Archive for February, 2009





February – the shortest month of the year and boy is it zooting past! The month to think of l o v e and a whole lot M O R E besides!!

You may be wondering, “Who is St. Valentine”? Legend has it that Valentine was a priest who served during third century Rome. There was an Emperor at that time by the name of Claudius II who decided that single men made better soldiers than those that were married. With this thought in mind he outlawed marriage for young men in hopes of building a stronger military base. Supposedly, Valentine decided this decree just wasn’t fair and chose to marry young couples secretly. When Emperor Claudius II found out about Valentine’s actions he had him put to death. Ok, that one not so great.

Another legend has it that Valentine was an imprisoned man who fell in love with his jailor’s daughter. Before he was put to death he sent the first ‘valentine’ himself when he wrote her a letter and signed it ‘Your Valentine’, words still used on cards today. Ok, that one not so great either!!

So, if someone sends you a Valentine’s Card … hmmmm the mind boggles! But Google tells me that Valentine’ Day ranks second only to Christmas in number of greeting cards sent!
Right, enough silly stuff and down to BUSINESS …


Athol Fugard’s Hello & Goodbye opens at the Masque on 6 March 2009. Some words from its director, birga Thomas.


“We started rehearsals at the end of last year, had a one-month “festive” break and resumed mid-January. I feel very privileged to be part of a close team of people who think and act really professional (pun certainly intended): Wesley Figaji as Johnnie Smit, Suzi Gehr as his sister Hester, Raymond Rudolph (that witty jack-of-all-trades with the incredible sense of humour, who is also Mvds’ new treasurer!) as director’s assistant-cum-stage manager-cum-production secretary-cum-props-maker, Margi and John Blewett who are responsible for the minimalist set and lighting/sound, respectively … and I am directing. Well, if one can call it “directing”: All team members quip in to change moves and delivery – in a sense it’s almost a “workshopped” play. Which gives it another dimension … it adds a special quality, I think, because we feel each of us that we “own” the play in a way. Hello and Goodbye has always been one of my favourite plays [even when I couldn’t speak a word of English and saw it on German TV]. Don’t miss this early (1965) play of Fugard’s. Join Hester on her visit home to her brother and father in P.E. (after a very long absence), and see what twists and turns the tricky relationship between the siblings takes. And Hester has a scheme up her sleeve. Or so Johnnie thinks! Come and see whether he is right …!


At the premiere 1965 at the Library Theatre, Johannesburg, the “original” Hester, opposite Athol F. himself, was Molly Seftel. We are proud, excited (and a little bit nervous) that she will be our guest of honour on opening night.”


Oh!! They are still in desperate need of an oldish kitchen table and a full-length petticoat (simple, early 1960s, not see-through, size 34 or larger, preferably not black or white). Contact birga on 021-788 5272 or birgatom@iaftica.com if you can help.




Firstly, we are DELIGHTED to announce that Brenda Gray has agreed to be our adjudicator for 2009. Thanks, Brenda, we look forward to your insights.


Mvds can look forward to a very, very busy 2009 – we have not three but four productions scheduled!! Firstly Hello and Goodbye which is detailed above; then the “revamped” All You need is Love, written by Coleen van Staden and directed by her and Celia Musikanth which runs from 24 April to 02 May, rehearsals for which are in full swing. Their props are still short of: A walking stick, can be a “knob” or crooked handle type, duck bill will be first prize, can be shortish; four top hats for ladies – the shorter type that Broadway dancers would use AND a whip that can crack – not a very long one which could cause damage or injury (I should hope not!). Please contact June Edwards on 021-762 9446 or 082 557 7872 or sunshinedesign@intekom.co.za if you can assist.


Our third production is Agatha Christie’s Appointment with Death to be directed by Alastair Duff which runs from 28 August to 05 September and, lastly, Mothers of the Criminal Element written by our very own Tom Byrne and also to be directed by him, on from 09 to 17 October.


We do have dates for the Auditions for the latter two productions: both will be held at 14:00 on Saturdays at The Rendezvous: the Christie play on 9 May and Tom’s play on 25 July. Audition notices for the former will follow shortly.



Your committee is already hard at work preparing for the year ahead!! Our very first members’ evening for the year will be held on Thursday, 19 March at the Rendezvous. At some point during the evening the cast of the Beatles’ production will be making our mouths water with some snippets from their show. And THEN it’s your turn. We are looking for people to do readings from the scripts of the two shows scheduled for later in the year. Unfortunately this will certainly not guarantee you a part in said production but should be great fun. Two very different plays with varied characters. If you are interested in participating please contact our esteemed chairperson, Andrew Blake on 021-781 0114, 021-787 3928, 082 493 3330 or email him on ablake@mweb.co.za. I will be putting out a short “reminder” with further details early in March but please contact Andrew now to be part of the action!


