A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

supper theatre
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

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

CATALINA (article first published : 2002-11-24)

Everything is on track for a smooth take-off on December 10 of The Catalina, a brand new 160-seater theatre with a fabulous harbour view. The Catalina forms part of the exciting new Wilsons Wharf development alongside the yacht mole off the Esplanade, not far from the yacht clubs and the BAT Centre.

The Catalina Theatre and Conference Company will be a multi-purpose venue offering conference and meeting facilities by day, and a versatile, elegant high-tech theatre by night. The theatre features raked seating and a 10m long, 6m deep and 3m high stage.

It is the brainchild of hardworking veteran Durban theatre personality – and Catalina pilot! - Themi Venturas, who wants to create a home for quality theatre, drama and music which will be frequented by locals and visitors alike.

The theatre is named after the catalina aircraft that were common in the area in the 1930s. Venturas continues the nostalgic airplane theme with elegant predominantly wooden decor with aircraft-like fittings. The back wall of the theatre features a model of the catalina wingspan and twin engine which runs at the back and across the full width of the theatre. The Catalina’s cut-out wings house the theatre lighting and the cockpit accommodates the lighting control booth.

The theatre is part of the lively entertainment hub that makes up the new Wilsons Wharf Project. It has floor-to-ceiling windows to make the most of the breathtaking harbour view and has a bar and balcony to enjoy pre-and post-shows drinks against the backdrop of the yacht mole. A key ingredient to the new development is an al-fresco area for relaxed and leisurely dining with a stunning view.

The Catalina itself is positioned above the new Zack’s restaurant – a sister shop to their popular Musgrave Road operation. Also in the complex are Digby’s (a meat and seafood grill); Corners (with an international menu) and Zenbisushi (a sushi bar). There is also an indoor arts and craft market with a similar mix of quality artistic merchandise and interesting treasures that can be found at the Saturday morning Essenwood market.

The theatre opens with a return season of the acclaimed two-hander sketch-based comedy – Green Mamba on December 10. Written and performed by Ben Voss and John van de Ruit and directed by Greig Coetzee, it has enjoyed critical acclaim and sell-out seasons at the Square Space Theatre in Durban and at the Grahamstown and Hilton Festivals (see review on Drama pages).

During the day, the Catalina will host a delightful children’s show called A Froggy Fairy Tale by busy theatre all-rounder Peter Court. It is a funky modern version of the familiar evergreen Princess and the Frog fairy tale.

Themi is in the process of confirming the line up for the first quarter. Directly after Green Mamba comes the surprise hit of the Grahamstown, Edinburgh and Hilton Festivals – a delightful two hander whimsical tragi-comedy/physical theatre piece called Baobabs Don’t Grow Here featuring James Cunningham and Helen Iskander and directed by Sylvaine Strike. (See review on Festival pages) This delightful animated story is scheduled for mid January for a two week season.

Following Baobabs is a short season of beautiful original guitar-based music in a programme called Guitars in Suits featuring Durban musicians Paul Botha and Alan Bowen.

In early February comes a hot comedy show featuring the best in local talent peppered with some national heavy-weight comedians featuring Ashwin Singh, Joe Carroll, Ivan Boniasczcuk, Ben Voss, John van der Ruit, Kaseran Pillay and friends.

Themi then hopes to get Paul Slabolepszy’s one-hander comedy Once a Pirate featuring TV and stage actor Seputla Sebogodi about one fan’s fanatical devotion to his beloved Pirate’s soccer squad. Paul Slabolepszy marries his two passions in his productions: plays about sport. After his homage to cricket and the Comrades, he now visits football.

Negotiations are underway for the bawdy, saucy and delightfully risqué Decadence starring two of the industry’s finest performers, Fiona Ramsay and Michael Richard, in this snappy, bristling, breathtaking, pacy two hander comedy by brilliant British playwright Steven Berkoff. The play examines the wealthy and working classes and exposes the vulgarity and excesses of both.

To wrap up the first quarter, plans are to host French chanteuse Daniele Pascal to town with her Chanson d’Amour – a collection of beautiful love songs including numbers from Moulin Rouge. She is accompanied by accordion and piano.

The Catalina is passionately marketed as an exciting venture for Durban. Durbanites are invited to invest in this vibrant project by purchasing an auditorium chair. Chairs sell at R2,500 per seat (a one-off payment for three years). Seat patrons will have a multitude of special privileges throughout the year. Patrons “own” their seat for three years and will be invited to attend gala openings throughout that time. Their names will be elegantly embroidered onto the back of the seat that they have purchased. For more information, contact Themi Venturas Production on 031 201 9242.




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart