Archive for May, 2010

MAY 2010

This time I AM going to start with the weather!!  I’m sure you have all been moaning and complaining about the cold weather Cape Town has had recently.  Well, DON’T.  Ron and I were in the UK end April/beginning May and (bearing in mind that this is their SPRING) the weather was AWFUL!  We never got above 12 degrees, it rained, the wind was freezing, we hadn’t brought enough warm clothing, etc, etc.  RIGHT.  Having got that off my chest, let’s begin the serious stuff, shall we?


Sad news first ……….. April saw the death of longstanding Claremont Dramatic Society and CATA panel member, Richard Farmer, who I’m sure a lot of our members will remember from Masque productions.  Deepest sympathies to Sue and her family.


A warm welcome to MVDS to drama teacher Isabel Byers!


Received an email from Celia Musikanth on 13 May saying: “… I’m in Australia … don’t have anything here except darling kids & grandkids and old dad about to visit today.”  Enjoy the rest of your trip, C!!


As promised, the audition notice for our third and last production of the year, What the Butler Saw, a comedy/farce by Joe Orton, is attached.


Pride and Prejudice moves into the theatre on Sunday, 23 May 2010.  If you can assist on that day with set building or during the course of the next week with painting, artwork, etc, please give Rick Magnin (stage-manager) a shout on 021 7155288 or 0828020519 or drop him a line at richard.magnin@engenoil.com.  A chance for all you artistic types to shine!


The Minutes of the Masque AGM are attached.


A Presentation & Discussion session of the budget and finances of the Masque Theatre will be held at 19:30 on Monday 14 June 2010 at The Rendezvous.  All our members are invited to attend – a chance to learn how our theatre operates (and perhaps get any little grumbles aired!)


14-22 May         Romantic Comedy by Bernard Slade directed by Wendy Goddard for Constantiaberg Theatre Players at the Masque. A light-hearted confection about love, friendship and theatrical trauma.

21-29 May   Death by Fatal Murder by Peter Gordon directed by Gordon Molloy for Milnerton Players at the Milnerton Playhouse.  An hilarious comedy/spoof, the third in a trilogy concerning the nefarious happenings in Bagshot House. This further take off of Agatha Christie’s works once again has the inept detective Inspector Pratt as it’s central character, creating havoc throughout as he tries to solve who is who and whodunit.  It promises to provide the audience with a laugh a minute.  Ticket prices R60 evenings, R50 matinees.  Bookings on 021 557 3206 or 082 267 1061 or macdram@absamail.co.za.
4-12 June      Pride and Prejudice, a romantic comedy by Jon Jory, based on the novel by Jane Austen. Directed by Alastair Duff for Muizenberg Dramatic Society, at the Masque Theatre.  This very user-friendly version of a classic novel has a very youthful cast and is set in England in 1813.
15-19 June     Cape Dance Company showcases a progamme of new works by well known South African and international choreographers, whose eclectic style is accessible to all audiences.  Incorporates the dances “Alles Verloren … Alles Niet Verloren”, “Gladius” (Sword), “Like Water” and Kitty Phetla’s quirky “Soukora” (At Night).  Tues 15th at 19:30 (R60/45), Wed 16th & Thurs 17th at 19.30, Fri 18:00 and Sat 15:00 (all R70/R50).

Please note days, times and prices for Masque Theatre productions

(unless otherwise stated) are Thurs & Fri performances at 20:00,

Saturday matinee at 14:30, Saturday evening at 18:30

Thurs eve and Sat Matinees R50 (Theatre Club members R40)

Other Nights R60 (Theatre Club members R50)

Bookings on 021-7881898


MVDS’ member Chris Bingham sent in the following “bit” from the UK:

“I have been dealing with the UK’s harshest winter for 30 years by seeking sanctuary in some lovely old theatres.  Freezing December saw me at my local Richmond -on -Thames theatre celebrating its 110th anniversary.  Went to see Susan Hill’s famous ghost story adapted for stage: ‘The Woman in Black.’  The technical effects were not a patch on The Masque’s ‘The Haunting’ by Shirley Jackson.  Followed this at same theatre with Noel Coward’s ‘Present Laughter.’  This theatre catches many pre-West End plays.  Big treat in March was Harold Pinter play ‘The Caretaker’ in West End.  This was celebrating its 50th anniversary and co-incided with the publication of his wife, Lady Antonia Fraser’s diary.  It was electrifying and after three curtain calls left the audience wondering ‘What the hell was that about?’  Two more plays booked are ‘Private Lives at the Vaudeville Theatre in West End with Kim Catrall from Sex and the City in leading role and Sir Alan Ayckbourne directing his latest adaptation of his play ‘Taking Steps’ at Richmond’s alternative theatre The Orange Tree. ‘Appointment with Death ‘ staged at the Masque last year is coming to Richmond Theatre presented by ‘The Agatha Christie Company.’  I will also see this as I so liked the production last year at The Masque.  Alas, prices for Private Lives are £44 per ticket!  some saving up here.  Then it’s back to Cape Town for a nice warm winter on May 31.  I also saw, at Twickenham Stadium’s 400 seater concert hall on Sunday night direct from Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club for one night only, the fabulous Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames.  His two sons are now playing with him.  Cheers, Chris”


