Posts Tagged ‘Claremont Dramatic Society’

Claremont Chat

Claremont Dramatic Society Newsletter

The Hok, 162 Campground Road, Claremont, 7708

email: claremontdramatic@gmail.com


July 2014 – Number 135

Hi all,

It is a new season for CDS and with some exciting events in store. We are now done with post-production on The Hollow as we start rehearsals and preparation for Quartet. There is plenty to look forward to, especially our upcoming members’ evening – we hope to see you all there.


From Wendy…

Wendy and Bob are settling down nicely in Mthatha, and making the most of a whole new lifestyle. Wendy has been helping out at the local primary school, and is working on their upcoming talent show (mid-August). She is also involved with the Round Table Variety Show, which is happening at the end of July. For those of you not on Facebook, you may like to follow their progress on Wendy’s blog: www.hakunamthatha.blogspot.com


Members’ evening

Just a reminder about our upcoming members’ evening on Friday 18 July, 19h30 for 20h00. It will be an exciting monologue programme performed by those who attended the acting workshop. This will be the final step in their workshop process and we have eleven actors to entertain you. We also have two wonderful adjudicators to help give feedback, our very own Michelle Belknap and Yvonne Finch.

We look forward to seeing you all; it has been too long.


The Hollow: Another triumph for Claremont Dramatic Society!

Who says Agatha Christie cannot be done well? You? Well, if so, you clearly did not see CDS’s recent production of The Hollow at the Masque.

Director Liz Roodt’s debut was an excellent production with polished performances from all concerned. Despite the press criticism of the French detective and much semi-informed discussion re Poirot the entire cast gave convincing performances in front of an excellently conceived and executed set. The action was well sustained and characterisation appropriate. Special mention, for me, must be made of the acting of Faeron Wheeler and Sheldon Cross. Jenny Brandt handled the transition from “mouse” to vicious killer chillingly well. The tour-de-force in acting terms, though, was from Su Cunningham. She was at the same time delightfully dotty and wickedly scheming.

And, to top it all, we made a handy profit.

Well done to all concerned, both on the tapis and behind, on a really good production.

A.J. Storr Lister



The Hollow raffle winners

As you know, we raffled off two Hollow set pieces in aid of the Masque roof fund.

Here are the winners!

“Ainswick” by Libby Harrison was won by Christine Doyle.

“The Worshipper” by Earnest Peake was won by Nigel Stevenson.



Auditions: The Great Gatsby by Simon Levy

Directed by Alastair Duff for Constantiaberg Theatre Players

American accents are required for all characters except for Meyer Wolfsheim

Auditions will be held Sunday 27 July 2014, 13h00–15h00, in the Masque Theatre foyer, Muizenberg.


Front of House training workshop

Anthony Storr Lister will be presenting a non-threatening workshop for all those interested in volunteering as FOH Managers and Box Office volunteers at the Masque on Sunday 27 July 2014, 16h00–18h00.

All are welcome, whether you have already volunteered, wish to volunteer or are simply curious as to the more arcane functioning of our theatre. Please RSVP to Jane de Sousa at jane@dramaticsolutions.co.za or on 072 446 5420 to facilitate catering. (Yes, it will be a bit of a social event as well.) Please mention to her that you saw this ad in the CDS Claremont Chat.


Directors’ workshop

I will be facilitating a directors’ workshop next month; this will be a once-off, half-day intensive workshop. This workshop is not only for those who wish to be a director; it is also a very valuable workshop for stage managers and production secretaries.

The workshop will be hosted at the Hok on 9 August 2014, 09h00–14h00.

Cost: R200

The workshop will cover:

  • Decision-making
  • The director’s book
  • Exercises for actors
  • Time management
  • Setting, place and time

Those wanting to receive their director’s tickets will be given an opportunity to showcase a short scene they have directed at the October members’ evening.

For more info contact me (Sheldon): sheldon_cross@yahoo.com or 072 596 8369.



