Jonathan Roxmouth is coming home! For the first time since his sold out concert series at the Teatro at Montecasino a year ago, one of South Africa’s favourite leading man is to return to Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre for a VERY limited time between seasons behind the mask as the title character in the international tour of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Pieter Toerien presents Jonathan Roxmouth in LENNY ANDREW STEVE and ME – an evening celebrating the music and lyrics of theatre titans Leonard Bernstein (WEST SIDE STORY, ON THE TOWN, CANDIDE), Andrew Lloyd Webber (THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, CATS, EVITA) and Stephen Sondheim (SWEENEY TODD, INTO THE WOODS, COMPANY). This one of a kind show takes the audience through the elements of what makes the ‘perfect musical’ – something all three composers have successfully contributed to and refined through their work musically and structurally. Using nothing but a bare stage, a microphone and a red handkerchief, Jonathan will sing all the favourite hits the audience expects as well as some surprises they didn’t. Linked with his trademark tongue-in-cheek humour and style, this is a homecoming you won’t want to miss out on. Jonathan is accompanied by Rowan Bakker and the production is lit by Tina Le Roux.
Celebrating 65 years of Agatha Christie’s THE MOUSETRAP.
It’s the whodunnit of the century and an institution! It has spanned twelve American Presidents and twelve British Prime Ministers and no one can tell you why. Even the authoress was unable to explain it’s success. And here it is once again on our stage. This time directed by British actor and director, Jonathan Tafler and starring West End star Mark Wynter as Mr Paravicini.
Also starring are: Melissa Haiden, Mark Sykes, Matthew Lotter, Michelle Maxwell, Malcolm Terrey, Shannyn Fourie and Aidan Scott.
The scene is set when a group of people gathered in a guest house, Monkswell Manor, are cut off by snow.
They discover that there is a murderer in their midst; but who can it be?
One by one the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts until the identity of the murderer and the motive are finally revealed in a nail-biting climax.
THE MOUSETRAP runs at The Theatre on The Bay until 19 January and at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre from 23 January through 3 March 2019.
Read what the Cape Town press are saying about the show here:
A Double Bill: Nijinsky’s War & Nureyev
Performed by Ignatius Van Heerden
23 Jan – 10 Feb
Studio Theatre, Montecasino
Age Restriction: 14+ “Mature Content”
Take a moment to meet our three young actresses who get to play the converted role of Matilda.
Kitty, Lilla and Morgan spent some time with Bethany Dickson who plays Miss Honey and Mpume Mayiyane who plays Mrs Phelps at the Montecasino Bird Park in Johannesburg.
Matilda – The Musical is now playing at the Teatro at Montecasino, in Johannesburg until 2 December and then the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town from 11 December until 13 January.
Bookings at https://online.computicket.com/web/event/matilda_the_musical/1211508460/0/0
Pieter Toerien Productions and GWB Entertainment present The Royal Shakespeare Company Production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda – The Musical.
Pieter Toerien Presents
The South African Original Premiere of
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME
Based on the novel by Mark Haddon
Adapted by Simon Stephens
Directed by Paul Warwick-Griffin (Jesus Christ Superstar, Sunset Boulevard, Hair, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Evita, Chess, High School Musical)
Scenic & Costumes by Tina Driedijk (Cabaret, The Rocky Horror Show)
Lighting Design by Gareth Hewitt Williams (Evita, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat)
Original Music Compositions & Soundscapes by Charl-Johan Lingenfelder (The Rocky Horror Show, King Kong, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cabaret, High School Musical)
Starring Kai Brummer, Ashley Dowds, Jenny Stead, Lesoko Seabe, Kate Normington, Liz Szymczak, Dylan Edy, Nicholas Ellenbogen, Genna Galloway and Clayton Evertson.
Cast (In order of appearance)
Christopher Boone – Kai Brummer
Kate Normington – Mrs Shears/ Mrs Gascoyne/Voice One/ Woman On Train/Woman On Heath/ Shopkeeper
Lesoko Seabe – Siobhan/ Ensemble
Dylan Edy – Policeman One/ Voice Two/ Mr Thompson/ Rhodri/ Man Behind /Roger Man/ Drunk Two/Shopkeeper
Nicholas Ellenbogen – Duty Sergeant/ Voice Three/ Mr Wise/ Uncle Terry/ Drunk One/ London Trans Policeman/ Man On Phone
Ashley Dowds – Ed/ Ensemble
Clayton Evertson – Reverend Peters/ Voice Four/ Station Policeman/ Station Guard/ Ensemble
Genna Galloway – No.40/ Voice Five/ Lady In Street/ Information/ Punk Girl/ Ensemble
Liz Szymczak – Mrs Alexander/ Posh Woman/ Voice Six
Jenny Stead – Judy Boone
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time will be performed with one intermission.
South African Tour Dates:
September 22 – November 3, 2018 at Theatre On The Bay, Cape Town, South Africa (Ticket prices: R140 – R240)
November 7 – December 2, 2018 at Pieter Toerien’s Montescasino Theatre (Ticket prices: R100 – R240)
Bookings through Computicket.com
Or Theatre On The Bay Box-office (021) 438-3301
Or Pieter Toerien’s Montescasino Theatre Box-office (011) 511-1988
The story takes place around April 1998. The biggest part of the story takes place in Swindon, other parts take place in London and between London and Swindon.
The social background that is presented in the story is pretty average. They live in a normal house and his father is a heating engineer.
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time is an Olivier Award and Tony Award winning best play by Simon Stephens based on the novel of the same name by Mark Haddon.
The story revolves around a mystery surrounding the death of a neighbour’s dog (Wellington) that is investigated by young Christopher Boone and his relationships with his parents and school mentor.
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, is based on a 2003 mystery novel by British writer Mark Haddon.
Unusually, it was published simultaneously in separate editions for adults and children.
The novel is narrated in the first-person perspective by Christopher John Francis Boone, a 15-year-old boy who describes himself as “a mathematician with some behavioral difficulties” living in Swindon, Wiltshire. Although Christopher’s condition is not stated, the book’s blurb refers to Asperger syndrome, high-functioning autism, or savant syndrome. The play reworked the source material by changing its voice and presenting the story as a play-within-a-play.
In July 2009, Haddon wrote on his blog that “Curious Incident” is not a book about Asperger’s. It is a story about difference, about being an outsider, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way. The story is not specifically about any specific disorder”.
Mark Haddon (Book)
Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time was published in 2003. It was the winner of more than 17 literary awards, including prizes in Japan, Holland, and Italy, and was translated into 44 languages. A Spot Of Bother, published in 2006, was also an international bestseller.
The Donmar Warehouse produced Mark Haddon’s first work for the theatre, Polar Bears, in 2010. He has written 15 books for children, published a first collection of poetry in 2005, and is an illustrator and award-winning screenwriter.
Simon Stephens (Playwright)
Simon Stephens’ plays have been produced in many languages throughout the world. His plays Harper Regan and Bluebird were staged in New York at the Atlantic Theater Company.
His play Punk Rock was staged by MCC. His version of A Doll’s House for The Young Vic transferred to New York in 2014.
His adaptation of Mark Maddon’s novel The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time ran for two years on Broadway and won the Tony Award for best new play in 2015. The West End production of his play ran until June 2017 and garnered seven Olivier Awards, including best new play.
His play Heisenberg was produced by MTC. Simon is an associate at the Lyric, Hammersmith and the Royal Court, London.
Paul Warwick Griffin (Director)
With an international career spanning some twenty years, Paul has an extensive list of credits in just about every aspect of the theatrical arena from actor to director and producer.
Paul has directed the hugely successful South African and New Zealand tours of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as Stepping Out – The Musical and Hair – The Love Rock Musical. His production of Jesus Christ Superstar has toured to Greece and South Korea (Seoul and Busan). For over 4 years, Paul was the associate director for the world tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats traveling with the production to Beirut, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Shanghai, Doha, Taipei, Beijing, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Helsinki, Oslo and Athens.
Paul’s directing credits include Sunset Boulevard, Chess (which he also adapted with Sir Tim Rice), Evita and Disney’s High School Musical – Live On Stage in South Africa, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. He was also a panelist for the reality TV show High School Musical – Spotlight South Africa. Paul lives in London where his West End credits include resident director at the prestigious Old Vic theatre for Sean Mathias’ production of Aladdin, associate director for the Theatre Royal Haymarket’s production of Waiting for Godot starring Sir Ian Mckellen and Sir Patrick Stewart and associate director to Matthew Warchus for Ghost – The Musical for the West End, U.K tour, U.S tour and South Korea, and the award-winning London and Broadway productions of Groundhog Day – The Musical.
Paul is a partner in GWB Entertainment and will be collaborating this year with Pieter Toerien Productions on the smash hit production of Matilda –The Musical which opens at Johannesburg’s Teatro at Montecasino in October before transferring to Artscape’s Opera theater in December.
Charl Johan Lingenfelder (Composer)
Charl-Johan Lingenfelder is an award-winning South African performer, composer and well-known musical director who is also known as the creator of highly innovative and controversial theatrical shows. He has worked in Paris, San Francisco, New York, Hong Kong, Athens, New Zealand, China, Taiwan and Indonesia as composer, musical director, arranger, conductor, writer and performer.
Charl has been musical director on more than 25 musicals, such as The Rocky Horror Show, Cabaret, Jesus Christ Superstar, Funny Girl, King Kong, Evita, Hair, Sunset Boulevard, Orpheus In Africa, West Side Story And Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat for which he has received a Naledi award nomination (the production subsequently toured to Athens and Korea in 2007).
As an actor he has twice played the Emcee in Cabaret 1995 and 2015.
He is the co-writer and composer of the feature film Kanarie, which premiered at Outfest in Los Angeles in July and will premiere in South Africa in October this year. The film won the award for best feature film at Kyknet Silwerskerm Fees in August 2018.
In recent years there has been a noticeable wave of nostalgia reflected in entertainment. Television series being rebooted left, right and centre. The reimagining of classic films into stage shows suggests that older audiences are sharing ‘their’ stories with new audiences, which in turn are ready to analyse and enjoy the material from different angels. Staged success stories of this resurgence include hits such as 9 to 5, Mean Girls, Groundhog Day and the current reinvention of Pretty Woman on Broadway.
Fatal Attraction stands as one of the most popular films of all time. The 1987 thriller established Glenn Close as a Hollywood force to be reckoned with. Beginning life as a half hour play on BBC to becoming the Oscar nominated film and now a razor sharp stage production at Pieter Toerien’s Theatre On The Bay in Cape Town.
When the film was released, the term “bunny boiler” became an informal noun that was associated with women who acted vengefully after being spurned by their lover. The film stood as an ominous warning for every wandering eye, but the script really holds more to it than that.
The reincarnation of Fatal Attraction began some 20 years ago when actor and producer Patrick Ryecart watched the film on late night television and noticed that the script would “make a terrific play, with all the basic elements of good, exciting theatre”. Patrick is currently performing in Noël Coward’s Present Laughter at Theatre On The Bay and while director Paula Bangels is currently rehearsing Fatal Attraction.
ABOVE: Opening night of Fatal Attraction at Theatre On The Bay, 20 March, 2018.
BACK (L-R): Robert Fox (London Producer), Paula Bangels (Director), James Dearden (Writer) and Annabel Brooks. FRONT: Patrick Ryecart. (Photo by Dean Roberts)
DR: Patrick, you mentioned your interest in the hubris of Dan, the main protagonist. You say that much like a Greek tragedy, Dan Gallagher was a flawed character; a man in his prime which displayed excessive signs of self-importance, pride and vanity. This was after all the 1980s, the era of the go-getter, where ambition particularly amongst men typified the values of an increasingly materialistic decade.
PR: Dan had certainly realised his ego to its full potential by the time we meet him. We see his pride, we see a sense of being bullet-proof. The fact that Dan had it all only stands to heighten the stakes when he’s faced with losing it all. This in turn drives the drama. As an actor I can see the interest from both sides, actor and audience. I believed that this story, with all its tension and drama built into the story, developed characters could and should be adapted for the stage. The film version brought a broad and multi-layered look at the story, with various locations all plumping up the experience. I was interested in pairing down the context elements for the stage, focusing on the characters, their relationships and the plays universal themes. James Dearden really created characters that belong in this story.
DR: I imagine that Hollywood screenwriters are buried deep below publishing agents and publicists, how did you manage to meet with James Dearden?
PR: I know James and so called him up and set up a meeting. We met for a tea in Oxford to discuss what had come and gone and what could still be done. Our shared interests in the deeper story were very much identical and James was clearly interested in how the drama could be presented on stage. Our meeting last a few hours. I found in James a man who was a gifted storyteller but also a great ally in collaboration. We ended off by agreeing to get the ball rolling. We called Robert Fox who is one of London’s most prolific producers and asked him if he could help us in attaining the stage rights. Robert has produced some of the most important plays on the West End in recent times, couple this with his equally extensive film career (The Hours, Notes on a Scandal, Iris) and he agreed to help and also co-produce.
DR: How did you get the Hollywood studio to buy in to your plans for a stage revival of the story?
PR: A string of meetings ended with 20th Century Fox agreeing to award the rights, with a keen eye on all parties involved. James began writing the play script. I think that must be an extraordinary process of being able to revisit your work decades later with the main focus of resuscitating it and having that opportunity to fix things, little niggles, that may have existed for years. The Haymarket theatre offered to co-produce, with “Cats” director Trevor Nunn to direct. Trevor’s production was lavish and would become the first stop in the projects full transformation to stage. His production was very well received and ran for 25 weeks. We could see sense though that even with the thick realistic veneer to the staging the drama could be heightened and the pace improved. One of the most valuable things to come from that production was the emergence of a more human female protagonist, which was never really realised in the film. Perhaps this was the result of James revisiting the script after many years.
