been circling around the idea of creating my own theatre company for a few years now, but the thought of doing it alone was daunting. I met Kensiwe Tshabalala last year, and we quickly realized we could make a really great team. The Quickening is dedicated to producing contemporary plays that excite South African audiences, and to revitalizing Shakespeare and other classical playwrights in productions that resonate with us all and reflect the here and now. We are hugely excited to see what lies ahead!

BOOK HERE!

DR: What do you consider the most rewarding aspect of being a theatre director?

BA: Getting to craft stories. To help birth something. Getting to work with others to weave magic from words. I love language and I love people and I love moments.

DR: What do you believe are the key qualities of a successful theatre director?

BA: I’m learning as I go, but I would think listening, being patient, trusting the process, trusting your instincts, and not taking yourself too seriously. Knowing when to speak and when to shut up (still very much learning!) Having vision, but being flexible. Leaning into the humor in the room. Not being too precious. Letting people breathe. Having fun. But always looking to honor the work, to be exacting, to not settle for surface choices, to keep digging, keep honing, keep divining the truth. Also, inspiring and motivating people! Making them feel energised and lucky to be doing this work. My favorite director and role model, Jack O’Brien, would give such gorgeous, rousing speeches about the work that we would feel like we would do anything for him. I can only dream of capturing a casts heart and imagination the way he does.

Jazzara Jaslyn and Sanda Shandu, star in Duncan Macmillan’s ‘LUNGS’, on at Theatre On The Bay from 7 February, 2024. Image: Claude Barnardo.

Presented by The Quickening Theatre company and Gloucester Productions, ‘LUNGS’ by Duncan MacMillan runs at Theatre On The Bay from 7 – 24 February, 2024.

Performances from Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7:30pm, with Saturday matinees at 3pm.

Tickets available from Webtickets, or the Theatre On The Bay box-office on (021) 438-3301.

Age restriction: 13

For more information on Bianca Amato, visit http://www.biancaamato.com/.

BOOK HERE!

 

 

Renowned South African dancer Camille Bracher is thrilled to be performing in South Africa again, after more than a decade. The former Royal Ballet dancer is performing with the cast of 11 professional dancers and 8 apprentice dancers from South Africa, in ‘It’s Beautiful At The Ballet’ currently at Theatre On The Bay until 4 December, 2021.

Bracher grew up in Johannesburg and came to dance at a very early age through her mother, a contemporary dancer and choreographer.

(Pictured) Camille Bracher photographed by Magda Hoffman.

Bracher’s repertory with The Royal Ballet included White Cat (The Sleeping Beauty), Entertainer (The Invitation) and roles in The Nutcracker, Onegin, Swan Lake, The Rite of Spring, Infra, Giselle and Scènes de Ballet. She created roles in Carbon Life, ‘Diana and Actaeon’ (Metamorphosis: Titian 2012) and Woolf Works. In summer 2012 she created a role in Hot House, part of One Big Stage with Gareth Malone and the Royal Opera House Learning and Participation Department.

PTP: You mention the thrill of returning to the stage after a year and a half, please tell us more about this break, and why have you decided to come back now?

CB: At the start of Covid I found myself without a job after working for two world-renowned dance companies. I was living in London and had rent to pay so I knew I needed to make a plan quickly.

I am also a qualified dance teacher and life coach and I knew that I needed to use these skills and adapt to the fluctuating circumstances that we were all living through. I decided to start teaching dance online and picked up a lot of students quite quickly. This was the beginning of my transition from stage to working online all day every day.

When things started opening up again I came back to visit my family in South Africa and got stuck here due to the red list being introduced in the UK. Whilst here, I was asked to take part in this production of Beautiful at the Ballet. Hesitant at first due to my break from stage, I thought that it would be a good opportunity to perform in South Africa for the first time since leaving at the age of 19 to join the Royal Ballet. As a dancer I always loved performing, feeling the adrenaline pulsing through me as well as the electric energy from the audience. Returning to stage gave me the opportunity to experience this all again. Stepping back into a dancer’s shoes again has also helped me to grown as a teacher and an artist which I can now pass onto my students.

