For 13 years, actress and producer Diaan Lawrenson charmed South African audiences by starring on 7de Laan. Since leaving the series, she has gone on to star in critically acclaimed films such as Raaiselkind, Sink and her latest film Susters which is now playing in select theatres. An accomplished theatre actress, she is also the co-founder of Jester Productions, a multimedia production company that she founded alongside her husband, and fellow actor, Jody Abrahams, which focuses on facilitating, developing and producing original South African concepts. Continue reading
Genna Gardini is a writer and teacher. She is the author of Matric Rage, which was published in 2014 by uHlanga Press. In 2012, she was awarded the DALRO New Coin Poetry prize and was chosen as one of the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans for 2013. She is also the co-founder of Horses’ Heads Productions and has had several of her plays produced at the National Arts Festival including WinterSweet and Scrape, both of which went on to win Standard Bank Ovation Awards. In addition, she also works as the poetry editor of Prufrock Magazine, a journal in which her own work has featured.
Choreographer and dancer Louisa Talbot became a soloist in the Cape Dance Company at the age of 13, specialising in contemporary and classical dance. She became a member of Jazzart Dance Theatre and went on to freelance for Free Flight Dance Company and Bovim Ballet. In 2004, Louisa started her musical theatre career with the musical Show Boat. She began choreographing musicals for The Fugard Theatre in 2013 and went on to be nominated for a Best Choreography Naledi Theatre Award for The Rocky Horror Show. Other theatre choreography credits include Cabaret, Funny Girl and West Side Story which is currently running at Artscape in its return Cape Town season. Continue reading
Melanie Burke is the chairman of the Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards. Originally based in the corporate world, Melanie was appointed to her position six years ago. She serves on the board of many NGO’s but it’s the Fleur du Cap’s that have broken her “three year volunteering rule.” A fierce and formidable presence in the theatre industry, we sat down with Melanie at the Baxter Theatre, the upcoming venue of the 53rd annual Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards, to discuss her journey as chairman of South Africa’s most coveted theatre award. For a list of the nominees, please click here.
For the last 25 years, Jo da Silva has had an extensive career in TV, film, radio and theatre. After a decade long hiatus from theatre, she makes her much-anticipated return to the stage juggling two roles in Noël Coward’s Present Laughter presented at Theatre on the Bay before jumping into Fatal Attraction which will play Theatre on the Bay and Pieter Toerien’s Monte Casino Theatre in Johannesburg. We sat down with her to chat about the show, her career and surving portraying the “most hated woman in the history of South African television.” Continue reading
Triple threat, Sihle Ndaba is well-known to South African audiences for her award-winning role as ‘Smangele Maphumulo’ in SABC 1’s hit primetime soap Uzalo, for which she won the Simon Sabela Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2015. She is currently making a return to her musical theatre roots by starring as ‘Petal’ in The Fugard Theatre’s return season of King Kong. We sat down with her to chat about joining the illustrious company and navigating the fame that comes along with starring on South African television.
Lesedi Job is an actress and director. Lesedi made her directorial debut in 2017 with Mike van Graan’s When Swallows Cry at the Market Theatre and went on to win the Sophie Mgcina Emerging Voice Award. The production, which has transferred to Cape Town, is currently running at the Baxter Theatre. An accomplished performer in her own right, Lesedi received a Naledi Theatre Award nomination for her role in Lara Foot’s Fishers of Hope. Continue reading
For months Cape Town has been buzzing about the upcoming historic all-women production of The Taming of the Shrew, which is set to take the Maynardville Open-Air Theatre by storm. Fierce and formidable theatre veterans, Daneel van der Walt and Alicia McCormick have been tapped to lead the company by playing sparring partners Petruchio and Kate, respectively. We sat down with them to chat about the history-making production, debuting at Maynardville and the importance of working with women.
A historic production of Shakespeare’s popular comedy, The Taming of the Shrew, will be presented at the Maynardville Open-Air Theatre, directed by Tara Notcutt and featuring an all-female cast and creative team. Award-winning director Notcutt is making history with something never before seen on a South African stage: an all-female version of a Shakespeare play. She leads some of South Africa’s most celebrated actresses in a version of The Taming of the Shrew like it has never been seen before: a meeting of classic text with modern twists, including lip-synching, 90s fashion, and an all-female cast playing men and playing women, supported by an all-female creative team. This production also makes history as Notcutt becomes the 5th women in 61 years to direct a Shakespearian production at Maynardville. We were invited to attend the cast’s first day of rehearsals and get a sneak peak at this groundbreaking production.
Theatre-maker and performer Dara Beth describes herself as “first and foremost an angry, Jewish feminist”. She is one half of the cabaret duo Plumsong, which she has been performing as since 2011 with her mom and fellow performer, Sharyn Seidel. A recent UCT graduate, Dara has written and performed in Just a Song and a Dance with co-performer Sharyn at the Alexander Bar and the National Arts Festival. Dara has also worked as a stage manager on Wessel Pretorius’ Klara Maas se Hart is Gebreek and Die Ontelbare 48, Ameera Conrad’s Reparation and Jon Keevy’s The Underground Library. Dara also makes up one third of The Furies, a womxn-centric artistic co-op, who are responsible for presenting her latest original piece, Nasty Womxn, which makes its return to the Alexander Bar for a limited engagement following its triumphant success at the end of last year. Continue reading