Archive for October, 2015

(Oops! I’ve been terribly remiss at posting newsletters in recent months. Apologies!)

Claremont Chat

Claremont Dramatic Society Newsletter

The Hok, Thicket Street, Claremont, 7708

email: claremontdramatic@gmail.com


October 2015 – Number 149

Hi everyone!

Wow, lots of stuff in this month’s Chat! Auditions coming up for a whole range of shows, lots of theatre on the horizon and some fun social events too.

CDS’s next production: Honour

Don’t forget that CDS’s next production, Honour by Joanna Murray-Smith and directed by Breda Gray, opens at the Masque on Friday 23 October and runs until 31 October.

An extract from the press release:

The play revolves around Gus and Honor, a couple who have been happily married for 32 years – until now. This play is a modern, feminist tale that was described by the London Times as a “powerful gripping piece”.

One New York critic called this piece as “a gem of a play”. It’s an insightful and original treatment of the all too familiar tale of a middle-aged man’s mid-life crisis. It is a play that rides on a dense, intelligent script and on the character portrayals of the four actors.

For this production, Brenda Gray has chosen to set the action in modern-day South Africa. With Gray at the helm, “Honour” promises to be a strong, emotional production of the highest standard.

The cast includes some well-known names to Masque audiences, including John Carne who was last seen at the theatre directing “Private Lives” in 2014. Trish Sutton, Hannah Claassens and Gizelle Willows round out the rest of the incredibly talented cast.

For the set and design of the production, Gray has teamed up with David Davidson and Stephan Fourie. These two are well-known names when it comes to design at the Masque Theatre, and both have received CATA nominations and awards for their work.

Book now through the usual channels: bookings@masquetheatre.co.za or 021 788 1898.

There are also still a few open slots for FOH, box office and bar duty so, if you can, please volunteer to help out during the run.

The Actor’s Nightmare

Bookings are also now open for CDS’s foyer show, The Actor’s Nightmare by Christopher Durang, which will be on 05, 06 and 07 November at 20h00 in the Masque Theatre foyer. There are three shows only and limited seating so you would be well advised to book now for this hilarious production.

Inter-society quiz

A MADS team won the 2014 quiz and so they are hosting this year’s intersociety quiz in the foyer of the Masque Theatre on Sunday, 15 November, at 18h00 for 18h30.

If you would like to be a member of a team or think you can provide some interesting questions or help on the evening, please contact either Barbara Basel (barbara.basel@gmail.com) or Richard Higgs (richard.higgs@uct.ac.za) by 20 October.

The R50 cover charge includes a meal and there will be a cash bar for drinks.

Inter-societal evening

CDS is teaming up with MADS and CTP to host an inter-societal evening in November! Each society will choose a theme (a country or other location) and provide food based on that theme. Everyone will dress up as well. If you have any ideas for what CDS’s theme should be, please contact someone on the committee – they will make the decision at their next meeting.

Masque Theatre manager

With Nico Dreyer having resigned from this position, a new manager is being sought. The position has been restructured and the focus is on someone with strong marketing and PR skills who will be able to look for and liaise with outside shows and oversee all aspects of theatre management, as well as have some technical capability with lighting and sound.

The day-to-day administration work will be shared by another portfolio holder, but computer literacy is required by the new incumbent. Interested parties should send their CVs, as soon as possible, to Michelle Belknap at belknap@iafrica.com.

The position will shortly be formally advertised.

AUDITIONS: The Lion in Winter

1 November, 18h00 at the Playhouse in Somerset West

Proposed production dates: 11–20 February


Set during Christmas 1183 at Henry II of England’s castle in Chinon, Anjou, Angevin Empire. (England actually owned half of what we know now as France during this period.)
The play opens with the arrival of Henry’s wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, whom he imprisoned in England 10 years previously, for plotting against him.
The story concerns the gamesmanship between Henry, Eleanor, the three surviving sons, Richard, Geoffrey and John, their Christmas Court guest, Philip II of France and his half-sister Alais, who is betrothed to Richard, but has become Henry’s mistress.


