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:

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!


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





Theatre On The Bay from 28 February – 2 March, 2024.

In this laugh out loud, feel-good explosion of comedic silliness, internationally acclaimed ventriloquist Conrad Koch wants to get personal about his ‘Baggage’. But his best friend, superstar puppet Chester Missing (who lives in actual baggage), has other plans. In his usual funny and irreverent way Chester thinks Conrad’s ‘problems’ are a joke. In fact all the voices in Conrad’s head have bad and outrageous advice on everything: anxiety, climate change, dating, load-shedding and much much more. Meet the hilarious crew, including Hilton the booty shaking ostrich, Mr Dixon, retired high school teacher we can all relate to, and even a fashionista lion, this interactive comedy show is a LOL ensemble of one. ‘Baggage’ won a Standard Bank Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival.
Chester Missing is famous in South Africa for his satirical news TV shows, and his many viral social media posts, with 100 million views on TikTok alone. Conrad’s theatre shows have received critical acclaim globally, and has featured on the likes of Comedy Central, Canada’s Comedy Network, Just for Laughs, etc.

“Fiercely intelligent… Frenzied Hilarity” The List, UK
“Brings the roof down” The Independent, UK
“Hilarious” Mail & Guardian

Booking link:

Baggage is PG16, although everyone is welcome.

You’ll ‘Feel The Earth Move‘! An exciting show is heading to Cape Town and Johannesburg, promising to deliver a fantastic theatrical experience, filled with heart and soul.

VR Theatrical’s Jaco Van Rensburg, and show director Elizma Badenhorst, sat down with Dean Roberts to talk about the exciting new tribute show that will be hitting Pieter Toerien’s Cape Town and Johannesburg theatres in October and November this year.

DR: Following up on the success of ‘Here’s To You – The Simon & Garfunkel Songbook’, what made Carole King’s catalogue so attractive to you?

JVR: Apart from her world-famous Tapestry album, Carole King is a fascinating artist who not only made songs famous herself, but who wrote or co-wrote very many hits that nobody knows was her. Remember Kylie Minogue’s Loco-motion? I bet you didn’t know that that was a Carole King song!

What ultimately drew us to her work, was the fact that her songs are story-songs. They are all like one-act plays that takes the listener on a journey of discovery, making it the perfect music for a theatrical event. 

VR Theatrical producer, Jaco Van Rensburg.

“Our diverse cast is not only excellent, but also lovely humans! It has been an absolute pleasure to create this production around their specific talents.”

DR: Carole King wrote more than 400 songs, 100 of which have hit the Billboard singles chart, how do you go about choosing the songs for the show? 

JVR: I am very lucky to not have to make the final decision here. I leave that to the creative team, although I may have had some opinions and made some suggestions.

EB: Growing up, I loved music from the 60s and 70s. I had no idea who wrote them, I just knew I loved them, later in life I learned that Ms. King wrote many of my favourites. Going through her body of work was equally challenging, as it was a familiar stroll down memory lane. Choosing the songs was, indeed, a delightfully difficult task of mammoth proportions. But I must say, the concept took shape pretty quickly, and once we knew we were ‘up on a roof’ overlooking a city, the songs metaphorically ‘put up their hands’.

‘Up On The Roof – The Carole King Songbook’ director, Elizma Badenhorst.

“Storytelling. These women have a gift of telling stories through their music that any human can relate to in such an authentic way. The human condition addressed, but with exquisite melodies and harmonies to boot.”

DR: Artists such as Adele, Amy Winehouse and Taylor Swift have all credited Carole King as being one of their biggest influences… can you hazard a guess as to what the through line is with these fine artists music? 

JVR: A good narrative. There are shoo-bee-doo-bee pop-songs and there are songs with lyrics like:

“When this old world starts getting me down

And people are just too much for me to face

I climb way up to the top of the stairs

And all my cares just drift right into space”

They’re relatable and timeless songs.

EB: Storytelling. These women have a gift of telling stories through their music that any human can relate to in such an authentic way. The human condition addressed, but with exquisite melodies and harmonies to boot. 

