Archive for July, 2012


Newsletter – June 2012




Dear Friends and Members,

Now that the cold weather has set in, going out in the evenings is a less attractive option, and most of us prefer to stay home in front of a warm heater or fireplace, snuggled under  blankets, with hot chocolate (and marshmallows), a good book, or a great movie!

Luckily, there are plenty of wonderful plays in the works, which will make the choosing to go out at night a much more enticing option than staying in. There is  also a pantomime audition coming up, which is certain to be a popular play,  so tell your friends, neighbours, and family to try out!

Before we delve into the upcoming list of auditions, a small reminder that our next members evening will be taking place on the 1st of August, at the Bergvliet Guide Hall, at 19:30pm. As always, fantastic food and a variety of drinks will be on offer, so bring friends, and be prepared for an exciting new social game!

For Your Diary

20 – 28 July. Claremont’s production of the female version of “The Odd Couple” by Neil Simon, (and directed by Sheldon Cross) will be taking place at the Masque Theatre, so don’t forget to book your seats!

20 – 28 July. Directed by Wayne Hendricks, The Bus by James Lance, will be held by the Milnerton Play House. To book, call 082 267 1061 or email bookings@milnertonplayers.com.

19-21 & 26-28               SHOUT! The Mod Musical at the Pinelands Town Hall       Bookings are open for this Pinelands Players production featuring great songs from the 60’s. It will be held at the Pinelands Town Hall. Tickets cost                                R110 each, including a pub-style meal. To book, call 072 923 1035 or email shoutpinelands@gmail.com.

An audition was recently held for the play Blythe Spirit, by Noel Coward. It will be directed by Barbara Base and will be running from 12 – 20 October at the Masque theatre.



To make sure you don’t miss out on getting a seat at one of the wonderful upcoming plays, call 021-788-1898 between 10am and  4pm on weekdays; and 9.30am to 12pm on Saturdays (during runs). You can also email your booking requests to bookings@masquetheatre.co.za.

Your current, dedicated, committee

If you’re looking for some ways to keep warm this winter, a decadent hot-chocolate recipe you can make at home is below:

Amazing Aztec Hot Chocolate

3 tablespoons hot chocolate  / cocoa
1 tablespoon (or a good squeeze) of chocolate syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch chili powder or cayenne pepper
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup boiling water

In a large mug, mix the hot chocolate mix, chocolate syrup, cinnamon, and chili powder. Pour in the milk. Add the boiling water and stir. For a slightly more indulgent version, replace the milk with a cream liquor of your choice, such as Baily’s Irish Cream, Amarula, or Cape Velvet; and add a marshmallow or two.




The family pantomime


by Ben Crocker

directed by Di Thom



WHEN:            Saturday, 28 July and Saturday, 4 August

  • 10.30 am – 11.30 am: Junior Chorus
  • 11.30 am – 12.30 pm: Adult Chorus
  • 12.30 pm – 1.00 pm: The band
  • 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm: Principals (main characters)


WHERE: The Guide Hall, Glen Alpine Way, Bergvliet.


DIRECTIONS: From Ladies Mile Road, turn into Children’s Way (at traffic lights near the main road), then immediately right into Glen Alpine Way. Follow the road until you see a parking lot on your left. The Guide Hall is opposite the parking lot.


RUN: At the Masque Theatre, Muizenberg, from 6 to 22 December 2012.


REHEARSALS: Will be held on Saturdays (during the day) and Wednesday and Thursday evenings.


INFO: Scripts and information can be obtained from Shelley Lombard at shellbee@iafrica.com or Di Thom at dianathom@mweb.co.za



TWO CHORUSES ARE REQUIRED (must be able to sign in tune)

Children’s Chorus:  Aged 9 to 12 years. Children should prepare a piece of drama (perhaps a poem or short song) for the director. Music can be played at the hall if required, or it can be recorded. 8-year olds will be considered if talented, but no younger than that.

Adults’ Chorus: Males and females over 16 years. Singers and dancers are required.