PTP: What are you most looking forward to?

CB: After immersing myself into my dance coaching work, I did not think that I would dance again. I was at peace with this thought as I love coaching other dancers and helping them to achieve their dreams.

I am however excited to step back onto stage again and to experience that unmatched feeling of being transported into another world together with the audience. It is a magical world that enables you to use the music and the movement to escape together with the audience members into a completely different reality.

PTP: Tell us more about your special feature in ‘It’s Beautiful At The Ballet’ and what the fans can expect to see?

CB: One of the pieces that I will be performing is the Nutcracker pas de deux. The music is beautiful and it always makes me think of Christmas and my time at the Royal Ballet. The choreography is fun, but also challenging, with different turns as well as lifts that my partner and I have been working on.

We have also been rehearsing a pas de deux from Orpheus and Eurydice that Veronica Paeper has choreographed on us. It is always special to have something created on you. Expect to see some high lifts!

PTP: Besides being a dancer teacher, you are also a life coach, please tell us more about these roles? 

CB: Emotion drives our behaviour. Dancers, in their striving for perfection, often internalise their feelings in fear of appearing vulnerable. I therefore always felt it was imperative to address the emotions as much as the physicality of dancers.

Life coaching helps people to reach their full potential by finding their own solutions and developing their own skills. There is a lot of pressure and expectation on dancers. I am passionate about using my life coaching skills to help dancers reframe their thoughts in order to feel uplifted, inspired and in control of their own lives. This is essential for dancers to feel confident, happy and at ease. After 9 years of intense training and 8 years at the Royal Ballet and then touring with a modern company, I understand how to deal, sympathetically and empathetically, with the physical demands and psychological pressures that dancers are put under on a daily basis. Having experienced all of these situations myself, I understand how to connect with others to help overcome these challenges.

(Pictured) Camille Bracher photographed by Alex Fine.

PTP: What is your first recollection of your growing passion for dance?

CB: My passion for dance started from a young age when I used to make up dances for my family. I then started taking ballet lessons as a hobby to feed my love for dance. I met my teacher Martin Schoenberg at the age of 9 which is when I started to train more intensely in the hopes of turning my passion into my career. I took part in international ballet competitions and after finishing my matric (12th grade) I auditioned for the Royal Ballet and was given a place in the company.

PTP: What is the source of your inspiration?

CB: Tough question! I love to learn from anyone that I can. Marianela Núñez is the most incredible dance technician and such a hard worker. Being in the company with her was hugely inspiring. Alina Cojocaru was also in the company when I joined. She is a true artist who totally invests in any role that she does.

As a teacher, I have learnt so much from every teacher that I have come into contact with- from the start of my training with Martin as well as my time in the companies that I worked in. At both the Royal Ballet and Company Wayne McGregor, I was lucky to work with teachers from all over the world including France, America, Russia and Brazil. This has influenced my teaching and helped me to pass on essential knowledge and experience to al of the dancers that I teach.

What were your experiences of being a performer during the pandemic?

I was working for Company Wayne McGregor, a touring contemporary company, at the start of Covid. Obviously this came to an abrupt halt when Covid hit and borders were closed. We were actually performing in Germany just before lockdown started kicking in all over the world. I suddenly found myself jobless in London with rent to pay.

I had to act quickly and I therefore decided to start online lessons and build up my own coaching business. I always wanted to go into dance coaching to support dancers both physically and emotionally- I guess covid just fuelled the process. Teaching online has helped me to reach a much wider platform and connect with dancers from all over the world. It was a big transition going from working in a studio all day to now working through a screen all day. But I am so grateful to work with so many talented and ambitious dancers and to help them reach their own goals.

‘It’s Beautiful At The Ballet’ runs at Theatre On The bay until 4 December, 2021.

Tickets range from R180 to R250, and can be purchased from Computicket

Click HERE to book.