Provisional dates for further members’ evenings are 20 May, 20 August and 25 November, and we promise that one will have you laughing all the way home! More to follow in subsequent newsletters, of course …




A very warm welcome to Leah Apollis and Christin Sterly – hope to meet you at the members’ evening in March! Also to Bridget Coyne (mother of existing member Tracey Cahill) who has expressed interest in numerous aspects of theatre – yeah Bridget!! And to Margot Hattingh who so ably co-ordinates the art exhibitions at the Masque and whom some of us met at our birthday/Christmas bash.




Those who celebrate in the latter part of February are Erika Mitchell on the 22nd, Sue Hallinan the day after, Saadiqah Hartnick on the 25th and Joanne Darby on the last day of the month.


Our March birthdays are

2nd       Barbara Bassett                   

5th          Isaiah Soy-Young     

8th        Bob Trevor-Goode

10th     Coleen van Staden              

11th     Val Stephens            

15th     Liz D’Alton

16th     Margot Hattingh and

22nd     Dawn Scholtz


Let’s have a look at who else was born in March:

Roger Harry Daltrey, CBE (born 1 March 1944), rock vocalist, songwriter, and actor, best known as the founder and lead singer of English rock band The Who.

Harold George Belafonte, Jr. (born March 1, 1927 in New York), musician, actor and social activist of Jamaican ancestry, dubbed the “King of Calypso” for popularizing the Caribbean musical style in the 1950s and perhaps best known for singing the “Banana Boat Song”, with its signature lyric “Day-O”.

David Niven (born James David Graham Niven on 1 March 1910, an English Academy Award-winning actor best known as the punctuality-obsessed adventurer Phileas Fogg in Around the World in Eighty Days (1956).

And one for our younger membersQueen Latifah, born Dana Elaine Owens on 18 March 1970, a Grammy-winning American rapper/singer, model and Academy Award-nominated actress.



This event will be held on Monday, 9 March 2009, at the Masque Theatre. Congratulations to all Mvds members who received nominations – whether for our productions or for those of any other society – let’s remember we are all one “family”. The list of nominees is attached hereto. There will also be a number of Certificates of Merit awarded on the night. I would imagine that there are not many seats left so, QUICK, phone 021-788 1898 9 to 4 weekdays, 9 to 1 on Saturdays Unfortunately details of the event are sketchy at the moment as regards time, dress, etc. so this will follow a little later.



Hello and Goodbye on from 6 to 14 Mar at the Masque Theatre. Athol Fugard’s classic masterpiece directed by birga Thomas. An emotional family reunion. Thurs and Fri performances at 20:15, Sat matinee at 14:15, Sat evening at 18:15 Thurs evening and Sat matinée R45 (Theatre Club members R35), other nights R55 (Theatre Club R45).


M & M One show only at the Masque Theatre at 19:30 on Sunday 8 March. A new cabaret comprising singing, acting, dancing and instrumentals, by Roland Perold and Germandt Geldenhuys. Tickets R55 (Theatre Club members R45)


CATA Awards Evening, 9 March, Masque Theatre


Mvds Members’ Evening 19 March, The Rendezvous



Let’s take a peek at what has happened this month in history:


On 2 February 1995 the US space shuttle Discovery was launched … and on the same day two years later, “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” closed at the Gershwin Theatre in New York City!!


On that same day in 1989 FW de Klerk replaced Botha as South Africa’s National Party leader … and on the same day two years later de Klerk promised to free Nelson Mandela and legalized the ANC and 60 other political organizations.


And my own personal favourite for that day: The first British public men’s toilet opened in Fleet Street!?!?!


One for Col, Celia and their cast: On 15 February 1964 the Beatles’ “Meet the Beatles!” album went to number 1 and stayed there for 11 weeks.


On that same day in 1979 a chap named Paul Shirley, aged 21 of Australia, sucked a lifesaver for 4 hours and 40 minutes – one has to ask oneself WHY?!?!

You will hear from me very soon, Chow, Eve




























Our Committee:

Chair: Andrew Blake 021 7810114/0824933330 Vice-Chair: Alastair Duff 021 7884984/0845312457

Secretary: birga Thomas 021 7885272 Treasurer: Raymond Rudolph 0217945229/0823122737

President & Masque Trustee: Celia Musikanth 021 7887911/0833588415 Vice-President: John McConnell 021 7822743

Other Members: Tom Byrne 021 6741470/0839627233 (Backstage co-ordintation) Eve Carr 021 7977286/0827892281 (Newsletter)

Ron Carr 021 7977286/0727847236 (Bar) Luke Luies 021 7970243/0825567371 (Members’ Evenings)

Coleen van Staden 021 7879140/0721205645





Sorrows and Rejoicings directed by Mari Mocke (Milnerton Players)

Witness for the Prosecution directed by Brenda Gray (Muizenberg Dramatic Society)

Barefoot in the Park directed by Wendy Goddard (Claremont Dramatic Society)

The Rainmaker directed by Sue Bolton – (Constantiaberg Players)

Old Wicked Songs directed by Brenda Gray (Claremont Dramatic Society)

All You Need is Love directed by Coleen van Staden and Celia Musikanth (Muizenberg Dramatic Society)