Members of the band can be of any age.  Must be proficient at playing a musical instrument.  Should prepare a short piece to be played at the audition.

CAST OF CHARACTERS (please have an idea which character/s you’re auditioning for)

ABANAZAR: (the wicked uncle and villain):  Male, age 25 plus. Large role. Needs a good, strong voice.  Singing ability would be beneficial.

ALADDIN: Male, age 18 plus. Large role. Must be able to sing.

SERGEANT PONG: Female, age 35 plus. Medium role. Versatile.

PC PONG: Male, age 25 plus.  Medium role.  Versatile.

TYSON: (already cast – actor experienced with ‘being’ an animal).

WISHEE WASHEE: (the part of Buttons in a traditional pantomime): Large role. Needs to be funny and slightly pathetic, and to speak broken English with a Chinese accent.

WINDOW TWANKEY: (the Dame of the pantomime): Male, age 25 plus. Large role.  Needs to sing, dance and be versatile.

THE EMPRESS: Female, age 45 plus. Instead of an Emperor; a strong a haughty character – she is the ruler. Medium role. Requires a strong actress with a good speaking voice.

PRINCESS JASMINE: Female, age 16 plus. Medium role. Needs to sing and dance.

GENIE OF THE LAMP: Male, age 20 plus. Small / medium role. Very versatile, with a strong speaking voice.
GENIE OF THE RING: Female, age 18 plus. Medium role. Very versatile, with a strong speaking voice.



This concludes our line-up of offerings for July. Keep your eyes peeled for more upcoming fun and mayhem, and don’t forget our members evening on the 1st of August at the Bergvliet Guide Hall. Looking forward to seeing you all there!!


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JULY 2012


Searching for some interesting “stuff” this month proved rather irritating as the Americans seem to think there is only one day in July, namely their Independence day – the fourth; and the British are all full of “summer talk” which quite clearly does not relate to us at all!  So I found a really interesting song called “July, July!” by a group called The Decemberists (relates nicely to the “Christmas-in-July” thing as well, doesn’t it?)  So, here we go:

There is a road that meets the road that goes to my house
And how the green grows there
And we’ve got special boots to beat the path to my house
And it’s careful, and it’s careful when I’m there

And I say your uncle was a crooked French Canadian
And he was gut-shot running gin
And how his guts were all suspended in his fingers
And how he held ’em, how he held ’em, held ’em in

And the water rolls down the drain
The water rolls down the drain
Oh, what a lonely thing
In a lonely drain

July, July, July
It never seemed so strange

This is the story of the road that goes to my house
And what ghosts there do remain
And all the troughs that run the length and breadth of my house
And the chickens, how they rattle chicken chains

And we’ll remember this when we are old and ancient
Though the specifics might be vague
And I’ll say, “Your camisole was a sprightly light magenta”
When, in fact, it was a nappy bluish grey

And the water rolls down the drain
The blood rolls down the drain
Oh, what a lonely thing
In a blood red drain

July, July, July
It never seemed so strange

Just thought it had some really interesting/strange lyrics – other people did too and you’ll find a couple of their comments as you read through this newsletter …….




Congratulations and thanks to Coleen Van Staden, cast and crew for a fantastic production of Season’s Greetings which finished its run at the Masque recently – it really was top drawer entertainment!


Rehearsals are going well for Tom Byrne’s play Eat Your Heart Out on at the Masque next month.  See Calendar elsewhere in this newsletter for further details.


Barbara Basel held auditions for Blithe Spirit recently and was successful in filling some of the roles.  There are however still some really lovely parts available for men!!  A full character list was in last month’s newsletter and can also be accessed on our website.  The production is on at the Masque in October with rehearsals starting soon.  If you would like to assist please contact Barbara on barbara.basel@gmail.com or telephone 0826511695.


14 July   Masque Directors’ Forum at 14:00 in the Masque Foyer – full details have appeared in previous newsletters and are available on our website.

