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BENEFIT CONCERT (article first published : 2001-10-15)

A special glitzy benefit extravaganza is being held to raise money for the newly-established PAIN trust (the Performing Arts Injury Network) which has been created to assist performing arts professionals in times of physical need. The show will take place at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre this evening (October 15) at 19h30.

The trust fund came about in an effort to help Durban actor/pianist Anthony Stonier pay his hospital bills after he fell and badly injured his back a fortnight ago. The ever-supportive performing arts community rallied around Anthony and decided to host an elegant evening of the best of the performing arts currently to be seen in KZN in a glamorous and slick variety concert.

As the benefit is being held on a Monday evening, most of the performers currently appearing in and around Durban are giving up their one free evening to participate. “Returning to work” on their night off are the Gee Jays from Swooners and Crooners on whose set the benefit is being held.

The show will also provide audiences with a whistle-stop tour of what’s on in the city at the moment. They’ll be able to see cast members from the Billy Joel tribute Uptown Guy (Langoustine Theatre by the Sea) and the sophisticated show dealing with the life and loves of Marilyn Monroe Marilyn Live (Kwasuka Theatre). There’s also a taste of future productions with excerpts from the eclectic musical feast Class Act (coming to the Royal Hotel Backstage), Oscar Wilde's delicious The Importance of Being Earnest (coming to the Square Space Theatre) and the exciting new dance programme Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (soon to be performed at the St Mary's Church Hall).

Also expected on the programme are Garth Anderson, the Durban Divas, the Family Players, Aldo Brincat, Themi Venturas, Arnie Field, Caroline Smart and Peter Gardner, Peter Court, Greg King, Frank Graham, Liesl Coppin and Kate Bruce, Belinda Harward and Belinda Henwood as well as Brendan Jury, De Wet Wraight, Anton Cawthorn-Blazeby The Celtic Dance Company, Lisa Bobbert and Aaron McIlroy.

Rumour also has it that Mark Banks is also hoping to make a guest appearance

The final line-up is in the process of being finalised but the evening promises to showcase the very best of KZN's professional performing arts talent. Peter Court is artistic director assisted by Greg King and Peter Taylor and the production is being scripted by Anthony Stonier (from his sick bed) with the help of Belinda Harward and Garth Anderson.

An after-show finger-supper will be provided courtesy of a host of generous restaurants and supper theatres who have donated a plate or two towards the evening.

All front of house, technical, backstage, sound, lighting, ticketing staff, publicity, photographic and artistic personnel are providing their services free of charge. A special thanks to the staff of the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre for providing the venue and infrastructure for free, the cast of Swooners and Crooners, Rosemarie Schumann and Mike Broderick and their technical teams and support, Doreen Stanley for selling tickets and Mark Hancock Orthopaedic Suppliers for providing Anthony with a back-brace at a vastly reduced rate.

Tickets for the concert are a mere R80 per person and are available from Doreen Stanley at the Hilton College booking office on (033) 343-0126 or fax (033) 343-0127 for credit card patrons. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Donations to the fund can be made to PAIN - NBS branch code 720026 account number 9390106770.




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