18 July                        Members’ evening

Monologue showcase with soup and rolls … promises to be good old catch up too!

19 July – 3 August   OKLAHOMA!

From G&S, directed by Teddy Davies, in the Artscape Opera House.

Tickets are already on sale from cast members or from Computicket. Ticket prices through Computicket range from R110 to R235 for evening performances and R100 to R220 for matinees. Preferential tickets are available from cast members at a saving of between R10 and R30 each.

25 July – 2 August   Benefactors

Michael Frayn’s award-winning play presented by MADS at the Masque Theatre and directed by Coleen van Staden.

27 July                        Great Gatsby audition

13h00–15h00, in the Masque Theatre foyer.

27 July                        FOH training workshop

16h00–18h00, in the Masque Theatre foyer.

15 – 23 August          California Suite

Fish Hoek Dramatic Society presents Neil Simon’s California Suite, directed by Jane Philbrick.


That’s all folks!




Claremont Dramatic Society Committee 2014:

Simon Dutton (Vice-Chair/Hok Manager) simon.d@mweb.co.za Home: 021 683 8630 Cell: 083 327 7350

Anthony Storr Lister (Treasurer) anthonylister@mailbox.co.za Home: 021 671 1443 Cell: 082 357 7677

Jenny Brandt (Minutes Secretary and Member Relations Officer): jennybrandt74@gmail.com Cell:082 492 5984

Sheldon Cross (Chat) sheldon_cross@yahoo.com Home: 021 801 5610 Cell: 072 596 8369

Liz Roodt (Members’ Evenings): lizroodt@yahoo.co.uk Cell: 081 259 3607

Kim Randleff-Rasmussen (Publicity): tzar42@gmail.com Cell: 083 619 2441

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Hey everyone

Don’t forget that CDS’s second show for the year, Agatha Christie’s “The Hollow” directed by Liz Roodt, is currently on at the Masque Theatre. Tickets are selling fast so book yours today (call 021 788 1898 or email bookings@masquetheatre.co.za)!

Here is what reviewers are saying about the show:

Danie Botha (translated by Willie Blignaut):

It’s a fine institution to be able to enjoy an Agatha Christie in the Masque every year.
Besides the gripping detective work, clashes between characters and convincing psychological problems, this year’s production also provided a lot of comic relief. In spite of a few loud ones in the audience on opening night, one could still enjoy the subtleties in the performances.
During recess we could all discuss who we thought committed the murder and why, but we were also wondering about something else: Were there ever any gun shots? Or was the grim reality for the stage crew that – at that critical moment – a certain sound effect or prop just didn’t work? Well, the poor victim still bravely stumbled forward and fell on stage, amidst the laughter of some of the audience members. Experienced theatre-goers around us were convinced that there was something wrong with the gun shots.
Before and after the shooting, there is a lot of drama in the Angkatell home, the Hollow. Ralph Kelly plays the engaging Sir Henry, an avid gun collector, and the patriarch who only wants the best for every member of the family. He wants to save young Midge (Christie Bellairs) from her horrid job in a dress shop, and is very protective of his beloved wife, Lucy. Kelly could do with some stronger voice projection, especially in the opening scene.
Su Cunningham delivers an outstanding, award-worthy performance as Lady Lucy. She’s an absent-minded lover of life, but also says and thinks some very rude things about some of the other characters. And of course she tends to forget certain important things. In this way, she reinforces the intrigue in a very interesting way. Cunningham’s spot-on comic timing awards her the most laughter from the audience, but without ever over-acting or making a farce of the scene.
Simon Dutton plays Gudgeon, the butler with the strong voice. He’s imposing, and very well disciplined. He always walks in exactly the same way and even stands at military attention. His attention to tidiness even results in his discovery of a very important clue in the form of a note.
The women who are involved in the love intrigue along with Midge, all deliver very well defined character portrayals. Faeron Wheeler plays Henrietta, the effectual, protective, independent spirited, artist. Opposite her is Jenny Brandt, as the pathetic, submissive Gerda, who always suppresses her feelings. Their appearances and voice intonation work well together. Jana Botha, as the film actress Veronica, deserves a prize for the most dramatic entrance. She is equally strong in her erotic seduction as she is in her enraged outbursts.
David Sharpe plays the upright, uptight and serious Edward, who is still desperately in search of love. Opposite him Sheldon Cross plays the dynamic Doctor Cristow – sexually irresistible to many of the women, but he’s also manipulative and looks down upon strugglers like Edward. Cross’s performance is impressive in his moments of rage in his clash with Veronica, while Sharpe’s character becomes quieter when his soul is troubled.
This is an ideal play for a dramatic society, due to the rather large cast, who each play an important part in the intrigue at one point or another. Roseanne as Doris the maid, definitely ensures that the two detectives want to here what she has to say. These are the two with their French accents: the calm Willie Blignaut as inspector Louis Gilbert, and Dimitri Selibas as Sergeant Penny. Unfortunately my Afrikaans ear could not always interpret Doris’s high pitched, quirky speech. Blignaut was in control of events, but may have been just a little too controlled at times. Selibas’s character certainly has an appreciation for female beauty. For certain members of the audience, his every move was bitterly funny. Something in his attitude, the swing of his pelvis? There is a story to Agatha Christie’s decision not to add her master detective Hercule Poirot to this play. Maybe that has something to do with why director Roodt decided on these specific accents.
The curtain call often tells one a great deal about the director’s amount of attention to order, precision, and aesthetics. Here they surprise us by doing something a little different. The lead roles enter first, allowing them to bask in the attention of the audience, while the supporting players enter according to their status.
This is a colourful production with red as the dominant colour in the beautiful, stylish costumes and set design.
There are still many more performances on the schedule. Book! Book!