10 – 13 July   River of Life presented by the Jungle Theatre Company – a children’s holiday show!  An African fairy tale about a rural tribe and a special princess, who live alongside a beautiful river full of magical creatures.  A glittering dancing trader arrives from the city to sell the villagers strange items which cause problems for the river!  The princess embarks on an adventure through a parched desert, an enchanted forest and up a mighty mountain. She learns to speak the language of the river creatures in order to save the river for all.  This show is best suited for children 5 to 10 years old but is “great fun for all the family”.  Shows at 11h00; Tickets R30.

16 – 19 July    Shout, The Mod Musical directed by Garth Tavares for Pinelands Players at thePinelandsTown Hall.  Tickets  cost just R110 including a pub-style meal.  Bookings on 0729231035 or shoutpinelands@gmail.com.  This exiting 60s musical has a bold and sassy storyline and features a talented, beautiful cast, singing hits such as “Downtown” and “Those were the days”.

20 – 28 July   The Odd Couple by Neil Simon directed by Sheldon Cross for Claremont Dramatic Society at the Masque.

This female version of Neil Simon’s well-loved comic romp, is based very closely on the original piece.  Many of the jokes are the same in both versions, but given a female twist, they seem to take on a new meaning.  Unger and Madison are at it again! Florence Unger and Olive Madison, that is.  Instead of the poker party that begins the original version, Ms. Madison has invited the girls over for an evening of Trivial Pursuit.  The Pidgeon sisters have been replaced by the two Constanzuela brothers. But the hilarity remains the same.  Florence Unger will be played with all the requisite angst and neuroses.  The bombastic Oscar is replaced by Olive Madison adding the feminine wiles to the character.  Not to be missed.

20 – 28 July    The Bus by James Lantz, this South African premiere directed by Wayne Hendricks for Milnerton Players at The Playhouse.  It is a story that is both touching and suspenseful, exploring sexual awakenings against the background of powerful church influences.  Jordan and Ian are the main characters, two boys who regularly rendezvous in a parked bus that belongs to the most powerful church in town, Golden Rule.  Late at night, they meet to explore sexual feelings that are at once awkward, humorous, and kept from the light of day.  When their secret meeting place is in danger of being discovered, the boys find themselves caught in a conflict between Golden Rule and a gas station owned by Ian’s father — and the clash proves explosive.  It is a touching tale that swirls with suspense.  The subject matter is such that it will appeal to a diverse audience as it did in the US, however there is strong language and mature themes which may be offensive to some.  Tickets R60 and R55 for the matinee.  Special offer Saturday 21 July: Two for the price of one!  Further info and bookings on bookings@milnertonplayers.com or 0822671061.

and then ……… MASQUE THEATRE WOMEN’S MONTH FESTIVAL (males welcome!)

Sunday 5 Aug  Golden Melodies, Soiree presented by Playbill Productions in the Foyer at 20h00.  Well-known pianist Victor Tichart, one of Cape Town’s top performers, will be joined by Cherith Bain (violin) and Dermod Gloster (baritone) in a programme of well-loved melodies of yesteryear, still popular today!   They will present the unforgettable music of Franz Lehar, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Henry Mancini and others, which will bring back wonderful memories for all!  Tickets R75 (R65).

09 – 11 Aug   It Was a Very Good Year, the new show by Ricky Botsis and Kevin Abbott, appropriately opens on Women’s Day and features one of the last century’s most loved musical genres – Swing.  This talented duo will once again charm you with their finger snapping, toe tapping, light-hearted take on love.  Ricky’s passion for Swing music was evident from a young age, so when he was recently compared to the likes of a young Frank Sinatra it was certainly a feather in this talented performer’s cap!  Kevin Abbott began playing the piano from the tender age of four – studying music and playing by ear – and has been performing for most of his life.  Evenings R65 (R55); Matinee R55 (R45).

14 – 18 Aug   Eat your Heart Out directed by Tom Byrne for Muizenberg Dramatic Society.  A comedy about Charlie, a charming young man trying to make it as an actor inNew York City.  While waiting for his big break to come along, he works as a waiter.  Each scene of the story takes place in a different restaurant.   Charlie endures frustration, humiliation, moral dilemmas and falling in love in a series of very funny scenes.  For the first time at the Masque, the production will be offered as supper theatre – arrive 19h00 for 19h30.  The price for Supper and the Show is R100 – state meat or vegetarian option when booking.

