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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

SOMEWHERE IN TIME (article first published : 2008-04-26; last edited : [an error occurred while processing this directive])

Good to see DHS presenting a production in their popular Seabrooke’s Theatre which up till now has been utilised by outside hirers. Seabrooke’s has notched up a highly successful line-up of productions which include KickstArt Productions award-winning Road to Mecca as well as the more recent Oleanna. Rajesh Gopie presented his Out of Bounds one-man show at Seabrooke’s and the venue was also chosen for last year’s festive season adult panto Robin Hood presented by Sue Clarence Promotions.

This time around, it’s proudly DHS – well, give or take the fact that the ladies in the cast come from Durban Girls High or Maris Stella High School, seeing as DHS is dedicated to the male gender!

The production is Somewhere in Time - an original musical written and directed by Patrick Collyer, assisted and choreographed by Colin Chapman. As the programme notes mention: “The setting of this musical is the Earth; the time – any time. The story is not new: good wholesome people are assailed by mindless, evil people. The message is also not new, either: Preserve the Earth, its flora and fauna and let it once again become the paradise it was.”

The musical deals with the warring Poisons and their dastardly designs to get rid of the gentler Woodfolk. Making up the Poisons are Matthew Roostee (Mandrake); Tamlynn Avis (Deadly Nightshade), Johann Potgieter (Hemlock); Sam Pennington (Henbane); Pavishan Paideya (Felwort); Lifalethu Khumalo (Snakeweed) Crab’s Claw (Mbali Mkhize); Adder’s Tongue(Cacherell Wroots) and Tormental (Theeban Naidoo).

On the other hand, there are The Woodfolk – a peace-loving community who hold no aggressive or militant feelings towards anyone. They comprise Barry (Rory Appleton); Rosemary (Nevita Naidu); Sage (Alexander Venturas); Oak (David Prinsloo); Holy Basil (Mbusisi Mtshali); Thyme (Ziona Zion!); Thistle (Michael Loubser) and Eyebright (Precious Ndlovu).

Pippa Pennington’s attractive baobab design on the backcloth is the only adornment on the stage. Mind you, with a cast of 17 there’s not a lot of space in which to do anything! This is very much an ensemble piece and the cast acquits itself well. Certain individuals shine like Matthew Roostee, Tamlynn Avis, Rory Appleton, Johann Potgieter, Sam Pennington and Nevita Naidu as well as Alexander Venturas (son of theatre veteran Themi Venturas and ballet teacher Trish McIntosh!) Pavishan Paideya proved that he’s a dancer to watch.

All the characters’ names come from the legendary publication, Culpeper’s Complete Herbal published in the early 17th Century, although Patrick Collyer admits to taking some liberty with their supposed and malignant powers. Following Patrick’s considerable musical expertise on the guitar and keyboards as he leads the band, are Alex Smillie, Matthew Ellis, and Matthew Barnwell. The sound quality was good – and regular readers will know that this is high praise from this quarter!

All in all, an enjoyable hour or so’s entertainment from a group of talented high school learners. Somewhere in Time runs at the Seabrooke’s Theatre until the end of next week (May 3). – Caroline Smart




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