  • Henry II, King of England (male; approx. 50): Henry is still very nearly as he was in his youth. His manipulations of family and others are portrayed as spontaneous and emotional as opposed to the well thought-out stratagems of Eleanor and the cold calculating machinations of Geoffrey.
  • Queen Eleanor (female; approx. 60): Eleanor is the wife of Henry and an attractive woman of great temperament, authority and presence. She has been a queen for nearly 46 years and, while possessing feminine qualities, she is thoroughly capable of holding her own in a man’s world. She schemes against Henry and intensely loves him at the same time. She has contempt for her children but is not willing to see them harmed. (She was, for her time one the most liberated woman around.)
  • John (male; 16): He is the youngest son of Henry and Eleanor. He is sulky and sullen, with a boyish outlook on his position. He is described by many as a spoilt brat, pimply and smelling of compost. He is Henry’s favourite, but is also the weakest of the three sons. He constantly vacillates throughout the play, not out of cleverness, but out of fear and weakness. He is easily tricked and manipulated by Geoffrey.
  • Geoffrey (male; 24): Son of Henry and Eleanor, and a man of energy and action. He is attractive, charming and the “brains” of the family; he is also a cold amoral schemer. His view of himself is one of one who yearned greatly for the love of his parents while receiving none.
  • Richard the Lionheart (male; 25–26): The eldest surviving son of Henry and Eleanor. Richard is handsome graceful and impressive and has been a famous soldier since his middle teens. War is his profession and he is good at it. He is easily the strongest and toughest of the sons. (Richard and Phillip II of France have been sexually involved prior to the action of the play. Philip declares he participated in the affair for political purposes, whilst Richard indicates he had genuine affection for Philip.)
  • Alais (female; 23): Half-sister to Philip, she is beautiful and in love with Henry. She is initially portrayed as innocent, but by the end of the play she has acquired a ruthless streak of her own.
  • Philip II, King of France (male 18): Philip has been King of France for three years. He is not initially as accomplished as Henry in manipulating people, but seems to acquire greater skills as the play progresses. He is impressive and handsome without being pretty.

AUDITIONS: musicals

First round: Sunday 08 November:

  • 14h00 – Ensemble roles for children under the age of 14
  • 16h30 – Ensemble and dancers only (14+)
  • 18h30 – Principal AND Support roles

Call backs: Sunday 15 November

  • 14h00 – Crew Interviews (anyone interested in getting involved with costume-making, props, set building, backstage, lighting)
  • 14h30 – Dog audition for the role of Toto
  • 15h00 – Children
  • 17h00 – Adults

The Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society and Carnivals of the Heart are each presenting a musical in 2016 at the Playhouse Theatre in Somerset West. We invite actors, singers and dancers of all ages to audition. You may audition for roles in both.

Both societies operate on a not for profit basis in service of the community based theatre complex, the Playhouse Theatre. No party in the cast or crew is remunerated for these amateur productions.
A third musical is being considered for 2017 and will only commence rehearsal after the 2016 musicals. Planning, however, must be done and a suitable cast possible found. There are therefore only five roles open for audition for this musical.

Full details of musicals and available roles can be viewed at http://theplayhouse.org.za/all-event-list/auditions-musical/.

You will be instructed as to what you will need to prepare.

You must book a slot by emailing thedashingwriter@gmail.com. Call Christalla on 082 701 2319 should you have any questions.

AUDITIONS: Whistle Down the Wind

Audition date: 14&15 November

Venue: The Metronome Theatre, Bellville

Show dates: September/October 2016, Metronome Theatre, Milnerton


Whistle Down the Wind is loosely based on the 1960s film of the same name. The setting has moved from Lancashire to small town Louisiana in 1959. It tells the story of three children — 16 year old Swallow, sister Bluejay (known as Brat), and younger brother Robin (known as Poor Baby) — as they approach their first Christmas since the death of their mother. Discovering an escaped criminal hiding in their barn, they become convinced that he is Jesus, and agree to keep his location secret. The plot contrasts the innocence of the children with the fervour of the town’s residents to inflict punishment on the supposed evil in their midst.


