SOME interesting theatre and music is to be staged at Pietermaritzburg’s Hexagon Theatre this week, ahead of it appearing at the Standard Bank National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

The PreFest Fest!, as it is billed, will start at 6pm for 6.30pm on Sunday, June 24, with While My Guitar, a show devised and directed by Peter Mitchell. It teams local musicians Erin Fourie and Daniel Rossouw (pictured above) in an exploration of the many worlds and words of The Beatles.

Fourie, a previous Idols finalist, was last seen in All That Jazz and Durban’s Playhouse Company production of The Sound of Music (as Sister Bertha), while Rossouw is a member of popular group Pan Latino.

Tickets for this event, In The Hexagon Dive, cost R100 each and picnic fare may be taken to the venue. To book mail hexagon@ukzn.ac.za

 

Three shows are set for the Hexagon Theatre on Monday, June 25, the first up being Greig Coetzee’s The Blue Period of Milton van der Spuy, at 5.30pm in the Hexagon Studio theatre. Tickets cost R70 each.

Performed by Francis Mennigke and directed by Peter Mitchell, the play centres on a man who has a few problems that are making him blue. He really wants to complete his next poem, but he has hit a block with finding a rhyme for orange.

Desperate

He’s also desperate to finish his current painting, but he can’t find a way to begin. And then there’s the constant danger that his head might explode… This colourful play is, at once, a whimsical celebration and a playful mockery of art in all its forms.

At 7pm on Monday, June 25, in the main Hexagon Theatre, a dance work will be presented by ReRouted Dance Theatre, with featured artists Tegan Peacock, Ashleigh Joubert and JC Zondi. Tickets cost R50 each.

Titled Clothes Maketh Wo(man), this co-production with Floating Outfit Project looks at how, in contemporary society, the “rules” around clothes are often not about fashion, taste or even necessity. They demarcate difference, enforcing and reiterating societal ideas about what it is to be a man or a woman.

Parameters of acceptability

“The implications of our clothing choices can be a liberating outlet for personal expression and self-confidence, but can also be a prison, constricting our physical bodies and ultimately our true selves into certain parameters of acceptability with very few finding the courage to challenge this,” says a spokesman.

The dance work questions if fashion is truly a means of self-expression or is just a shield.

Looking Into the Abyss, in the Hexagon Studio at 7.45pm on Monday, June 25, is directed by Menzi Mkhwane. It is a piece of theatre set in Umlazi and created by Mkhwane and Sabelo Ndlovu eight years ago, when it went on to take an Audience Favourite Award at Durban’s Musho Festival. Tickets cost R50 each.

Performed by Musa Shozi, the show explores many issues, but it is the theatrical cohesion of the body, the actor, and the story which heightens the experience for the audience.

“It comes to the Hexagon Theatre for the first time as it explores growing up as a young boy in the townships,” says a spokesman.

KZN Midlands events

On the music front, note that the Rhumbelow Theatre at Tina’s Hotel, 14 Beryldene Road, Kloof, presented The Johnny Cash Tribute at 8pm on Wednesday and Thursday this week (June 20 and 21) and will do so at the same times next Wednesday and Thursday (June 27 and 28).

Durban singer-guitarist Rob Warren is among the cast of The Johnny Cash Tribute, at Tina’s Hotel in Kloof.

The production features Rob Warren on guitar and vocals, his brother Garth Warren on bass, Gareth Gale on drums and Clare McIlroy on vocals.

The Johnny Cash Tribute, set in Folsom Prison and saluting the music and memories of the great Johnny Cash, has played to sold-out audiences in Durban and is back by popular demand.

Expect to hear hit songs such as Ring of Fire, Boy Named Sue, Folsom Prison Blues, Man in Black, Cry Cry Cry and Walk the Line, as well as songs with June Carter such as Jackson, It Ain’t Me Babe and Jukebox Blues.

The Muffinz

Tickets cost R150, seating is at tables of six, and booking is by phoning Roland Stansell at 082 499 8636.

Also worth considering… Johannesburg band The Muffinz visits Durban on Saturday and Sunday as part of a national tour – performances presented in association with Concerts SA, after sold-out shows in Bloemfontein and Johannesburg.

Formed seven years ago, the quartet presents The Muffinz On The Road To: Where You Are, a month-long touring project which includes live performances and music workshops.

Previous columns by Billy Suter

The band will perform at Durban’s Khaya Records, at 85 4th Avenue, Morningside, from 7pm on Saturday (June 23), when admission will be R60 a head. To book, or for more info, call 079 343 8634.

Johannesburg band The Muffinz visits Durban on Saturday and Sunday as part of a national tour.

Also catch the group at The Chairman, 146 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Point, Durban, from 11pm on Saturday (June 23), when admission will be R150 a head. Call 079 753 6313 to book or for more details.

Finally, catch The Muffinz at Durban’s Bat Centre, Victoria Embankment, from 3pm on Sunday (June 24), when there will be no couvert charge. The phone number there is (031) 332 0451.

Ocean’s Eight

My pick of new movie releases in cinemas countrywide this weekend is Ocean’s Eight, starring Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna and Helena Bonham-Carter. Directed by Gary Ross, the film has Debbie Ocean gathering an all-female crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City’s annual Met Gala.

TRIVIA: DO YOU KNOW?
What movie marked the film debut of music star Elvis Presley?
(Answer next Friday).
Last week’s question was: Who was the actor who first featured in American Graffiti before he starred in Star Wars?
(Answer: Harrison Ford).