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DEATH OF STEVE MORRIS (article first published : 2004-05-15)

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

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 “Nuts and Nonsense”, a compilation of Robert Kirby sketches. James Ngcobo, who went on to national fame and who appears in a popular television sitcom, also appeared at Café Paris Paris.

Other productions included Mari Visagie’s “Music, Memories & Men” devised and directed by Steven Stead; a musical revue titled “Rule Britannia: Songs of Love and War” with Suzi Stengel, Camilla Turner, Geoffrey Tracey and Brendan Jury, and “A Gershwin Affaire” featuring Kiru Nambiar, Camilla Turner, Russel Boast and Paul Botha.

When Cafe Paris Paris 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 to Kathy Kirkpatrick 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.




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