SIX MONTHS TO GO UNTIL PANTO SEASON!
Joburg Theatre and independent theatre producer Bernard Jay are delighted to begin the countdown to Panto Season, with this year’s return of Jack and the Beanstalk to The Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre.
Acclaimed writer, director and South Africa’s queen of pantomime Janice Honeyman will once again tell the story of poor country boy Jack, the family cow, the magic beans, the enormous beanstalk, the unfriendly giant and the enchanted hen that lays the golden eggs. Adding the giant’s henchman – a truly evil panto villain – and the essential good fairy, Janice Honeyman’s Jack and The Beanstalk, ‘a giant of a pantomime’, will have audiences in awe at the show’s sheer spectacle and Jack the Joller’s madcap efforts to be its courageous hero.
Not seen on The Mandela stage at Joburg Theatre since 2012, this ever popular pantomime story traditionally sets good against evil and is jam-packed full of Honeyman’s wit, double-entendres, charm and magic.
Making his pantomime debut as the villain is actor, comedian, writer, radio and TV host, director and painter Casper de Vries. Casper’s breakthrough satirical play Hello South Africa / Hallo Suid-Afrika started his professional career in 1986. He has since staged numerous one-man shows throughout South Africa, the Netherlands and Canada – and even at the famed London Palladium. The four seasons of his CasperRasperShow on kykNET became extremely popular during the last decade. Casper received the Comics’ Choice Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. He has also starred in numerous movies, including Oh Shucks! Here Comes UNTAG, Soweto Green and Snaaks Genoeg. He recently hosted the popular CasperRadioShow every Friday on Cliff Central.
Returning to Joburg Theatre following her triumphant success in the role of Shug Avery in The Color Purple is Lelo Ramasimong as the good fairy. Lelo became a household name in SA when she made it to the Top 10 on Idols. Since then she has performed as a vocalist in major venues across the country and was voted by Seventeen Magazine as the Top Young South African Artist. Lelo’s theatre career has also included featured roles in Dreamgirls, African Footprint and Burn the Floor. Currently, she is a contestant on The Voice SA.
The role of Jack the Joller brings back actor Zolani Shangase to Joburg Theatre. Zolani enjoyed popularity in his recurring role on DSTV’s Moja Love in the telenovela Hope. His stage credits include a year in the West End of London with The Lion King and – in South Africa – Janice Honeyman’s Aladdin, The Rocky Horror Show, Show Boat, Orpheus in Africa and The Color Purple.
Also featured in Jack and The Beanstalk are: Germandt Geldenhuys as the Dame, currently enjoying great success as Louis on TV’s Binnelanders; Neo Motaung as Mrs Skwashie Mangowashie – another The Color Purple star who, as Sofia, earned standing ovations nightly; 22-year-old Dezlenne Ulster-Weale as Raspberry Rose; and panto stalwart Clive Gilson as Dom-Dik Canari.
Completing the all-South African company are (in alphabetical order) Cameron Botha, Ashleigh Butcher, Olivia Cloud, Gugu Dhlamini, James McPhail, Arno Meyer, Given Mkhize, Noni Mkhonto, Katlego Nche, Nolo Song, Justin Swartz and Carmen Tromp.
The 2019 pantomime is written and directed by Janice Honeyman, with choreography by Nicol Sheraton, musical direction by Dale-Ray Scheepers, lighting design by Graham McLusky and sound design by Akhona Bozo. Timothy Le Roux serves as the show’s resident director, Sebe Leotlela as assistant choreographer and Bronwen Lovegrove as costume co-ordinator. Once again, the show’s spectacular sets and costumes will be provided by the world’s leading pantomime producers, Qdos.