Show Stoppers Encore directed by Giles Scott and Shiraz (Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society)

Cabaret directed by Teddy Davies (Festival Productions)

The Wizard of Oz directed by Clifford Graham (Pinelands Players)



Willie Sass – Sorrows and Rejoicings (Milnerton Players)

Dennis Cunningham – Three the Hard Way (Milnerton Players)

Dennis Benneyworth – Witness for the Prosecution (Muizenberg Dramatic Society)

James Skilton – Hotel Paradiso (Muizenberg Dramatic Society)

Brian de Kock – Old Wicked Songs (Claremont Dramatic Society)

Brian Winter – Cabaret (Festival Productions)

Darren Telford – Cabaret (Festival Productions)

Jeremy Quickfall – Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp (Milnerton Players)

Greg Tinney – The Wizard of Oz (Pinelands Players)

David Bolton – The Wizard of Oz (Pinelands Players)



Jane de Sousa – Unoriginal Sin (Claremont Dramatic Society)

Jo Darby – Unoriginal Sin (Claremont Dramatic Society)

Sharon Wood – Three The Hard Way ( Milnerton Players)

Trista Gamble – Witness for the Prosecution ( Muizenberg Dramatic Society)

Denise Dubber – The Rainmaker (Constantiaberg Players)

Julie Summers – Cabaret (Festival Productions)

Ami-Rose Barber – The Wizard of Oz (Pinelands Players)

Christine Thonissen – The Wizard of Oz (Pinelands Players)

Shirley Sutherland – My Fair Lady (C.T Gilbert & Sullivan Society)



John McConnell – Anne of the Thousand Days (Fish Hoek Dramatic Society)

Richard Farmer – Barefoot in the Park (Claremont Dramatic Society)

Deryck Broom – The Rainmaker (Constantiaberg Players)

Tobie Beale – Hotel Paradiso (Muizenberg Dramatic Society)

Graham Boxall – My Fair Lady (C.T Gilbert & Sullivan Society)

Michael Harris – My Fair Lady (C.T.Gilbert & Sullivan Society)



Megan Landry-LeRiche – Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society)

Phoebe Snayer – Sorrows and Rejoicings (Milnerton Players)

Trista Gamble – Barefoot in the Park (Claremont Dramatic Society)

Trish Sutton – Cabaret (Festival Productions)

Ruth Allsopp – My Fair Lady (C.T.Gilbert & Sullivan Society)

Nichol Nefdt – Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp (Milnerton Players)

Laura Bosman – The Wizard of Oz (Pinelands Players)

Roche Haupt – The Wizard of Oz (Pinelands Players)

Luella Holland – Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp (Milnerton Players)



Lisa Stallianou – Cabaret (Festival Productions)

Robin Rattle – Witness for the Prosecution (Muizenberg Dramatic Society)

Gary Green – Barefoot in the Park (Claremont Dramatic Society)


Yvonne Pedretti – Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society)

Elton Jansen – All you Need is Love (Muizenberg Dramatic Society)

Philip Gordon – Barefoot in the Park (Claremont Dramatic Society)

Gary Green – Barefoot in the Park (Claremont Dramatic Society)

Selwyn Epstein – Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp (Milnerton Players)



Nigel Sweet – Unoriginal Sin (Claremont Dramatic Society)

David Davidson – Cabaret (Festival Productions)

Wendy Goddard – Barefoot in the Park (Claremont Dramatic Society)

Cecil Jakins and Debbie Bently-Buckle – The Rainmaker (Constantiaberg Players)

Tobie Beale – Hotel Paradiso (Muizenberg Dramatic Society)

David Davidson – Old Wicked Songs (Claremont Dramatic Society)



Cecil Jakins – Costumes – Anne of the Thousand Days (Fish Hoek Dramatic Society)

Roland Sweet – Soundtrack Mix – Unoriginal Sin (Claremont Dramatic Society)

Amanda Peacefull – Choreography – Show Stoppers Encore (Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society)

Isabelle Weyer – Costumes – Show Stoppers Encore (Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society)

Gary Fargher – Lighting – Cabaret (Festival Productions)

Chris Smith/Grant Faiers – Sound – Cabaret (Festival Productions)

Roxy Levy – Choreography – Cabaret (Festival Productions)

Heather Earp-Jones – Costumes – Cabaret (Festival Productions)

Brett Radloff – Lighting – Barefoot in the Park (Claremont Dramatic Society)

Kyla Thorburn – Choreography – My Fair Lady (C.T. Gilbert & Sullivan Society)

Gary Fargher – Sound/Lighting/Effects – Old Wicked Songs (Claremont Dramatic Society)

Gillian Hollander – Costumes – Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp (Milnerton Players)

Mandrie Haupt/Karin Matthee/Jan Barber – Costumes – The Wizard of Oz (Pinelands Players)

Roxy Levy – Choreography – The Wizard of Oz (Pineland Players)

Jan Barber / Guilma Stander- Make Up/Hair – The Wizard of Oz (Pinelands Players)



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