As you have no doubt noticed, I do “birthday greetings” a month in advance so we have in fact already done May birthdays.  BUT I was chatting to Bruce Edwards a month or so ago and he said that I had “inspired” him to collate all the information he had on in/famous birthdays – he was just trying to persuade long-suffering wife June to capture it on computer.  I thought no more about it until he arrived on my doorstep one day with FOUR CLOSELY HANDWRITTEN PAGES of May birthdays!!  So, BECAUSE he put so much work into it and BECAUSE I had a half-empty page (which always annoys me as you know), I have squashed SOME of them onto the second page of the Masque AGM minutes – I only go to the 15th and that is by no means all of them!  And, Bruce, if you do that to me again I will KILL you!! (Only joking – thanks for the input).


So now we can go on to June birthdays:  We start the month off with Hayley Fargher on the 2nd, then jump to Miranda Lewis on the 13th with Heather Gibbons the day after.  The 18th is shared by Wendy Morling and Wayne Ronne and the 20th by June Edwards and Joshua Knott.  Joshua’s sister Abigail follows on the 21st with Scott Cooper on the 22nd and, last but not least, Jane Philbrick on the 24th.


You guys seem to have a choice of birthstones – pearl, alexandrite or moonstone!  I have chosen the second one as I don’t think I have ever heard of it.  The alexandrite variety displays a color change dependent upon the nature of ambient lighting.  Alexandrite from the Ural Mountains in Russia is green by daylight and red by incandescent light. Other varieties of alexandrite may be yellowish or pink in daylight and a columbine or raspberry red by incandescent light. The optimum or “ideal” color change would be fine emerald green to fine purplish red, but this is exceedingly rare. Because of their rarity and the color change capability, “ideal” alexandrite gems are some of the most expensive in the world.


And you have a choice of flower, too!!  Rose or honeysuckle.  A few interesting honeysuckle facts then:

Honeysuckle Rose is a song composed by the jazz pianist Fats Waller and the lyricist Andy Razaf and also a 1980 Willie Nelson film.

Jolie Holland sings “Honeysuckle vine shine shine” in her song “Springtime Can Kill You”.

Honeysuckle is mentioned in Robert Frost’s poem “To Earthward,” as well as the O.A.R. song “Earthward” which quotes the poem.

The British actress Honeysuckle Weeks was named after the honeysuckle flowers, which were in bloom at the time of her birth.

The band Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ is well known for their 1989 single “Honeysuckle Blue”

Further to our UK trip:  it was a lovely catch-up time with Ron’s family and most enjoyable despite the weather!!  We did not make the Shakespeare celebrations but did get to see two marvelous shows – will expand on them next month!!





To be directed by Professor Ralph Yarrow

MVDS’ is delighted to announce that this busy Professor of Drama, who currently resides in England and who has acted in and directed numerous productions both in the UK and in

India, has agreed to take time out to guest-direct for our society

DATE                 :   SATURDAY 7 AUGUST 2010

TIME                   :   14:00


ENQUIRIES      :   ANDREW BLAKE TEL 021 7810114/0824933330 EMAIL ablake@mweb.co.za
RUN                   :   1 TO 9 OCTOBER 2010, MASQUE THEATRE, MUIZENBERG


SYNOPSIS: The play consists of two acts, and revolves around a Dr. Prentice, a psychiatrist attempting to seduce his attractive prospective secretary, Geraldine Barclay. The play opens with the doctor examining Geraldine Barclay in a job interview. As part of the interview, he convinces her to undress. The situation becomes more intense during Dr. Prentice’s supposed “interview” with Geraldine Barclay when Mrs Prentice enters. When his wife enters, he attempts to cover up his activity by hiding the girl behind a curtain. His wife, however, is also being seduced and blackmailed by a Nicholas Beckett. She therefore promises Nicholas the post as secretary, which adds further confusion, including Nicholas and Geraldine dressing as the opposite sex. Dr. Prentice’s clinic is then faced by a government inspection. The inspection, led by Dr. Rance, reveals the chaos in the clinic.


Dr Prentice

Geraldine Barclay

Mrs Prentice

Nicholas Beckett

Dr Rance

Sergeant Match

Nick and Geraldine are early 20s; the others anywhere between 40 and late 50s.

The play involves much fast and furious ‘business’ typical of classic farce.  Dialogue is also fast, furious and bizarre.  For examples of both stage directions and dialogue, and a more detailed account of the play, contact the production secretary via email above.  So you need to have physical and verbal agility if you intend to audition!  Please note also that, although there is no actual nudity (the play was written in1967, the year before censorship was ended on the British stage), Geraldine, Mrs Prentice, Nick and Sgt. Match are at various times (and, in the case of Geraldine, for considerable periods) forced to remove large amounts of clothing.

Props, set, stage, lighting, sound, costume people are also needed.

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