Port Elizabeth’s Rother Swain Drama studio has been at it for 25 years and is marking this silver milestone with a production of James and The Giant Peach, opening today at the Pemads Little Theatre in Central.
In 1991, Sharon Rother and Linda-Louise Swain decided to combine forces and their pupils in their first production of Miranda and the Magic Sponge and, they say, some 25 years later, there are moms who were in that production whose own little ones are in the current James and the Giant Peach.
“‘You taught my mom’” is a common phrase now, but when it hits ‘you taught my gran’, perhaps that is when we will need to entertain the very idea of semi-retirement!” Rother and Swain said.
In the early years, they sometimes managed to fit in two or three productions a year, tons of National Arts Festivals, a couple of overseas tours and performed at the Edinburgh Festival, while both also being active on-stage and directorial members of local dramatic societies in their spare time.
This year’s adventure sees some 110 youngsters involved in the two casts of James and the Giant Peach, which will be presented at 3.30pm and 7pm tonight and tomorrow, and at 11am and 3pm on Saturday and Sunday.
In the lead role of James are two of the studio’s most experienced youngsters in Gemma Bisseker and Dana Barclay.
They punctuate their role with great enthusiasm as they journey on the peach and meet such delightful characters as sharks, cloudmen, Earthworm, Silkworm, Grasshopper, Ladybird and the like in this Roald Dahl classic, adapted from the book.
Of course, in another Rother/ Swain characteristic, every little star gets their moment in the spotlight.
Tickets are R75. To book e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For booking information look at website: rotherswaindrama @weebly.com