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GREEN MAMBA STRIKES AGAIN! (article first published : 2004-03-26)

John van der Ruit and Ben Voss surged to popularity with their two-man show Green Mamba The production flew the flag for Durban Theatre at the Gauteng Naledi Theatre Awards where it scooped the Naledi Award for Best Comedy Performance and was nominated in the category Best Cabaret/Revue alongside theatrical heavyweights Pieter Dirk Uys, Paul Slabolepszy, Mark Lottering and Ian Von Memerty.

The smash hit, multi-award winning comedy returns to Durban for the third and final time with a five week season at Kwasuka Theatre (Stamford Hill Road) from May 17 as part of its second major Southern African tour.

Ben Voss and John van de Ruit premiered Green Mamba at the National Arts festival in Grahamstown in July 2002 and has since clocked up nearly 200 performances countrywide. Its 200th performance will be celebrated early in the Kwasuka run and gala evening is planned to mark the event.

Since it opened the Catalina Theatre just before Christmas, 2002, the show has toured extensively throughout KZN, before moving to the Liberty Theatre on the Square in Sandton, Johannesburg, returning to the 2003 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, on to Port Elizabeth and then a month at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town. The show has enjoyed sellout houses and critical acclaim from all of South Africa’s major theatrical centres and is presently negotiating an extended international tour.

Since September 2003 Green Mamba was temporarily put back in its cage while Ben Voss and John van de Ruit pursued other projects. Ben took over Greig Coetzee’s role in his highly acclaimed Happy Natives for a whirlwind eight-week tour of England and Germany. John has been hard at work on the final edit of his first novel Spud and writing the new ETV sitcom Unicity, which is about to begin shooting in Johannesburg. He is also working on his second major full-length play called Crooked, which is under negotiation to premier in KZN later this year.

The duo has also begun writing Black Mamba, which will slither to life in 2005.

More information on Green Mamba and Thunderdog Productions at www.thunderdog.co.za




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