DR: Your promotional material highlights an all-woman cast of singer-musicians who all work together to create these magical soundscapes, what was the casting process like?

JVR: Casting an original production is always strange and wonderful. Because there is no script, we could mould and shape the production around the specific personality and talents that we find – and boy-oh-boy are these ladies talented! Six gorgeous proudly South African women who deliver these timeless songs with excellence!

EB: The casting process of an original piece such as ‘Up on the Roof’ is always interesting to say the least, because the show doesn’t exist yet; you’re not casting a performer for a specific character. But there are so many things to consider. Their skills, their musicianship, their personalities, how will all of them work together; it’s a very intricate puzzle, and I must say, we have built an exquisite cast with our six phenomenal cast members.

DR: Carole King has been called THE greatest songwriter of all time, and being responsible for penning the soundtrack to our lives. Why do you think these well-written songs have stood the test of time? 

JVR: She’s a great story-teller with an ear for writing a ‘hook’ – you know, that little bit of a song that gets stuck in your mind and that you can’t get out of your head.

Her themes are universal and timeless (often about falling in or out of love) and have emotional depth. While this all sounds very cerebral, her melodies are also catchy! I think the combination of all of these things make her music timeless.

EB: Ms. King has the ability to put words and melodies to universal feelings of love and loss, the ups and downs of life. We all know exactly what she’s addressing in her songs and most importantly, it then makes us not feel alone. 

DR: The music of Carole King is especially comforting, and with themes of love, relationships, and the idyllic notion of what ‘home means… how have you considered these themes when selecting the numbers as well as the ensemble cast? 

JVR: Our brilliant director, Elizma Badenhorst has come up with a clear concept that drives the overall narrative of the show. We did not want it to be ‘just another tribute show’ but rather to be thematically linked. Our musical director, Wessel Odendaal created original arrangements that emphasise the emotional impact of the songs.

Once the concept was established, i.e. a group of friends meet for a glass of wine on a ‘New York type’ rooftop and sing songs about their lives, the material sort of chose itself.

Our diverse cast is not only excellent, but also lovely humans! It has been an absolute pleasure to create this production around their specific talents. 

This production features a cast of six multi-talented female performers including Ashley Butcher (bass, guitar, ukulele), Louise Duhain (piano/keyboards), Angelica Hattingh (guitar), Sanli Jooste (cello), Neo Motaung (percussion) and Tiisetso Sefatsa (percussion).

DR: Could we perhaps argue that Carole King is the perfect everywoman figure: an alto singer (too low for soprano voice and too high for a tenor), the perfect mix for soul music? 

JVR: Yes! Unique is our Carole. Not only a brilliant songwriter, but also an exquisite vocalist in her own right, solidifying the singer/songwriter category in pop music history. 

DR: How are you aiming to marry the sublime sounds of Carole King’s catalogue, with the staging of such a dynamic ensemble presentation? 

JVR: The fact that we don’t have one person impersonating Carole King gives us scope to play with dynamic staging, interesting choreography and incredible vocal arrangements – all necessary to create an interesting piece of theatre.

Add to that a boho-chic inspired rooftop setting and theatrical lighting and you have a magic recipe for harmonic heavenliness!

EB: When the concept came to me, it all fell into place so seamlessly: six girl friends meeting up on a roof overlooking the city observing some people down below and commenting through Ms. King’s songs on what they possibly could go through, realising we’re all pretty much the same. 

DR: ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Women’ is a song that emphasises the route of self-discovery, of a woman’s natural inner beauty. How do you want the audience to leave the theatre ‘feeling’? 

JVR: Things are tough out there and people are tired. This production guarantees to make you forget your troubles for at least two hours, to fill you with hope, heart and optimism and will make you leave the theatre feeling happier than when you entered! I can only describe the experience as a warm, glowing ember that will ignite the fire we all carry within ourselves.

