EVERYBODY IS RAVING ABOUT THIS YEAR’S PANTO
– HERE’S JUST A FEW EXCERPTS FROM MEDIA REVIEWERS:
“Janice Honeyman has an amazing capacity for churning out one hit pantomime after another… she scoops her audience up and takes them on a wonderfully entertaining journey… dazzling scenery, slick sound and lighting designs and some of the most striking and inventive costumes I’ve seen in years… This year’s production simply takes the breath away…Sleeping Beauty dazzles on all fronts and is Janice Honeyman’s best panto yet.”
Peter Feldman, The Next 48 Hours
“Janice Honeyman has perfected the art of the South African Christmas Pantomime and has created an annual institution, looked forward to by young and old alike… This year’s production of Sleeping Beauty seems to have taken on a new, fresh persona. The sets and costumes and incredible lighting bring the show alive and to me there is an added panache this year…. Janice has created in my mind a very sophisticated show that plays to both children and adults alike… If going to the panto is not a Christmas tradition in your house, then now is the time to start it. Mums and Dads, Grannies and Grandpas and kids of all ages should see this.”
Chris Avant Smith, B Sharp Entertainment
“Janice Honeyman is back with another winner… her best yet. Sleeping Beauty is a panto on steroids – the sets, costumes and props are bigger and better than ever before, the gags sillier and the cast crazier.”
Michelle Loewenstein, The Citizen
“Raises the bar with a level of technical excellence and wizardry that will have you either wide-eyed with wonder or screaming with delight… Honeyman is adept at creating a script to satisfy children and adults alike.”
“Let Sleeping Beauty cast its magic spell… bathed in a rosy romantic glow… plenty of wit and sparkle… there isn’t a dull moment… you definitely won’t be disappointed by this colourful and fun-filled family romp.”
Jenny de Klerk, Saturday Star
“As lavish, glittery and camp as ever… The show slips from one magical moment to the next with ease, making full use of the huge stage to create a sparkling pageant of song and dance.”
Lesley Stones, artslink.co.za
“This Christmas 2015 epic promises to deliver another record-breaking run for Joburg Theatre… this is what we’ve come to expect from this annual extravaganza. Anything less, and some of the festive season magic would be gone… there’s an innocence and an enchantment that’s irresistible… rich pickings to keep even the youngest members of the audience watching… a company of stars.”
Janet Smith, Star Tonight
Theatre producer Bernard Jay to announced his fifteenth collaboration with acclaimed writer/director Janice Honeyman on the annual Joburg Theatre pantomime productions earlier this year. These much loved family entertainments have become the most popular stage shows in South Africa, each year attractingover 65,000 patrons.
The evergreen tale of the beautiful princess who is cursed at her christening by the wicked fairy in JaniceHoneyman’s “pantomime of your dreams”, Sleeping Beauty, is on the stage of The Mandela at Joburg Theatre until December 30th 2015. This is the first time the pantomime Sleeping Beauty has been staged at Joburg Theatre since 2002.
On her 18th birthday, the Princess Aurora-Adora will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die. But our Good Fairy Floradora Daisy offers some hope – she changes the spell to ensure that the princess won’t die, but will fall into an enchanted sleep for one hundred years from which she will only awake if kissed by the one she loves, Prince Harry Hunkador the Handsome!
Janice Honeyman promised that “Our Sleeping Beauty will bring the pure magic of pantomime once again to Joburg, mixed with sheer spectacle, special effects, laughter, outrageous puns, double-entendres and the most popular of contemporary music, mixed together with some classic melodies always associated with this story. Not to mention the giant spider, the fateful spinning wheel and That Kiss!”
Bernard Jay added, “This has to be the most exciting – and certainly most romantic – cast we have ever managed to bring together for a Joburg Theatre pantomime.”
After a two-year absence from the panto tradition, the most beloved of all South African panto stars, Tobie Cronjé, returns to grace the Joburg stage with his over-the-top portrayal of Dame Nora Nursey.
Named one of Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Sexiest Men in 2010, Sowetan Live’s sexiest in 2011 and fourth in Men’s Health Cover Guy Search in 2014, Christopher Jaftha returns to panto at Joburg Theatre as Prince Harry Hunkador the Handsome, following his triumphant success in the title role of Janice Honeyman’s 2013 Aladdin. Chris has already had a phenomenal year in 2015, recently becoming a presenter on Top Billing and having just completed a starring role in the musical West Side Story in Cape Town.
