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
KZNPO advert DTA advert .
See also our Classified ads
 

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

THE BLONDE CHANDLER (article first published : 1999-05-6)

The hair may be short, blonde and funky but the wide toothy smile (“I’m breaking these teeth in for a horse!”, she quips) and energy package is still 100% Dianne Chandler.

If, like me, you may have been puzzled by a poster advertising a show by Dianne Chandler with a picture that (at a distance driving along any of the major roads negotiating lunatic taxis and even more demented pedestrians with a death-wish) didn’t look like the star of Durban’s legendary Crazy Horse and Copacabana days, you may be forgiven. That’s because this powerhouse performer, well-known to South African audiences for her numerous appearances in cabaret, on television and in shows such as Evita, Jenny’s girl and the box-office smash hit We’ll Meet Again, has taken on a new look.

Now living in Franschoek where she runs a country lodge with her second husband Derek Hannan, Yorkshire-born Dianne was always a generous and committed performer who gave her audiences their money’s worth. Her latest show Cellulite & Sequins is no exception. Running at “The Venue” at Crawford College in La Lucia until May 15, she performs non-stop for over an hour and a half without interval with no sign of flagging.

She laments the fact that nowadays a performer can’t just appear as themselves – ie. as Dianne Chandler. “You have to have a `show’ and a title.” Cellulite & Sequins was an impromptu choice for her appearance at the Knysna Festival in 1974. In it, she wisely opts for a number of old faithfuls plus a few modern songs as “a little carrot for the ones who are 30-something.” Her biggest problem is poor sound quality and tinny backing tracks that are merciless to a performer because of the mechanical drum machine which permits little freedom of mood or interpretation. But when she is able to sing to a full orchestral sound (“You can’t afford an orchestra now unless you’re Kiri te Kanawa or Lucianno Pavarotti”), she comes into her own with songs like Don’t Rain on My Parade, New York and Big Spender, that allow her to give rein to her vocal power and dramatic ability. And no show with Dianne Chandler would be complete without the inevitable Jerusalem!

Her linking patter deals with her showbiz experiences, her husband, her children and her body, particularly a hilarious anecdote about an operation which had a surgeon working at both ends! And there aren’t many women I know over 40 would ever deliberately draw attention to underarm flab!

While good use is made of available lighting and a great job has been done by producers De Wet Wraight and Gareth Kenna in trying to make the wide stage look elegant and glitzy, it’s still a great barn-like area with unfriendly spaces above and to the side. Through no fault of her own, Dianne tends to get a bit lost when she’s not encased in a single spotlight.

Tickets at R70 include the show and a continental mezze platter with an optional dessert platter for R11. Book at Computicket. Block bookings available from DeWet on 082 476-9508.


 A current news
crafts
dance
festivals
drama
film & tv
literature
music
supper theatre
visual arts
miscellaneous

leisuresmart
letters to the editor

classified ads

 A archives
crafts
dance
drama
festivals
film & tv
literature
music
supper theatre
visual arts
miscellaneous

letters

home page


a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart