Joburg celebrates annual pantomime

Ntombi Mashaba

At the most difficult time for artists, musicians and theatre workers across the globe, Joburg Theatre looks forward to its annual tradition of the theatre’s Janice Honeyman, written-and-directed pantomime opening for performances from October 30 this year.

Joburg City Theatres CEO Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema says: “Although we of course hope to return to our regular programming at all our venues in the very near future, it is both comforting and exciting to know that this most popular of all South African family shows will definitely be back on our boards in the festive season, with the most acclaimed cast ever assembled for the panto.”

This year’s Cinderella features Desmond Dube, in his seventh Janice Honeyman panto, and Ben Voss as Cinderella’s two ugly stepsisters. Desmond and Ben were both nominated for Naledi Awards for their hilarious on-stage antics in 2018’s Snow White.

Best known for her long-running starring role as Mamokete Khuse in the e.TV soapie Rhythm City, famed South African actress Connie Chiume will make her panto debut this year as the Fairy Godmother. Hugely popular panto regular Bongi Mthombeni also returns to Cinderella, this time in the iconic role of Buttons.

Young and multi-talented Kiruna-Lind Devar gets to play the title role in the panto once again, following her personal triumph as Snow White two years ago. As her Prince Charming, the producers welcome SAMA and Ghoema Award-winning rock idol and stage heart-throb Kyle Grant, also making his panto debut. Multi-award winning film, TV and stage actor Graham Hopkins returns to pantoland to play the comedy role of Baron Horace Hard-Up.

The show’s executive producer Bernard Jay says: “With its regular season of 72 performances, 18 of which are sold-out each year to school learners, we are counting down the days to be back on the spectacular Nelson Mandela Theatre stage at Joburg Theatre.”

Janice Honeyman’s 2020 Cinderella will have an all-South African team of 21 performers, five musicians and over 30 technicians and stage crew. Musical direction is by Dale-Ray Scheepers, choreography by Nicol Sheraton, lighting design by Graham McLusky and sound design by Akhona Bozo. 

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