EB: Uplifted…. And I guarantee this is what audience members will feel. They are going to hum along, laugh, shed a few nostalgic tears, but will definitely leave feeling better about life.

DR: Who will enjoy this exciting piece of live theatre?

JVR: You do not have to know Carole King’s catalogue in order to enjoy this incredible production. There is so much to listen to, look at and appreciate, from the beautiful setting to the gorgeous harmonies and the amazingly talented performers onstage. If you are the kind of person who enjoys any kind of live entertainment, there will be something here for you! 

EB: This is one of the many things a love about Ms. King’s music. Whether you know her/her work, or not, you will enjoy her music. The range of styles this woman composed in is incredible: soul, folk, pop, rock, jazz, R&B and more. If you love music, you will enjoy this production.

‘Up On The Roof – The Carole king Songbook’ runs at Theatre On the Bay in Cape Town from 5 October and at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino theatre in Johannesburg from 1 November, 2023.

Direction & concept – Elizma Badenhorst

Musical direction & orchestration – Wessel Odendaal

Scenic design – Nadine Minnaar

Wardrobe co-ordination – Elizma Badenhorst

Lighting design – Kieran McGregor

Graphic design – Jaco Van Rensburg

Sound design – Christo Davis

Duration is approx’ 2-hours, including a 20-minute interval.

Age restriction: none.

Tickets are available from Webtickets or by dialling CPT (021) 438-3301 or JHB (011) 511-1988.

Booking link:

‘Up On The Roof – The Carole King Songbook’ brought to you by VR Theatrical.


VR Theatrical presents ‘Up On The Roof – The Carole King Songbook’

From the producers of the smash-hit show, ‘Here’s To You – The Simon & Garfunkel Songbook’ comes another magical theatrical event: UP ON THE ROOF – THE CAROLE KING SONGBOOK is a celebration of Carole King’s hit songs with fresh, new musical arrangements by our very own Wessel Odendaal.

Directed by Elizma Badenhorst and showcasing some of our industry’s most talented performers and instrumentalists.

With a canon of evergreen hits including ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ and ‘I Feel The Earth Move’, Up On The Roof is sure to have you singing and dancing in your seats.

Theatre On The Bay from 5 to 21 October, 2023.

                                                               Cape Town Book Here!

Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre from 1 to 26 November, 2023.

                                                           Johannesburg Book Here!

It’s A Kinda Magic – Mzansi Ballet’s The Queen Show

Mzansi Ballet’s The Queen Show

Theatre On The Bay from 25 October to 11 November, 2023

Honouring a rock band that has stood the test of time, having inspired many generations to live their highest truth, “The Queen Show” is a family-friendly production that will thrill you with a kind of magic.

Boasting a diverse cast that has performed on some of the world’s best stages – from Brazil all the way to the United Kingdom – The Queen Show is fittingly deemed a “world-class” production. After capturing the hearts of Brazilian audiences in the ballet-meets-pantsula production, “Bengingazi”, choreographer Michael Revie delivers inspiring movement with his equally accomplished wife, Angela Revie, at his right hand.

Whether you’re looking for a show to love, a rhapsody of nostalgia, or even a kind of magic – “The Queen Show” will certainly rock you.


Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol returns!

VR Theatricals’ charming production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol returns to Montecaisno and Theatre On The Bay.

Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre from 29 November to 10 December, 2023.

Pieter Toerien’s Theatre On The Bay from  6 to 16 December, 2023.

It has been described as ‘a sumptuous banquet for the eyes, ears and imagination; a sensory delight for any tired soul.’ This is the perfect show to celebrate humanity, family and above all, generosity of spirit!



Alan Committie and Sharon Spiegel-Wagner in Bernard Slade’s comedy ‘Same Time, Next Year’.

Pieter Toerien and Gloucester Productions present

‘Same Time, Next Year’

The hit play Bernard Slade

Cape Town: Pieter Toerien’s Theatre On The Bay from 30 August – 16 September, 2023

Jo’burg: Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre from 20 September – 8 October, 2023

This Spring you can enjoy an hilarious romantic comedy that was one of the longest running hits on Broadway.