Lieske Bester (False Bay Echo):

This play proved to be the final production of 1997 at the ‘Old’ Masque.

The theatre burnt down when the next play was in rehearsal. 

 A “new” much improved Masque Theatre rose from its ashes and has served the community theatre and audiences with a rich variety of entertainment since 1999.  Incidentally, there is another wave of fundraising to pay for a new roof, air conditioner and other necessary maintenance.  Enquire in the foyer how you can assist. 

The Hollow is one of the more amusing A C plays but the plot is as complicated as always.  Seeing it for the third time, I had not a clue until all was revealed and everything became amazingly clear….

An elegant shaped room, glowing décor and dramatic costume coordination (all Sheldon Cross) combine with an exquisite garden backdrop (Barrie Howard ).

This is a director’s debut and Liz Roodt has done well with a cast of twelve, including a number of newcomers.   On opening night pace was slow especially in the early scenes, exacerbated by insufficient projection by Ralph Kelly and David Sharpe.  This will no doubt have been remedied for the remaining performances. 

Faeron Wheeler is commanding as the feisty artist in the family.  Christie Bellairs’ good looks and presence and the suave police pair Willie Blignaut and Dimitri Selibas will hopefully be seen on our stage again.  Simon Dutton’s impressive butler and Roseanna McBain’s perky maid (such efficient housekeeping) add authenticity.

Sue Cunningham’s Lady Lucy Angkatell is real and recognizable and provides most of the humour and Sheldon Cross impresses as Dr John Christow, all rakish charm and casual philandering..  Jenny Brandt as his marginalized wife displays a talent I had not noted till now.   My accolade goes to Jana Botha whose Veronica Crane adds yet another trophy to her selection of roles.  Her explosive entrance was all Hollywood – her fame and fortune more fantasy than fact. She spiced up the action and dominated the stage.

Fans of the genre need no urging, but if you’re not or worse, haven’t seen an Agatha Christie – get thee to the show a.s.a.p and enjoy your sleuthing!

See you at the theatre!

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Claremont Chat

Claremont Dramatic Society Newsletter
The Hok, 162 Campground Road, Claremont, 7708

email: claremontdramatic@gmail.com 



May 2014 – Number 133


Greetings All, 

Things are getting steamy this winter, as we are deep in the throes of final rehearsals for The Hollow. There have been some very important happenings like quizzes and a new roof. I am rather at sea at the moment without Wendy so please forgive me if I have forgotten something important.

The Hollow: Help! We need help … 

As I mentioned earlier we are on the final lap before we move into theatre on the 25th of May and we need help! We desperately need volunteers to help with set build and final move-in details. This production is an epic undertaking requiring willing hands to make it really something special. So please if you can spare some time and know-how please contact either Simon Dutton (simon.d@mweb.co.za) or Liz Roodt (lizroodt@yahoo.co.uk).

We are also looking for two Smith and Wesson revolvers if you happen to have some lying around.

Acting workshops

This is an opportunity to perform at our next members evening on the 18th of July.

I will be offering acting workshops from late June. These workshops will aim to help newcomers and old. The workshops will entail basic voice and body work, text analysis, character development and at the end of workshops you will be adjudicated and will receive a certificate of attendance at a final performance/exam.

09:30–12:00 at the Hok

  • Sat 21st June – basics, voice and body, emotional connectivity, improvisation
  • Sat 28th June – improvisation and scene work, acting techniques
  • Sat 5th July – monologue, text into performance
  • Sat 12th July – monologue rehearsal and final workshop
  • Fri 18th July – Members evening: performance and adjudication

Please confirm attendance by the 1st of June 2014.

The cost is R50 a workshop and you must to attend all 4 workshops to receive the certificate. If you are interested or require more information feel free to contact me: sheldon_cross@yahoo.com or 072 596 8369.

May members evening and Masque fund-raiser quizzes

A note from Kim:

Simon put together two very successful quizzes for the CDS members evening on 2 May and for the Masque roof fund-raiser on 10 May. The questions ranged from caddishly challenging to devilishly difficult and prompted me to admit that I may as well change my name to Jon Snow, for I truly know nothing. I can’t for the life of me think who won either quiz but the point is that everyone enjoyed themselves and we raised some more money for the Masque roof fund. Thanks to everyone who made them happen!

New members of the Masque Theatre Operations Team

It is with great pleasure that the Masque Board informs you of two new members of the Operations Team:

GARY FARGHER – Technical Coordinator responsible for the management of the technical assets and capabilities of the theatre.

BARRIE HOWARD – Wardrobe Coordinator responsible for the management of our extensive wardrobe.

We thank Gary and Barrie for being willing to be part of the Operations Team and share their expertise and experience with the Masque Theatre. Both Gary and Barrie have given many years of service to the theatre and we are very lucky to have them on our Operations Team.

Planning Ahead:  2015

We need to start our planning for next year. Anyone who wishes to direct for CDS in 2015 should please contact us with a proposal, which should include the name of the play, playwright, genre, composition of cast (numbers and gender split) and preferred slot (beginning, middle or end of the year). Please let us have this information as soon as possible, so that we can present the options to the Masque Productions Team before the end of May.


Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Set in 1960 with the music of Neil Sedaka

21st and 22nd of June at 2 p.m. at the Pinelands Players clubhouse.

Director: June Wells

Musical directors: Alan van der Merwe and Ted Faulkner


16 – 24 May                  One for the Road presented by Constantiaberg Players at The Masque, an adult British comedy

18 July                          Members evening – A showcase of performances and soup and rolls

19 July – 3 August      OKLAHOMA! from G&S, directed by Teddy Davies, in the Artscape Opera House. Tickets are already on sale from cast members or from Computicket. Ticket prices through Computicket range from R110 to R235 for evening performances and R100 to R220 for matinees. Preferential tickets are available from cast members at a saving of between R10 and R30 each.


