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TABLE MANNERS (REVIVAL) (article first published : 2003-11-20)

Greg King’s wild and wonderful spoof on Agatha Christie’s best-selling murder mysteries attracted sell-out audiences when it was first performed in September. An extension of the run was not possible at the time but Greg has wisely revived the show for the festive season.

This means that if you missed it first time around, there’s no excuse now! For those who saw it earlier, I would suggest you pop along to the Kwasuka and see it again. Firstly, the show is now much tighter and more focused. Secondly, there is a change of cast and it’s always interesting to see the change in dynamics, moves and characters when different actors move into already-established roles.

Steven Stead and Donnagh Roberst have replaced Karen van Pletsen and Neil Coppen who will be appearing in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Always to be relied on to put in a solid, energetic and upfront performance, Steven takes the role of the streetwise, hyped and sexy Daniel. The younger brother of the host of the Snowy Creek supper stage where a dastardly murder has been commited, Daniel spends most of the show wrapped around his lady love, Kate. The surprise of the evening, she’s reason alone to see the show. The daughter of none-other than Durban’s top musicman Evan Roberts, Donnagh is a name to watch. Considering that it’s her first role and equally taking into account the highly experienced and talented company she’s in, she handled her spunky part with confidence, aplomb and a spirited attitude.

The rest of the cast remains the same. Darren King is in fine flamboyant camp form as the distraught supper stage host. Carol Trench is better than ever in her part as the unlovely and disgruntled Muffy and Belinda Henwood is again adorable as the deliciously vague Shiney Bright. Justin Southey, gaining confidence with each role he takes, is the long-suffering pianist Berlioz who provides suitable musical accompaniment.

Heather Schreiner is gutsy as the forthright Madame la Bouche and Richard Walne as Clarence Clearwater is beginning to grapple comedy moves and gags with confidence.

One of the highlights of the show is a scene where mother and daughter (Heather and Carol) burst into song, united for once in a common goal.

In this madcap whirl, a breadroll can become a butterfly, a powder puff or a luxury vehicle. A paper plate depicts a moon or a car’s headlamp. Wine glasses become taps or hairdryers and …. Well, trust me, you need to be there!

Table Manners is directed by Greg King and runs until December 20. Performances Tuesday to Saturday at 20h00 with Saturday matinees at 14h30 and Friday sundowners at 18h00. There is no Sunday show. Tickets R60 (R50 students and pensioners) from Computicket or through Greg on 083 544 2006. Contact Greg for block bookings for charities, fundraisers, corporate events and social gatherings. KwaSuka is an intimate air-conditioned 112 seater auditorium with a fully licensed bar and excellent outdoor entertaining facility. – Caroline Smart




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