Same Time, Next Year is a hilarious play that focuses on two people, married to others, who meet for a romantic tryst once a year for 25 years. It’s a heartwarming but hilarious look at friendship, connection, love and growing older.

Alan Committie (award winning actor and comedian) teams up with celebrated stage and Tv actress Sharon Spiegel Wagner to play George and Doris, respectively.

Under the comedy direction of Christopher Weare and with design by scenographer Niall Griffin, Same Time, Next Year promises to be a fantastic night out at the theatre.

Duration: 2-hours including a 20-minute interval.
Not suitable for under 16’s


Bel canto genius Gaetano Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (The elixir of love) is presented by Cape Town Opera, a touring production made possible by the unfailing generosity of the Judith Neilson Head Trust.
After a successful tour to Ermelo and Sasolburg last month, Cape Town Opera will present the delightful production in the Mother City at Theatre on the Bay in Camps Bay from 13-16 October 2022.

Conroy Scott as Doctor Dulcamara

True to the tradition of romantic comedy, L’elisir d’amore ticks all the requisite boxes of popular entertainment; perhaps as a corrective antidote to the two serious operas composed by Donizetti immediately before its première in May 1832, it lives and breathes tongue-in-cheek joie de vivre.
The production will be directed by the company’s imaginative Artistic Director, Magdalene Minnaar, with a piano reduction of the orchestral score entrusted to pianist José Dias. Costume design is by Rabia Davids and Maritha Visagie, who also designs the set,while Fiona du Plooy is responsible for movement direction.
The cast features Puerto Rican tenor Juan Hernández as Nemorino, Brittany Smith as Adina, Conroy Scott as Doctor Dulcamara, Van Wyk Venter as Belcore and Linda Nteleza as Giannetta.
Magdalene Minnaar explains that, after Cape Town Opera’s joyful production of Le nozze di Figaro, the team decided to forge on with another comic opera as an antidote to the misery of Covid-19: “We want to offer our audiences colour, jokes and glorious melodies.” She adds that among these melodies are arias so popular that they will be familiar even to those who do not regularly follow opera. As for context, Minnaar states, “In our version of ‘Elisir’, we have created an Escher-esque dream world in which Adina is tested by the mad scientist and ‘encyclopedic doctor’ Dulcamara. He is an alchemist with a Frankensteinian flair for ingenious chemistry, which he uses to bend the rules of chance, thereby sculpting an alternate reality as a human experiment. Like Spalanzani in Les contes d’Hoffmann with his mechanical doll or a more modern-day Circe, he sends Adina into this alternate realm where two contrasting love prospects test her: the sweet and slightly average Nemorino and pompous, presumptuous Belcore.”

Juan Hernández as Nemorino & Brittany Smith as Adina

There is never much room for doubt that a happy ending is inevitable in this plot which is as flimsy as tissue paper but utterly charming. Add Donizetti’s beguiling score and lyricism to the high-spirited comedy, and you have all the pleasure that an evening of opera at its sunniest can produce.
Like vintage wine, Elisir has aged beautifully over nearly two centuries: join us in taking a sip and letting the magic do its work.
Conroy Scott as Doctor Dulcamara & Brittany Smith as Adina

Conroy Scott as Doctor Dulcamara & Brittany Smith as Adina

With thanks to Ian Burgess-Simpson Pianos, who are providing a wonderful Kawai GL-20 piano for the performances at Theatre on the Bay.
Thursday 13 October at 7:30pm
Friday 14 October at 7:30pm
Saturday 15 October at 6pm
Sunday 16 October at 3pm
Booking link:
Or call Theatre On The Bay on (021) 438-3301

‘Your Song – The Music of Elton John’

Venue: Pieter Toerien’s Theatre On The Bay

Dates: 4 – 21 May 2022

Your Song – The Elton John Songbook

The legendary music of Sir Elton John – presented live on stage by Anton Luitingh, Amy Campbell & Tshepo Ncokoane.

