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EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN (article first published : 2007-04-24)

Having launched some of theatre’s most loved stars, The Company of Theatre Arts marks its 21 years in showbiz with a gala performance, Everything Old is New Again, at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from April 26 to May 5.

The amateur company presented its first show, Godspell, at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and has spent the following 21 years entertaining audiences in and around Durban.

Shows included in the company’s mainly musical theatre repertoire are Guys and Dolls, Oh Mr Porter, Jungle Book, London Calling Forth and A Twist of Lennon.

Company director Fiona Snyder says Everything Old is New Again is a musical revue incorporating popular numbers from past performances, woven together in a multi-coloured tapestry of talent mapping 21 years of creative excellence.

“With performers ranging in age from five to 71, we’ve tried to choose numbers that will be visually appealing, as well as bring back fond memories for the audience,” said Snyder. “You also have to bear in mind that being an amateur company, our budget is limited so we have to beg, borrow and steal … it’s a case of a lot of help from our friends!”

Returning to perform in the show is former company stalwart Jim Croeser, who now lives in Australia, while support is flowing in from members who are now household names on the local theatre circuit – including Gary McKenzie, Grant Bell and John Didlick of the Gee Jays fame, Ricky McGregor, who has produced California Dreaming, music sensation Dawn Selby, production guru Rosemary Schumann and sound whizz Ron Selby.

Durban cabaret artiste Melanie Roberts, now living in Dubai, also started her career in the company’s production of Guys and Dolls back in the 80s. In the production with her were Snyder and Liz Cunningham, who is now the company’s musical director.

Tickets R70 booked through Computicket. Shows are at 20h00 (matinee show on May 5 at 15h00).

Then, for all members past and present, the Company of Theatre Arts will also hosting a Gutter ball - the theme being derived from many long after-parties during the St John’s days, being held in the street ‘gutter’ outside the theatre.

The evening on April 30 is open exclusively to all COTA members (current and lapsed) to mingle over snacks and drinks while taking a walk down memory lane. Tickets R60 per person. To book contact Misty on 082 901 7541.




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