Pack up your troubles… And come see OLD KIT BAG!

Old Kit Bag 1

We can’t believe it – there are just TWO shows left in this year’s edition of RAIDERS! That’s right, RAIDERS: THE GREAT WAR closes on Saturday, September 6, after an incredible run that has seen many a bad “arm” pun and laughs for all (including the actors on stage!) If you haven’t yet had a chance to see Nicholas, Daniel and Sne in action yet, then book now. Right now. Seriously. Go do it. We’ll wait. Back? Good! Because we have a great new show we’re so excited to tell you about!

Yes, it is the show so many of you have been asking about… OLD KIT BAG! After postponing the show earlier this year, rehearsals for the final chapter in our World War I season are in full swing, and it is looking fantastic!

Starring Liz Szymczak as the Matron, David Scales as the Captain, Matthew Roberts as the Corporal and Jessica Munna and Liz Starke as the lovely ladies of the Medical Core, OLD KIT BAG takes place during the closing months of the First World War. The end is in sight, but the troops are being battered at the front. Morale is low and many brothers have been lost, but spirits are starting to rise after the arrival of the Americans into the trenches.

In an effort to keep chins up, The Back to Front Players of the Royal Medical Army Corps are putting on a concert at the Medical Battalion in St. Julien, coming together for merrymaking during this brief hiatus from battle; a slither of joy and excitement before the darkness of war returns.

This show will be playing some of the best tunes and ditties from the homefront, as well as some numbers the troops cooked up – you will be surprised how many songs are familiar!

Join us in remembrance of the Great War, as well as enjoying a wonderful evening of music, from 17 September. Details below.

OLD KIT BAG

Starring David Scales, Matthew Roberts, Nicholas Ellenbogen, Liz Szymczak, Jessica Munna, Liz Starke, Sean Whitehead.

Dates: 17th September – 18th October
Wednesdays – Saturdays: 8pm
Saturday Matinee for pensioners: 3pm

Tickets: R120
Students: R60
Pensioner performance (Saturday Matinee only): R60

Click here to book online or phone Sean on 074 101 5066.

 

Full steam ahead! RAIDERS: THE GREAT WAR charges on to the Rosebank stage

Raiders The Great War

Daniel Richards, Nicholas Ellenbogen and Sne Dladla in RAIDERS: THE GREAT WAR

Hot off a sold-out run at the National Arts Festival, Nicholas Ellenbogen brings the latest installment of his legendary Raiders franchise – RAIDERS: THE GREAT WAR - to the Rosebank Theatre, and the first reviews have already started rolling in!

This, the 25th edition of the adventure-comedy franchise, also stars rising talents Daniel Richards and Sne Dladla in an irreverent journey across Europe at the height of the First World War, mixing history with fantasy and more than a dash of comedy … Bringing you, the audience, along for the ride!

Beverley Brommert of the Cape Argus rated the show at FOUR STARS OUT OF FIVE, writing in her review:

It is not so much the aleatory and inventive plot that delights spectators, as the outrageous ingenuity with which simple props are used to evoke great and dramatic happenings.

… No Raiders would be complete without the considerable groan factor of predictable or familiar puns, and this one is no exception; it all adds to the innocent fun.

Need more convincing? Perhaps some more details? Like a plot, show times, ticket prices and booking details? Fair enough…

About RAIDERS: THE GREAT WAR

Europe is at war and the Bolsheviks have signed the forms to execute the Romanov family. In a last ditch effort to save the royal bloodline – Harold (Nicholas Ellenbogen), the master spy plans to smuggle everything he needs to restart the Romanov dynasty once the war is over.

But he knows he can’t do it alone, so he enlists the aid of a Cossack Royalist by the name of Yakov (Daniel Richards). Together they flee Russia while being hunted by Comrade Dobrov and the might of the rising Red Army.

Starring Nicholas Ellenbogen, Daniel Richards and Sne Dladla
Show times:
Tuesdays to Saturdays, 8pm until 6 September 2014.
Ticket prices: R100 General, R60 for pensioners and students
How to book: You can either book on Webtickets here or phone Sean on 074 101 5066

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Cape Town loves Fergus of Galloway!

IMG_5061a

 

It has been an absolute roller coaster getting Fergus of Galloway going!

Now that it is – we have been getting phenomenal reviews!