Nicole Fortuin started her career as a dancer – representing South Africa internationally on many occasions – and can be seen this year not only on stage as Chris Jaftha’s Princess Aurora-Adora in Sleeping Beauty, but also together with her same lead actor in SABC3’s new Afrikaans Drama Series Roer Jou Voete.
Timothy Moloi, one of South Africa’s most prolific and popular performers, also returns to the panto this year to play the revealingly named character of Sir Poensface Ponce-a-Lot, following his glorious and highly-praised sold-out concert Always & Forever – A Tribute to Luther Vandross at Gold Reef City in celebration of his 40th birthday.
South African television and theatre star Michelle Botha will play the Wicked Fairy Kakkamella Khakibos. Michelle was last seen at Joburg Theatre in her much lauded outrageous starring role as The Lady of the Lake in the musical Monty Python’s Spamalot.
Join all the zany pantomime characters – including Matthew Berry as Maaikie Mouse, Dionne Song as MiemsieMouse, L J Urbani as King Daffy Dum Doodle, Michele Levin as Queen Dolly DumDilly and Clive Gilson as Jester Cracker-Jack – as they battle with dragons and time machines to ensure that the prince is ready to wake the sleeping princess on time. Then watch the battle of good over evil commence as our princess is awoken from 100 years of sleep.
Providing additional style and some ‘wow moments’ in Sleeping Beauty will be nine youngsters from the Joburg sports and dance training academy Art of Motion. These hugely talented youngsters will be integrated into the panto story, using their skills in ballet, Irish, Latin American, African, Hip Hop and contemporary dance. Angelique Harris is the choreographer for Art of Motion.
Completing the huge all-South African cast of this year’s Joburg Theatre panto will be Daniel Fisher, TshepoNcokoane, Sean Louw, Keaton Ditchfield, Dale Scheepers, Bisi Bangiwe Ka Jobela,Kiruna-Lind Devar, Sarah Richard, Venolia Manale, Mary-Jane Zimri, SuzaanHelberg and Maryanne Van Eyssen.
Janice Honeyman’s award-winning creative panto team consists of Timothy Le Roux (resident director), Graham McLusky (lighting designer), Trevor Peters (sound designer) and Nicol Sheraton (choreographer).
Marga Sander serves as Musical Director for Sleeping Beauty withDrew Rienstra as Assistant Musical Director.
Sleeping Beauty is produced by Bernard Jay for Joburg Theatre, with associate producers Simon James and Claire Pacariz, and is brought to JoburgTheatre in association with MNet, Jacaranda FM and Your Family Magazine.
Over 35,000 tickets have already been sold for this year’s Joburg Theatre pantomime, with tickets for preview performances on Saturday November 7th and Sunday November 8th from R165 and for regular performances from November 13th to December 30th from R215. Special group discounts and hospitality packages are available. Visit www.joburgtheatre.com or call 0861670 670.
Janice Honeyman’s SLEEPING BEAUTY – Cast Change
Please be advised that with immediate effect, the role of Fairy Floradora Daisy will now be performed by MARYANNE VAN EYSSEN, and not CANDIDA MOSOMA as originally cast, for the duration of the season which ends on December 30th.
Candida had to leave the company on Tuesday November 3rd for an emergency operation the following day. We were very sad to see her go and our heartfelt thoughts are with her and wish her a speedy recovery.
In the true spirit of “the show must go on” the re-casting took place from the existing cast and Maryanne stepped up to the challenge, learning the role overnight before the first preview performance the following morning (Wednesday November 4th).
Maryanne comes from the small town of Port Elizabeth and from an early age, found her passion for performing after appearing in The Wizard of Oz on Ice at the age of 3. She went on to appear in many shows, before moving to Cape Town to study at the Waterfront Theatre School, majoring in Musical Theatre, Drama and Dance. She obtained top marks in her examinations, as well as becoming a qualified tap teacher with the ISTD. Recent productions include; The Sound of Music, Spamalot (Ensemble and understudy to The Lady of The Lake), Hansel and Gretel (Gretel) and Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.
To complete the cast, CARMEN PRETORIUS has now joined the ensemble. Carmen was last on the stage of The Mandela playing the title role of Cinderella in the 2011 pantomime.