One for the road …

That’s all folks, 



Claremont Dramatic Society Committee 2014:

Simon Dutton (Chair/Hok Manager) simon.d@mweb.co.za Home: 021 683 8630 Cell: 083 327 7350

Anthony Storr Lister (Treasurer/Masque liaison) anthonylister@mailbox.co.za Home: 021 671 1443 Cell: 082 357 7677

Jenny Brandt (Minutes Secretary/Member Relations Officer): jennybrandt74@gmail.com Cell:082 492 5984

Sheldon Cross (Chat) sheldon_cross@yahoo.com Home: 021 801 5610 Cell: 072 596 8369

Liz Roodt (Members Evenings): lizroodt@yahoo.co.uk Cell: 081 259 3607

Kim Randleff-Rasmussen (Publicity): tzar42@gmail.com Home: 021 671 8687 Cell: 083 619 2441

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Claremont Chat


October 2011 – Number 103

Well here we are: the merry month of October, and all is go, go go! You’re probably wondering why The Chat is looking a little different this month? André Thomas is living la dolce vita in Berlin at the moment, and so I have taken on the Chat duties in his absence, or absinth (whichever is more applicable?). By all accounts “la dolce vita” may be an understatement, have a great time André! We will of course, miss you.

We at Claremont are having a very busy time with our production of Terence Rattigan’s Separate Tables in rehearsal. Director Sue Bolton and her cast are hard at work to stage this truly great play. It’s Terence Rattigan’s centenary year and so it’s fitting that this piece should be tackled by CDS and Sue Bolton. More about the play later.

The audition for our next production, Marvin’s Room, is fast approaching. Read on for more details…

We also have CDS members “out there” so to speak. I along with Wendy Goddard, Michele Belknap, Su Cunningham and Anton Schäfer will soon be treading the boards in the MVDS’s production of Tracy Letts’s August: Osage County. This play is very new to audiences outside of the USA. It was premiered as recently as 2007. Tracy Letts is a Pulitzer Prize Nominee for his earlier play, Man From Nebraska. Again, more about this later.

Clifford Graham

Sad News

Bruce Edwards passed away on 22 September, and a very touching memorial service was held at the Masque on Friday 30 September. It was lovely to see so many people there, paying tribute to a man who was so passionate about everything he did. Much love to June and family.

Inter-Society Quiz

Claremont Dramatic Society entered three teams into this year’s Inter-Society Quiz. I think most of us enjoyed a great evening but were “sobered” by the questions posed and realised just how little we really know about our shared passion. Thanks to Jay Heale, The Claremont “Clod Hoppers” (team name) were able to score a perfect five points in only one category! That being “Shakespearean Quotes”.
Final results saw Fish Hoek taking the win with 68 points. Claremont’s three teams, Claremont Clod Hoppers, Claremont 2 and 3 finishing with 36, 37 and 43 points respectively. Thanks to all those CDS members who put their reputations on the line for the society!

CDS Update

You may or may not have noticed – but CDS has a strong online presence. It’s not only our blog getting hits at http://www.claremontdramatic.wordpress.com, but also our Facebook page – make sure you go and “Like” it, and follow interesting updates: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Claremont-Dramatic-Society/252816564804

Our move to sending newsletters from a centralised email address is well underway, with 47 people having signed up already. If you know anyone who would like to receive our newsletters, they can subscribe by clicking on this link: http://groups.google.com/group/claremont_dramatic_society/topics and then clicking on ‘Join this group’ (on the right hand side). Their details will not be visible to anyone, and they will not get any spam.

Apropos things online, I have started a website called The Monday Missile Dot Coza—a theatre, art and entertainment journal. Feel free to visit and get news, insights and reviews from the theatre and music world: http://www.mondaymissile.co.za or visit the Facebook Page: Monday Missile Dot Coza.

