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MUSHO CLOSING PARTY (article first published : 2007-01-23)

The Musho Theatre Festival ended with a bang with a closing cabaret party in Wilsonís Wharf on Sunday night with a stage having been erected at Zack's. The entry was free but a hat, actually a bucket, was passed around for donations for the Performing Arts Network of South Africa (PANSA) in KZN, to keep their office going.

The entertainment kicked off with songs by Rowan Bartlett and Anthony Stonier (belting out New York New York at his best) from the adult pantomime Snow White and continued with the eleven strong choir The King's Boys, and songs from Neon Anthems (Liam Magner and Kobus van Heerden - including Antelope) and Darren King (Oh Mandy and his parody of a song from Les Miserables).

There were also songs by The Horseshow Brothers; and Kevin Malony, Bradley Marshall, Kevin Sewell and Lionel Buxton from the Sharon Williams Studios; and a rap number by Simon Massie; as well as an excellent rendition of 525 600 Minutes from Rent by the 17 strong contingent from Singers Unlimited.

Songs were belted out by Clive Gumede (This is the Moment) and Karen Van Pletsen (No Woman No Crime) who also co-presented the very full programme with T-Bone Hlahane. There were also acts from the Musho! Festival, notably from Spitfire by Ian Robinson (Ewok) and The Onus Chronicles by Genevieve Akal and Keri Miller (their show-stopping parody of the song We Both Reached for the Gun from Chicago). The evening included a stint by the comedian Afzal Khan. The cabaret ended with a selection of songs from Jamaican Jam by Hamish Kydd, Clinton Philander and Rowan Bartlett.

Awards for the best productions, as voted by the audiences, were presented by Emma Durden and Lulu. Liam Magner won the award for the Fringe events for Spun, and for the main festival, the Runner Up Award was won by Ian Robinson (Ewok) for Spitfire and award for the best show went to Tin Bucket Drum. There was also a Special Award, donated by Dr & Rita Suliman and their daughter Fiona, who had booked for all 20 of the shows and had seen them all, less the two which had been cancelled. They had voted Ian Robinson's Spitfire to receive the trophy as the best show with Craig Morris' Blood Orange receiving special mention and a voucher.

The various sponsors, including Zack's, the National Arts Council (NAC), the suppliers of the drinks on the opening and closing nights and various others, were thanked and there was a lucky draw for various prizes, all donated.

It was a most entertaining finale to a brilliant festival, very professionally done. - Maurice Kort




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