23 Aug – Peña Flamenca, a flamenco get-together with dancers, musicians and singers, presented by La Rosa Dance

1 Sept    Company, South Africa’s premier professional Spanish performance company.  A peña flamenca is a regular social get-together of a group of flamenco locals within a community where each participant has the opportunity to practice their art in a relaxed, informal, spontaneous context, without pressure.  The order of peña performances is not planned, although a rough outline of the evening may be given to the guitarist in attendance.  For this run the order has been planned but the soloists in each piece vary from one night to another, giving audiences and dancers alike a fresh take on the structure and spirit of each performance.  The purpose of creating this production is for the company soloists to hone and diversify their skills.  Highlights of this season include two new pieces – the opening piece and a Fandangos de Huelva – the choreography of these pieces and of solos in the Bulería finale has been facilitated by artistic director Carolyn Holden, calling on the dancers to create short solos for themselves within each piece.

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 R55 (Theatre Club members R45),

Other Nights R65 (Theatre Club members R55)

Bookings on 021 7881898 or bookings@masquetheatre.co.za or

at the theatre Mon-Fri, 10:00 to 16:00 (During shows also 9:30 to 12:00 on Saturdays)


Right, this is JULY’s newsletter and NORMALLY I would be putting in AUGUST birthdays BUT ………. I have had a few confused queries from people SO ……. from now on I will be doing August’s birthdays in August, etc!!  Also I seem to be getting the newsletter out quite early in the month these days so it makes sense to do it that way.  So, once again, happy birthday to the July folk who were mentioned in the last newsletter, namely:

06     Anton Schafer                  09      James Pape

11     Di Thom & Nick Lee        14      Su Cunningham

18     Tom Byrne                        21      Fiona Carling & Lieske Bester

23     Samantha Davies            29      Lee de Andrade


More about that song …….
“It’s about an abandoned slaughterhouse inPortland that Collin [Meloy, the band’s singer] used to (illegally) live in.  On the third floor there were troughs down the hallways where the blood would run.  And then the troughs would actually lead to the outside, where it would pour off the side of the building, I swear to God.  So we assume that the building was haunted by dead chickens …”



Richard Higgs is directing “Saint Joan” for Fish Hoek Dramatic Society and urgently needs  a male actor aged 22 to 35 to play the part of Dunois, Bastard of Orleans (Jack), a medium to large role. Please contact Richard on 0836111419 or e-mail richard.higgs@uct.ac.za if you can assist.

Constantiaberg Theatre Players is holding auditions for the family pantomime Aladdin by Ben Crocker to be directed by Di Thom on Saturday, 28 July and Saturday, 4 August at The Guide Hall, Glen Alpine Way, Bergvliet.  The show runs at the Masque from 6 to 22 December 2012 and rehearsals will be held on Saturdays Wednesdays and Thursdays.  In addition to some 11 principal roles (mostly singing), they require a children’s chorus (ages 9 to 12), an adult chorus and a band!  Scripts, audition times and further information can be obtained from Shelley Lombard at shellbee@iafrica.com.

Pinelands Players will be holding auditions in August for their year-end Candlelight Theatre production of Grand Opening to be directed by June Wells.  Aside from the main character who is a middle aged man, she is looking for singers (from mod to C&W), actors/comedians (not stand-up) and someone who can play the guitar/banjo/

ukulele – a real mixed bunch.  For more information contact June on 0215318682 or wells@mweb.co.za.




Phew!  We’ve just HAD one (see next page!) and your committee is busy planning the next already!  This will be at our usual venue, The Rendezvous, on Wednesday, 22 August and will take the form of “Winter Tales”!  Anyone interested in telling or reading weird and wonderful tales please contact Wendy Morling on 021 7150694, 0834628242 or email home@morling.co.za.  More details next month but do put it in your diary or on your calendar now!