Members’ Evenings

Feedback from our last members’ evening on Friday 30 September. Contributed by Jane De Sousa:

The last members’ evening was interesting, thought provoking and very entertaining. Sheldon Cross and Penelope Youngleson presented Kismet – a piece of collaborative theatre. As both are a combination of talented actor and creative theatre makers (read on to see what this term means), Kismet was a clever, funny and original piece of theatre consisting of a series of monologues and occasional dialogues that explore the identity of young white South Africans. Sheldon and Penelope used humour very effectively to explore uncomfortable aspects of White South African identity, and balance the more serious dramatic moments. The staging of Kismet was clever without being pretentious and provided a supportive framework for the different performances. Sheldon and Penelope are to be congratulated on developing and thanked for presenting this engaging piece of theatre.

After their performance and a much needed glass of reviving spirit, Sheldon and Penelope answered questions from the audience. This was a great opportunity to discuss and explore our common passion. All the questions and discussions were insightful and interesting. For me, the difference between the traditional actor and the newly emerged theatre maker was particularly interesting. The traditional actor is cast and directed, giving a performance guided by an existing script and the director’s interpretation of that script. The theatre maker is both writer and performer, creating theatre to explore issues that interest them and characters they wish to play. Theatre making enables performers to create pieces of theatre that are original and provide a vehicle to showcase and explore their talents.

Thank you to Sheldon, Penelope and the CDS Committee for a fabulous members evening that provided us with an opportunity to enjoy, indulge and revel in our love of theatre.

Our next members’ evening on Friday 21 October will be a performance of I am Amazing by Rebecca Dallas and Cameron Hutchison. It is a comedy about an eccentric doctor preparing for a practice inspection. The day becomes rather chaotic as a result – with mistaken identities adding to the confusion.

Jemma Kieser directs the cast of six – the doctor, receptionist, inspector and three patients. I am Amazing is the 2011 winner of the Westerford High School One-Act Play Festival, which was held in September. Rebecca and Cameron have been awarded honours in drama by Westerford, and have written four plays for the Festival, two of which have won the Best Play Award.

This promises to be an entertaining evening, giving us a sneak preview of the talent that is coming through our schools, which will hopefully continue to flourish after matric. And this is also an opportunity for learners to see how their passion for theatre can continue, through societies like CDS.
The usual yummy snacks will be available, as will the cash bar. There is no entry fee. Please RSVP to Pam Burger on 082 488 0442 before 18 October, so she can make sure there’s enough grub to go around.

The evening will start at 19h30 for 20h00 – and remember that you are welcome to bring guests and new thespians (and even ‘old’ ones!).

I am very encouraged by the way the member’s evenings have worked out over the past few months. All have been performances of a very high calibre. That’s what we are about, theatre, and I love the fact that we are doing just that, theatre!

The following member’s evening will also be our Christmas party! Can this be believed? Where has the year gone? So many plays, so little time!

Friday 2 December: I will be putting together a little performance piece entitled “Sonnets and Sound” Fourteen Sonnets and a soundscape, not to be missed? Times etc. will be announced in the next Chat. Once again the words of The Bard will reverberate through our collective audio senses.


MARVIN’S ROOM by Scott McPherson

March 16 – 24 2012 at the Masque Theatre, Muizenberg

directed by Brenda Gray

Audition date: Saturday 22 October (Call backs: Saturday 29 October)

Time: 2.30 p.m.

Place: The Hok, Campground Road, Claremont (Under the bridge)

Marvin’s Room had its premiere in Chicago in 1990 and went on to national acclaim, winning the 1992 Outer Critics Circle award for best play, the 1992 Drama Desk award for best play and the Joseph Jefferson award in Chicago for best original work. Described as a ‘mordantly funny comedy’ and ‘a zany and emotionally-affecting story about death, aging parents, reconciliation, and the healing power of selfless love’, it was made into a film in 1996 with Dianne Keaton, Meryl Streep, Leonardo di Caprio and Robert de Nero.