  • The Man (male; 25–35): Demanding lead role. Excellent singer and experienced actor required. Tenor with top note of B♭. Able to fit the ‘classic Jesus description’ and be credible, as the children believe he really is Jesus. A manic, hunted man, who must have the power to move the audience emotionally. Audition song: Try Not to be Afraid
  • Swallow (female; 16): Very demanding lead role. Excellent, actress and singer. Mainly a mezzo but has 1 high F. It is envisaged a slightly older girl will have the maturity to cope with this very large role (on stage virtually throughout the show) with many key songs solo duet and group. However it is vital she has the innocence and naïveté to convey and make credible her unshakeable belief in Jesus. Good Southern American accent. Audition song: Whistle Down the Wind
  • Brat (female; 8–13): Experienced young actress, good singer for solo singing and group singing. Lots of dialogue and good Southern American accent required. Audition song: No Matter What
  • Poor Baby (male; 8–11): Experienced young male actor, good singer (an older boy could sing the part if he has unbroken voice) for solo singing and group singing. Lots of dialogue and good Southern American accent required. Audition song: No Matter What
  • Amos (male; late teens, early 20s): Strong singer and good acting skills. Tenor; needs to hit a top B. Southern American accent required. Amos is the cocky Harley Davidson-riding ‘James Dean’ type character. The rebel of the musical, keen on Swallow but planning to leave town with equally rebellious girlfriend Candy. Audition song: Tire Tracks and Broken Hearts
  • Candy (female; late teens, early 20s): Amos’ girlfriend – a rebel rock chick. Black or mixed-race actress required. Good singing voice and acting skills. (Mezzo; top note is D♯). Southern American accent required. Although the role requires a Black girl, it does depend on who turns up for auditions. Audition song: Tire Tracks and Broken Hearts
  • Boone (male; 35–45): The children’s father recently widowed and struggling to cope with his young family especially his almost grown up daughter Swallow. Strong singer and required. Tenor; top note G♯/A♭. Southern American accent required. Audition song: Whistle Down the Wind
  • Edward (male; 40s–60s): The family retainer character who looks out for the kids and family. Black actor required. Excellent singer and actor required. Baritone; top note is F♯. Southern American accent required. Audition song: Cold
  • Sheriff (male; 35+): Typical small town Sheriff. He is concerned about the safety of the townsfolk with an escaped convict loose in the town. Dialogue and some solo singing. Baritone; top note is a D. Southern American accent required. Audition song: No Matter What
  • Preacher (male; 45+): The leader of the revival meetings. Uses snakes to gain religious recruits! Good actor with some singing. Tenor; top note is A. Leads wrestle with the Devil company number. Southern American accent required.
  • Earl (male; 20s/30s): Travelling with the religious revivalists. Snake handler. Some singing (bass/baritone) and dialogue. Audition song: No Matter What
  • The Minister (male; 40–60): The town’s church minister who promises “the Saviour will return”. Some dialogue, ensemble singing. Southern American accent required. Audition song: No Matter What
  • Deputy (male; 25+): Some dialogue and company singing. Southern American accent required. Audition song: No Matter What
  • Townspeople/Snake handlers/Mob/Shop owner/Newscaster (male/female; all ages): Various small speaking roles. Lots of company singing. Southern American accent required. Audition       song: No Matter What
  • Children’s chorus (male/female; 8–16): Good character actors/singers required. Some solo lines both dialogue and singing. Southern American accent required. Audition song: No Matter What

See you at the theatre!


13–31 Oct The Cat’s Miaouw
presented by Followspot Productions
Kalk Bay Theatre
14–24 Oct Reza de Wet’s Missing
directed by Mdu Kweyama
Baxter Theatre
16–18 Oct We Can Do It!
a tribute by Jodine Clare-Talbot
Masque Theatre
20–31 Oct Die Seemeeu
directed by Christiaan Olwagen
Baxter Theatre
21–30 Oct Further Than the Furthest Thing
presented by Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society
The Playhouse
23–31 Oct Honour
directed by Brenda Grey for CDS
Masque Theatre
30–31 Oct We Will Survive
presented by Irit Noble
Milnerton Playhouse
31 Oct–15 Nov AUDITION: My Fair Lady
Gilbert and Sullivan Society
01 Nov AUDITION: The Lion in Winter
Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society
The Playhouse
03–07 Nov Johnny Boskak is Feeling Funny
directed by Roslyn Wood-Morris
Kalk Bay Theatre
05–08 Nov The Actor’s Nightmare
directed by Sheldon Cross for CDS
Masque Theatre
08 Nov AUDITION: various musicals
Hottentots Holland Dramatic Society
The Playhouse
10–21 Nov Maybe Baby It’s You Kalk Bay Theatre
12–28 Nov Sean Bovim’s Private Presley
a salute to the King
Baxter Theatre
13–21 Nov Gas Light
presented by Muizenberg Dramatic Society
Masque Theatre
15 Nov AUDITION: Whistle Down The Wind Metronome Theatre
15 Nov Inter-society quiz
hosted by Muizenberg Dramatic Society
Masque Theatre
17 Nov International Evening
Inter-societal evening (CDS, CTP & MADS)
Bergvliet Guide Hall
27 Nov–12 Dec Noises Off
presented by Milnerton Players
Milnerton Playhouse

Claremont Dramatic Society Committee 2015:

Simon Dutton (Chair/Hok Manager) simon.d@mweb.co.za Home: 021 683 8630 Cell: 083 327 7350
Santie du Toit-White (Treasurer) santsbabe@gmail.com Cell: 074 608 2670
Jenny Brandt (Minutes Secretary and Member Relations Officer): jennybrandt74@gmail.com Cell:082 492 5984
Matt Roy (Members Evenings): hapunkey@yahoo.co.uk Cell: 072 265 3502

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