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SLEEPING BEAUTY (article first published : 2006-11-29)

If you and the young children in your life loved Winnie-the-Pooh, Snow White and Cinderella, donít miss KickstArtís new production of the classic fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty!

This festive season, Steven Stead and Greg King present their latest family pantomime, Sleeping Beauty complete with goblins, dragons, an enchanted castle, vanishing fairies and magically-growing rose trees.

Over the last two years, KickstArt has been responsible for reviving the tradition of family pantomime in Durban, with award-winning productions of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Cinderella at Kwasuka Theatre and the highly successful Winnie-the-Pooh at the Playhouse Opera in July.

Sleeping Beauty sticks to the same formula of impressive sets and costumes, catchy songs and jokes and giggles a-plenty.

The witty script is by Steven Stead, while the lavish designs are in the capable hands of Greg King. Despite being busy directing My Fair Lady for The Playhouse Company in December, Stead also directs and choreographs Sleeping Beauty, with the help of experienced co-director, Kenlynn Sutherland. Musical direction is by well-known Durban maestro, Evan Roberts.

The cast features Shelley Maclean in the title role with Cobus van Heerden as her handsome prince. The two fairies, Celestina Sparkle and the evil Malificent, are played by two of Durbanís best actresses, Belinda Henwood and Clare Mortimer, the stars of such serious dramas as Dangerous Liaisons, Dracula and Boston Marriage.

Bryan Hiles, who delighted audiences with his performances in Cinderella and Snow White, plays Huckleby Hopscotch the Court Jester. Darren King dons wigs and eyelashes and outrageous frocks to become Nurse Cecily Knickersnagger, the princessís faithful nurse. Aaron McIlroy, best known for his wacky one-man shows and his musical comedy productions with Lisa Bobbert, will lend his vocal talents to Gobby the Goblin. Wendy Watson (a memorable Owl in Winnie-the-Pooh) plays Queen Zinnia, and Thomie Holtzhausen (a firm favourite as an Ugly Sister in Cinderella) plays King Colin.

Sleeping Beauty is designed for the whole family and runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from December 8 to 31 with low-price previews on December 7 at 14h30 and 19h00. Normal priced performances Tuesday to Saturday at 14h30 (16h00 on Sunday) with one evening show a week on Fridays at 19h00.

Tickets R75 (R60 children under 12 and pensioners). Preview price tickets on December 7 are R60 throughout. Early booking is advised through Computicket.




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