BESSIE: 40s. Takes care of her father and aunt (large role)
LEE: late 30s. Bessie’s sister. A hairdresser who is about to get her degree in cosmetology. (large role)
RUTH: 70s Bessie’s aunt – frail and delightfully dotty. (medium role)
DOCTOR CHARLOTTE: Psychiatrist – head of the mental clinic. (small/cameo role)
DR WALLY: 50s -could be older, because he is very dithery. (medium role)
HANK: 17 Lee’s son. In a mental clinic for burning down his mother’s house.(medium role)
CHARLIE: 12 Hank’s younger brother. Is ‘doing poorly at school because he reads too much’. (small role)
BOB: Dr Wally’s brother and receptionist. A ‘sheltered employment’ candidate. (cameo role)
RETIREMENT HOME DIRECTOR: m/f (small/cameo role)
MARVIN: Bessie’s bedridden father. (Non-speaking part, but onstage a good deal of the time)

Enquiries: phone Brenda: 021 6863554 Cell: 083 3300670
Separate Tables

Masque Theatre 18 to 26 November.
Directed by Sue Bolton
Set Design by David Davidson
Lighting and Sound Design by Gary Fargher
Stage Manager: Clifford Graham.
Bookings 021 788 1898

The action of the story takes place in a seaside hotel on the English South Coast in 1954. Living there, are many permanent residents from all walks of life, many of whom are lonely, or needy. Miss Cooper the manageress, is unable to remain aloof from their troubles, and endeavours to help them, or just give them the courage to face life.
The characteristics and foibles of the diverse personalities are superbly brought to life by Terence Rattigan’s astute dialogue and understanding of people, and we are reminded of the attitudes and morals of the time. We have a wonderful cast to bring it all to life for you.
Of course when this play was written , Britain was bankrupt from the war, there was so much that needed to be re- built, and so many countless thousands who had died, which left a void which would take time to fill. Moral attitudes where conservative [almost puritanical] and the social class system was still firmly in place, but was showing signs of cracks, where the ‘upper’’ classes were no longer deferred to as much as they had in the past. But every one was feeling the pinch, and was careful with money.

Get Thee to the Masque!

7 – 15 October: Hayfever by Noel Coward . Directed by Alastair Duff for Fish Hoek Dramatic Society. A deliciously wicked comedy of ill-manners! The Bliss family invites four wildly different guests down to their country house for the weekend … with hilarious results! Coward said that this delightful comedy is considered by many to be his best comedy… it is very clever, and an assured crowd pleaser.

Friday 28 Oct. to 5 Nov. 2011

Tracy Letts’s August: Osage County

Directed by birga Thomas for MVDS

Bookings 021 788 1898

Award-winning poet Beverly Weston and his pill-popping wife Violet set the tone for a never boring, always astounding reunion of their large family. Catty and foul-mouthed Violet’s claws have turned her hot tin roof into an ice sheet long ago – and now, with the Weston family around her (and each contributing to the melting-pot of insults and betrayal), the temperature in their home heads relentlessly towards boiling point, on the hot Plains of the USA in August 2007 …

When the extended Weston clan reunites in Oklahoma after the disappearance of their patriarch, the gathering explodes soon “in a maelstrom of repressed truths and unsettling secrets. This play unflinchingly – and uproariously – explores the dark side” of a quintessentially dysfunctional American family in the 21st century. Critics say that this emotional rollercoaster measures up to O’Neill, Tennessee Williams and Albee, and they call it the “first great American large-scale drama of this millennium”. To quote the trailer for the Broadway production: “One bitch of a family reunion – you’ll recoil in shock, you’ll cry and you’ll laugh. Whatever your take, you’ll never forget August: Osage County”.

Our Hok Matters!

Many members have noticed that slowly but surely, small changes are been made at The Hok.
We now have a small lighting setup for all those theatrical evenings we are planning. Many thanks to Gary Fargher, Brett Radloff and Wendy Goddard for arranging the procurement of this “little gem” – so useful! We will be expanding its capabilities as we progress. Who knows? One day we have a bona fide
performance space… okay can’t help myself, watch this space.

