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DEATH OF STEVEN MORRIS (article first published : 2004-04-27)

The entertainment world is saddened to note the tragic passing of Steven Morris who was found murdered last week in his Prince Street apartment.

Steve Morris could well be considered one of the trailblazers of Durban’s supper theatre genre of entertainment, pioneered by the Hermit Vegetarian Restaurant in Hermitage Street.

In 1992, Steve opened a venue called Café Paris Paris in what was then the Standard Bank Arcade off West Street.

Well-known Durban theatre personalities Caroline Smart and Peter Gardner launched the venue with their comedy show, Nuts and Nonsense. Apart from many other innovative cabaret shows, Café Paris Paris also saw Springbok Radio stalwarts John Simpson and Roger Service performing their popular candlelight theatre production to a strong audience following.

When this venue was demolished to make way for further development, Steve moved to Westville where he opened El Guappo’s (next to Game) and the supper theatre programme was launched with Lashes Lipsynch & Lasagne directed by Steven Roche.

Steve Morris eventually sold the venue and it changed hands some years later but not before it had hosted performers such as the GeeJays, de Wet Wraight, Linda Vargas, Norraine Swanby, Debbie and Vincent Hathway, Karen Campbell-Gillies, Richard Hose, the Comedy Games Team (Judy Solomon, Nic Rujevic and Patrick Kenny) and Michael Evans. Popular entertainer Damien McIlroy launched his first solo show at El Guappo.

Steve Morris is remembered by those in the entertainment industry who worked with him as a gentle yet pro-active person who was passionate about theatre and wanted to assist performers to showcase their talents in whatever way he could.

A memorial service will be held on May 2 at 09h00 at the Presbyterian Beach Mission Church, Ocean Conference Centre, Marine Parade.




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