DR: I hear there is a very exciting arts movement buzzing within Belgium and Holland right now.
PR: There really is. James and I went to Holland to meet the play’s Belgian director Paula Bangels. I was riveted by what Paula had created and fascinated by the dynamic that she had fostered within her cast. The cohesion of the actors supported the story so powerfully that production leaped away from all the expectations associated with the film. This was now something that was perfectly distilled and highly focused. In the film version the studio wanted a blockbuster ending, with a pure villain in Glenn Close’s character. The ending was reshot with that as the endgame. The final product left Glenn very unhappy. This ending was not James’ choice – the stage revival was his opportunity to give the story the ending he always wanted.
PB: I believed in the universal themes in James’ script and wanted audiences to watch the action and judge the characters from their own perspective. This is a story that could have occurred. These things do happen. I hated the final ending to the film. Hollywood wanted a villain that would give the story a more palpable climax. I wanted to bring the surrounding characters into the fold a bit more. It had to be down to the casting of the play to make it truly and believably work. I selected the actors that I believed and that I knew could go to places that they had never been to but could still be believable. As a director and even as someone who watches theatre I crave nuances and detail in performance. When we started rehearsing the play here in Cape town I didn’t allow the cast to look at the words for over a week. We would spend hours in a controlled rehearsal space work shopping moments and improvising scenes and potential character scenarios. The moments that transpired are magical, brave and raw. I believe in exploring and incorporating the actor’s instincts into the story making, I want them to tell the story from the gut, to own the piece.
DR: Paula, I believe that you approached the staging and direction from your own angle, choosing to disregard much of the script’s stage directions.
PB: I have always been willing to exchange verbal for nonverbal. It goes back to valuing genuine nuances. I wanted to remove a lot of the clutter around the main story and really push the facts, the facts that are real to these characters as they are living them. The staging is the perfect example of what I mean. One set with a million mood options, with lighting and soundscapes the story really soars. The play is in a lineal plotline and I get to place the characters in a tank of water and slowly turn up the heat. Atmosphere is very important in doing this. Within the scarcity of the set the most extraordinary things occur. I rely on music to ‘turn the screw’, really up the pressure. It is after all a thriller. But don’t expect a bunny boiling on the stove. This is definitely not he film. This is more about passion and how with passion some things cannot be ignored. This is about wanting to not be ignored, basic human emotions. Everyone wants to be seen and to be validated. I really want to present the characters in an equal light and let the audiences form their own verdict of what they see. I want them to decide for themselves on who’s to blame, can blame be assigned and what is the price to be paid.
In an age where truth is sought out more than ever in a landscape dominated by fake news and subjective personal opinion, it bodes well that Fatal Attraction has sprung from a desire to humanise the characters and tell the stories that exist within the script in a universal way. Today’s audience rail against falsities and it seems that the creative forces behind the stage adaption know this and feel the same way.
ABOVE: Opening night of Fatal Attraction at Theatre On The Bay, 20 March, 2018.
(L-R): Jazzara Jaslyn, Ashley Dowds, Paula Bangels (Director), Jenny Stead, Jo da Silva and Alex Tops. (Photo by Dean Roberts)
The much anticipated South African debut of this stage production is produced by Pieter Toerien and stars Ashley Dowds as Dan Gallagher and Jazzara Jaslyn as Alex Forrester. The play also features a powerful cast of performers with Jenny Stead, Alex Tops and Jo Da Silva portraying the core characters.
Opening night of Fatal Attraction at Theatre On The Bay, 20 March, 2018.
(L-R): Pieter Toerien, Paula Bangels and Ashley Dowds. (Photo by Dean Roberts)
DR: Ashley Dowds, has this rehearsal process challenged you in any specific way?
AD: Without a doubt! It has cut across the grain of the ‘classical table read’ to start with before ‘getting the story onto its feet’. Is this perhaps a very European alternative? I’m not sure, because it is the first time that I am working with a director from Europe – but what I can say is that Paula’s conviction to work from the emotionality of the story right from the onset has been shocking. Shocking in a very affirming way. It has shaken up the order of things and that doesn’t always feel ‘comfortable’. That has become the important for the way that this story is told on stage. It won’t be comfortable for the audience to watch either – it has some very familiar scenarios (maybe too familiar for some) – but it will be presented in a way that will not rely on familiar comforts. There is no time to breathe!
Fatal Attraction runs at Theatre On The Bay until 7 April, before transferring to Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre from 11 April – 6 May. Tickets range from R120 – R200 in Cape Town and R100 – R200 in Johannesburg.
The production carries an age restriction of PG16 with the show depicting strong adult themes, sex and language.