Wasn’t our Musical Members’ Evening GREAT?!?  For those who missed it, this took place on 20 June in the Masque Foyer and was very well attended despite the cold!  The latter was of course well-addressed by a selection of “souper” soups and breads during interval.  Thanks to all the participants who made it such a success and thanks also to the committee members involved, especially Wendy Morling who obviously put in a huge amount of effort, including a delightful “program of events” to enable us to look forward to the treats in store.  Having said that, I’m not going to go through all the performances for fear of leaving “someone” out and offending!  But I must comment on a few of the more unusual ones:

Professor Mike Inggs gave some very interesting background on the bagpipes before letting us hear him play a variety of pieces – as someone at our table commented “you either love ‘em or hate ‘em”!  I am in the former group – always brings back fond memories of my mom and I going to a church fete where they had bagpipers!

Richard Higgs and his Theremin – well, I’ve been waiting AGES to see and hear this and Richard definitely didn’t disappoint!  He managed to explain it very “simply” (for those of us not too technically minded) and did a superb job of playing it as well.  We were watching some “supernatural” program on TV the other night and, yes, we were definitely able to identify a theremin making those ghosty noises!

Thanks to our Pinelands guests for giving us a sneak preview of Shout, The Mod Musical – full details appear in the Calendar in this newsletter and it certainly looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun so do give them your support.

John Blewett and Michael Russel gave us a fabulous rendition of Duelling Banjos and also introduced us a Chinese instrument called a Guzheng which dates back to 500 BC.  Margi Blewett accompanied then on an African hand piano or Mbira.

Who knew Brenda Gray was such a gifted pianist??!?!  I know I was totally gobsmacked!  Unfortunately she had a little “turn” after she finished resulting in a trip to Constantiaberg for a check-over – hope you are now fully recovered, Brenda!


And where did the song’s name come from?
“The Decemberists got their name from the Russian revolts of the early 1800s.  And in these revolts, there were uprisings known as the July Revolts.  So this song, while having an overlying meaning, could also be about those revolts.”


You can find that song on You Tube if you are interested

in putting music to the lyrics!

Keep warm & well!


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Milnerton Playhouse, Pienaar Road Milnerton (Behind Library)

Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Operatic Society’s Production of

By David McGillivray & Walter Zerlin Jnr

Direction: Reinette Steyn

Musical Direction: Keith Benjamin


Soloist Auditions & Call-backs:    Sat & Sun afternoons: 29 July; 4-5 Aug 2012

Please prepare a song to sing, preferably from The Mikado.
[If your piece is from another musical, please bring piano score to audition]

Chorus Auditions:        Sat & Sun afternoons: 29 July; 11-12 Aug 2012


Orchestra Auditions:   To be arranged by Keith Benjamin at a later date


Mrs Reece [Chairlady of FAHETG] strikes again!

In this extremely funny play, Mrs Reece and her comical [and sometimes incompetent] crew of small town actors are now tackling a production of THE MIKADO  by Gilbert & Sullivan.

Of course, as usual for Farndale, the most talented actresses/songstresses will play the lead roles, like The Mikado, Nanki-Poo and Yum-Yum, and a few other gender swops will occur due to crises in the society, so there are great acting challenges and tons of FUN for all!

In the play, the full Mikado show is presented by the Farndale Operatic Society, who play their own eccentric/comical selves as well as their roles in The Mikado.  There are 9 LEAD ROLES and a CHORUS of about 11 strong singers and actors, as well as a small ORCHESTRA, who get actively involved in the production!

CAST  Genders may be changed!

Flora or Alan / Mikado

Angela / Nanki-Poo

Ronnie / Ko-Ko

Mrs Reece / Pooh-Ba

Thelma / Yum-Yum

Rev. Bishop / Pitti-Sing

Dawn / Peep-Bo

Felicity or Fred / Katisha

The Producer [male; does not have to sing]

The show will run at Milnerton Playhouse from 23 November to 8 December, with rehearsals on weekday evenings and at weekends from 1 November until the show opens.

Enquiries: Please phone Reinette at 021 555-4248





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