Riveting theatre fare awaits festinos

THREE world premières and five new South African productions are among the offerings presented by the production house responsible for the hit London Road at the National Arts Festival this year.

KBT Productions premières Jervis Pennington’s a cappella musical, A Town Called Fokol Lutho, directed by multiple award-winning Tara Notcutt; Drive With Me, a new play from writer and performer, Megan Furniss, directed by vocal guru Liz Mills; and a new adaptation of Paul Gallico’s classic novella, The Snow Goose, devised by the stellar team of James Cairns, Taryn Bennett and Jenine Collocott.

In addition, it is staging a new South African production of Bernard Slade’s Broadway hit, Same Time Next Year and Megan Furniss’s new show Song and Dance, directed by Ntombi Makhutshi, of London Road fame.

“It is a truly South African year,” says Simon Cooper, producer at KBT Productions. “Same Time Next Year and The Snow Goose are projects which have been close to my and [my wife] Helen’s hearts for many years.

“The other three, which are newer in origin, have excitement levels are at equal proportions!”

Drive With Me is the story of Marion Taylor who is on her way to present her “Symbols in Journeys” talk at the National Arts Festival’s Think!fest, but her own journey to Grahamstown threatens to disrupt the event. An intriguing, unexpected journey, it is a gripping and unsettling play.

A Town Called Fokol Lutho brings five men and five harmonised voices to a small Karoo town where nothing ever happens and no one is good at anything except singing and not falling in love. Or is there more? Written and composed by Jervis Pennington, the show is directed by Tara Notcutt (Three Little Pigs, Mafeking Road).

On the desolate Essex marshes and against the background of the miracle of Dunkirk, a wounded, storm-tossed snow goose brings a young girl, Fritha, and the recluse Philip Rhayader together in a moving story about love and courage in The Snow Goose. The Tony award-winning play, Same Time Next Year, features Binneland and musical theatre star Paul Du Toit and Julie Hartley (Noises Off), under the direction of Christopher Weare.

George and Doris fall in love, have an affair but, because they are married to other people, agree to meet at the same hotel, same time, every year, and over 24 years realise they are the love of each other’s lives.

Song and Dance – directed by Ntombi Makhutshi and featuring rising performers Anele Situlweni, Deon Nebulane and Zondwa Njokweni – tells the story of two burglars who break into the wrong stylish apartment and things go from unexpected to dangerous faster than a bad audition.

Bookings for all shows can be made at Computicket.

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