“FERGUS OF GALLOWAY is one of the most refreshing pieces of theatre that has appeared on stage in Cape Town this year. It is the kind of play that will send you out into the night grinning from ear to ear…” – David Fick (BroadwayWorld.com)

Click here to read the review

“…an evening of manic fun.”

“As an ensemble, this is excellent theatre, with well-matched executants.” – Beverley Brommert (Cape Argus)

Click here to read the review

“… I had a smile plastered on my face from beginning to end.”

“[The music] was the element which made me want to stay seated after the show ended – being as I was in no rush to brave the far less fabulous outside world quite so soon.” – Melissa Cohen (The Next 48 Hours)

Click here to read the review

“…the cast plays together and their sheer delight and exuberance on stage is infectious.”

“This is a quirky and unusual production; a musical comedy accessible to all ages…” – Tracey Saunders (Cape Times)

Click here to read the review

There are always more reviews coming in! Keep checking in for more!

Reviews Galore!

The UCT Autumn Season is now in full swing – with the double-bill of DIE BUFFEL and THE OPEN COUPLE nearing its close…

The first review is from Beverley Brommert for the Cape Argus.

“***”

10254011_10154085624120335_2864560263471523295_n

 

 

The next review if from David Fick for BroadWayWorld.com.

“Weare has a knack for comedy and here he has found the right rhythms for the two pieces, both of which entertain the audience deftly from the first notes of music…”

Click here for the full review

Catch these shows before they go on Saturday!

Book your tickets now on Webtickets, or phone Nabeelah on 021 480 7129.

Busy times at the Rosebank Theatre!

The Open Couple

The Open Couple

Wow, never mind all the public holidays… It has been a busy few weeks at The Rosebank Theatre!

Firstly, we are thrilled to have the Drama Department of the University of Cape Town joining us for three weeks in May with three wonderful productions for their Autumn Season, with the Fourth Year Acting students put through their paces by none other than the legendary Christopher Weare!

Anton Chekhov (Die Buffel and Dario Fo (The Open Couple) meet in a double bill for UCT’s Autumn Season, which is rounded out by Lion on the Path, a collection of Zimbabwean folk tales that will appeal to the whole family.

For more on these three productions, which will be showcasing some of the best of local student theatre, visit our Coming Soon page – and book your tickets on the right!

Once UCT’s Autumn Season has ended, we will be staging Fergus of Galloway - an Alexander McCall Smith-penned operetta that is being transformed into a contemporary musical right this moment!

The Next 48 Hours Reviews THE WAY WE WERE

Cat finger on chin HR Colour red beret

You can read an excerpt below,  and the full review here.

“…Cat Simoni transforms the tiny venue of the Rosebank Theatre into her lounge as she takes the audience through a hilarious and at times heartfelt trip down Streisand’s road to success.

…I walked out of the theatre with my horizons broadened and a newfound love for a musical legend I never used to pay attention to. I call that a good night’s entertainment.”

In the Spotlight: Cat Simoni

Cat with umbrella HR colour
As we get closer to the opening of The Way We Were – we asked the beautiful and wonderful Cat Simoni a few questions about herself and her fantastic show!

In fifty words or less, describe your show. I tell Barbra’s early story, the Brooklyn days before she crossed over the old moon river into Manhattan and became a star. The things she had to go through to achieve what she did are incredible. Through the story I sing the songs that influenced her and the unforgettable songs that shot her to stardom. What comes through is her astonishing spirit, chutzpah, and humour. The one and only Funny Girl!

Why did you choose Barbra Streisand to pay tribute to? Babs was quite a gal, gutsy, resilient, and uber talented! A friend of mine said hey why don’t you do a Barbra Tribute, you are one of the few people who could really do it justice with your voice. I thought well, nothing like stepping completely outside of your comfort zone…here goes!

Without giving too much away – what’s your favourite moment of the show? When Barbra auditions for her first smash hit part in a Broadway musical, and takes everyone completely by surprise!

Who are your other musical/theatrical influences and heroes? I love Bernadette Peters, Julie Andrews, Maggie Smith, Bette Midler,

What got you into the theatre? My writer and creative director, Paul Spence. He said ‘you are more than just a cocktail singer, you can make them laugh, make them cry, talk to them, tell them stories, love them and let them love you!

Do you remember your first performance? Tell us about it. Yes, it was a performance of my London story, From West End to Broadway & Beyond! at The Schlesinger Theatre in KZN. Suddenly I had a script, a show, a structure, a beginning and an end, and a whole lot of people to keep entertained in between! Scary stuff but exhilarating!

