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CELLAR UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT (article first published : 2003-08-22)

Stuart Mey, Bob Humphreys and the rest of the highly successful Dockyard Supper theatre team, will take over the management of the Playhouse Cellar at the end of this month and intend re-launching the venue with quality meals and show paralleling the Dockyard, yet retaining the old charm and ambience of the Cellar.

The Cellar was the first supper theatre to open in Durban in the early 80’s and in its almost 20 years of existence has hosted some of South Africa’s top artistes and been the launching pad for many of today’s top producers and performers. It still holds the record for the longest running show – Elton- which played to full houses for almost eight months. Other hit shows include Themi Venturas’ Good Vibrations as well as Stuart Mey’s musical revues – Santana and Clapton. Not forgetting that The Cellar was the birth of the smash hit adult pantomime formats.

The Dockyard Team, under the management of Stuart Mey, intends to restore this grand old lady of supper Theatre to her former glory. “For starters,” said Mey”, “we intend infuse our extra high standard of food to the Cellar. In the past the quality of the food on offer at the Cellar has been erratic. I can assure patrons, who have raved about food at the Dockyard, will find the same quality at the Cellar now.

“Since rumours started circulating that we would be taking on the management of the Cellar some months back, a number of producers have approached me with a view to putting in a production at the Cellar.”

In this light the Cellar kicks off with A Cellar Full of Noise, a highly successful show which played to packed houses at the Carousel in Johannesburg recently and was written and produced by Colin Sumner and Julie de Jager. The show is based on Brian Epstein’s biography – Cellar Full of Noise which traces the history of the Beatles from their days in Hamburg to their break-up in 1970. Other members of Epstein’s stable, namely Gerry & the Pacemakers, Cilla Black and Helen Shapiro will also appear, along with Dusty Springfield and Pet Clarke in the royal Variety Sequence.

This is an accurate documentary on these Liverpool artists - a high level of authenticity featured in set design and costumes.

Cellar Full of Noise has been cast in Durban and is true to Stuart’s policy of introducing talented relative newcomers along with season performers. Newcomers are Steve Peralta, Graeme Watson and Paul Cassells along with seasoned performers Angela Dodds and Andrew Jones, fresh from the United Kingdom.




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