Ticket prices: R150 – R250 through Computicket or (021) 438-3300.

Running time:  100 minutes, with a 20-minute interval.

Note: Tickets sold in pairs.

All ages.

Booking link:

‘The Trolley Dollies in The Triplets of Bellville’

Venue: Pieter Toerien’s Theatre On The Bay

Dates: 12 – 30 April 2022

The Trolley Dollies in The Triplets Of Bellville.

Who hasn’t heard of The Trolley Dollies™? Come on! During the course of the last 5 years, they’ve opened a theatre, produced 13 original productions, appeared in every magazine and newspaper this side of Uitenhage and peered down at you from any billboard that stood still long enough to be climbed by an arthritic, middle-aged drag queen! In short, from 2016 onwards, the Mother City was bombarded, terrorized and titivated by the self-proclaimed Queens of the Sky, and there appeared to be no stopping them.

And then, at the end of 2021, they mysteriously disappeared.

What in the name of Judy Garland happened to them?

The truth is, after all those years of being cooped up in a little theatre on Bree street, Cathy, Holly and Molly can barely stand to be in the same room anymore. These three sisters from different misters, like any other siblings, have many skeletons in their collective closet, and their day of reckoning has arrived.

The claws are out, the “T” is being spilled and the dirty laundry is being given a very public airing…

Chomping at the bit to get the DL on these XL size queens? Buy a ticket!

Blood may be thicker than water, but so is arsenic!

Ticket prices: R250 – R350 through Computicket or (021) 438-3300

Running time: Approx’ 75 minutes with no interval.

Note: Tickets sold in pairs.


Booking link:

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.

From 19 November to 4 December, 2021 at Pieter Toerien’s Theatre On the Bay.

SANDT presents It’s Beautiful At The Ballet at Theatre On The Bay, November 2021.

SANDT is grateful and excited to announce that “It’s Beautiful at the Ballet” will be staged at Pieter Toerien’s Theatre On The Bay from 19 November until 4 December, 2021. An  inspiring, uplifting and joyful program of short pieces by some of South Africa’s best known choreographers, Veronica Paeper, Sean Bovim and Adele Blank promises sheer entertainment.

During 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 lockdown, the SANDT trustees believed that audiences would want to see beautiful and encouraging productions when theatres re-open. They decided to create a collaborative opportunity for dance.  With the support of the National Arts Council, SANDT has been able to offer independent, professional dancers the opportunity to perform on stage, get back into daily training and – most importantly – to earn an income.A special feature of this production is former Royal Ballet dancer, Camille Bracher, who will be performing with the cast of 11 professional dancers and 8 apprentice dancers from the JPSB (Cape Town) and the Jozi Youth Dance (Johannesburg).

This exhilarating  program will include pieces from Veronica Paeper’s much loved, “Orpheus in the Underworld”, Sean Bovim’s “SwingTime at the Ballet” and Adele Blanks “Mad Dogs”. There will also be new works to delight and entertain.

Performance dates:  19, 20, 24, 26, 27 November & 1, 3, 4 December, 2021.Evening performances at 7.30pm and Saturday matinees at 2.00pm
Ticket prices:  R250 each*
Pensioner’s and students: R180 each*
*In order to comply with COVID-19 regulations and ensuring effective social distancing tickets are being sold in pairs.
The South African National Dance Trust (SANDT) was formed in 2009 to promote, preserve, support and inspire the art forms of classical ballet and contemporary dance throughout South Africa.  The trust aims to increase awareness and widely inform the South African public about dance and provide the opportunity for national collaborative dance productions.  SANDT focuses strongly on education.  The founding trustees are Veronica Paeper, Mike Bosazza and Robyn Taylor.

Box tickets: All 4 tickets for either the Bill Flynn or the Moira Lister boxes need to be purchased at the same time.Tickets available from and the Theatre on the Bay box-office (021) 438-3300

Bookings can also be made through the Computicket call-centre (0861) 915 8000 / (011) 340 8000.