What is one of the funniest/most memorable moments you’ve had while performing? I guess it would be when I was performing I dreamed a Dream at The Grande Roche and a German table were chatting up a storm and focusing on their chocolate mousse, I picked up a spoon and helped myself in the middle of the song! They loved it, they laughed out loud.

Tell us a bit about your time in London – where were you performing? I spent 10 years performing at some of London’s top hotels and private clubs, like The Ritz, The Dorchester, The Carlton, Mayfair, Berkeley Square Casino, Reform Club and Royal Automobile Club. I met some extraordinary characters in these places, (some of them are in my London story) and performed for the crème de la crème of London’s high society!

Why have you returned to SA? I’ll give you 3 good reasons! Zac, Mia & Olivia. 3 kids needing an outdoor, healthy childhood, under the African sun. Oh and lots of bonding with Granny & Grampa!

What’s next on the list for you after the Rosebank Theatre? I’m performing at Diemersfontein on the weekend of the 11-13th April and am also very excited about my new Ella Fitzgerald show, Cat Sings Ella! at Auto & General Theatre on the Square, Sandton, May 13th – 24th. Right after that Jacques Brel, So Alive, So Well! (Jacques Brel meets gorgeous Francois Hardy in Paris) in Jo’burg in June.

Anything else you would like to add? I’m really looking forward to the cozy intimacy of the new Rosebank Theatre. Perfect for my Barbra. Can’t wait!

The Way We Were opens on the 1st April: 20:00

Dates: 1st April – 10th April and 12th April (No Show on Friday 11th April)

Tuesdays – Saturdays
Tickets:
 R100
Pensioners and Students: R60

Click here to book your tickets now!

In the Spotlight: Nicholas Ellenbogen

20140319_193520
We’ve been asked to get a picture of Nicholas with his Fleur du Cap Lifetime Achievement Award, but he is a bit camera shy these days… So here is a picture of his certificate instead!

This award only begins to encapsulate the life that has been Nicholas Ellenbogen’s… And to truly tell the tale of Nicholas, one would need more than a book… But here’s a quick (ish) highlights reel.

Having begun his studies as an Economics major, Nicholas found the theatre after having to deal with too many overwhelming sums. He went to London to study acting, beginning a career that has spanned over 40 years.

In his acting career, Nicholas has acted in multiple productions of Shakespeare, has performed Brecht and worked with Harold Pinter, and has performed in numerous musicals. As a director,  he has directed grand-scale plays such as Okavango MacBeth and Richard III.

Nicholas also launched the Amstel Playwright of the Year Awards in 1978, which helped many new writers find their voices: One name that springs to mind from that project is Zakes Mda! He was also part of the Grahamstown Arts Festival committee, and helped to move the Festival from a Eurocentric event to one with a truly African focus.

Nicholas was also the Artistic Director of Drama for NAPAC from 1984, and was the founder of the Loft Theatre Company.

With his Theatre For Africa Company, which he founded with his wife Liz in 1989, Nicholas has toured Southern Africa training local actors and equipping people with the tools to express themselves, and also on how to conserve the environment. Many of Nicholas’ works have revolved around environmental education, a movement that only became popular almost a decade after Nicholas’ first efforts.

Theatre for Africa also performed for Queen Elizabeth II and her family at Balmoral Castle in Scotland in August 1992, where Nicholas was awarded a citation by the Duke of Edinburgh in recognition of his innovative approach to environmental education.

He has directed many smaller plays – many of them his own works – which leads to Nicholas the Playwright.

The man has written over 190 plays – some of which have been only performed once, but the archives are bursting with creativity! His work crosses from stories of Africa, to sport and to nature conservation, and some of his work – including his Horn of Sorrow – is taught in schools today.

He’s also become a Grahamstown Festival icon with his RAIDERS franchise, which has been running for 25 years and is a Festival favourite. This year, he returns to Grahamstown with RAIDERS: THE GREAT WAR.

He both created and directed the acclaimed 1991 feature film The Angel, The Bicycle and the Chinaman’s Finger, and recently had a supporting role in the family film Felix.

Nicholas has previously won a Fleur du Cap Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Sir Toby Belch in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at Maynardville 2006/2007. He has performed in Nepal, Sweden, Edinburgh, to name but a very few!

He is currently starring alongside Sandile Kamle in SILLY MID ON at the Rosebank Theatre. This production must close on 29 March, so book tickets now!