Also, we have been able to add a proper urn to our inventory. A bit of a search, but I was finally able to track one down at Glomail. This was made possible through a gift from Beren Belknap (Michele’s son) for the use of the Hok as a rehearsal space. So The Hok is being put to good use!

Our new addition: An electric air pot. Easy to use (honestly) and a good energy saver. Once boiled, the thermos facility keeps water hot enough for hot drinks for a good few hours. Don’t be afraid of it, the instruction manual is on the shelf behind the bar. It’s easy to follow!

Bottoms up!

Oh dear, parting is always such sweet sorrow, here’s hoping you get as much pleasure out of reading this month’s Pulitzer Prize winning “Chat” as I have had putting it together,

Your erstwhile scribe,

Clifford Graham

Dates to diarise

Thursday 13 – Saturday 15 October: Hayfever at the Masque
Friday 21 October 7.30pm: Members’ evening – I am Amazing
Saturday 22 October 2.30pm: Audition: Marvin’s Room
Friday 28 October 7.30pm: August: Osage County opens
Friday 18 November 8pm: Separate Tables opens
Friday 2 December 7.30pm: Members’ evening – Sonnets and Sound

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March 2011 – Number 96


How many of YOU did the Argus this year? Our new chair led the way, by getting on her bicycle this year and promptly bettering her time from last year. This was Wendy’s 16th Argus – which is almost as good as Bob’s 22 (and streaks ahead of my 3 ¾ times…)

We’re very excited about the enthusiastic new committee that CDS has – and thanks to everyone that came to the AGM and made that a success. There were plenty of smiles when the awards were presented, which was repeated not longer after when CDS members did well at the CATA Awards as well – more about these later.

IMPORTANT: We are calling a Special General Meeting on Sunday 17 April 2011 at 18h30 – this is immediately prior to the Member’s Evening so that we can ensure a good turnout. The agenda is attached at the end of the newsletter.

CDS – new committee
We’re happy to welcome some new and return faces to our Claremont Dramatic Society committee: Clifford Graham and Anthony Storr Lister join our team for the first time (Welcome!) They are joined by returning members Wendy Goddard and André Thomas (Welcome Back!).

Members evening & Special General Meeting

Here’s your chance to meet the new committee, and our fellow members; our Member’s Evening Bill for 2011 has begun!

Our first member’s evening will be held on Sunday 17 April at 7 for 7:30pm, at the Hok. This is immediately after the Special General Meeting at 18h30.

As an hors d’oeuvre for our next production, Macbeth, we are calling for ten volunteers to perform a Shakespeare monologue in the form of an ‘audition’. Our resident Shakespearophile, Ruth Allsopp, will adjudicate. After each piece, the audience will be asked to guess the character and the play. No prizes, just bragging rights!

If you’d like to take part, please contact Pam Burger by Monday 28 March on 021 657 5700 (o/h) or email: PamB@Masterparts.com .

Please also let Pam know if you’re coming to the member’s evening (whether or not you’re doing a monologue).

If you don’t have a favourite, find your monologue here: http://www.shakespeare-monologues.org/. No monologues from Macbeth, please.

It would be great if you could do a little bit of research into your monologue, so that you understand its context.

As usual, there is no entry fee, and snacks will be provided. To create an authentic atmosphere, a limited quantity of mead* will be on sale. Friends and family are always welcome.

Proceedings will terminate by 9:30pm, so that the scholarly and working classes may depart early enough not to be deprived of too much beauty sleep. For those who wish to tarry, the tavern will stay open for a short while.
*Mead is made by the alcoholic fermentation of honey. In ancient times it was believed to be a good thing to give a young couple sufficient mead that they could drink a considerable amount each night for a month after getting married. This was a term politely referred to as a honeymoon – the primary objective of a honeymoon was for a couple to conceive a child. More mead meanderings here: http://www.iqhilika.co.za/index.htm

CDS Awards 2010
We had a wonderful time presenting these awards – for which a huge Thank You goes to the judges! The complete list of winner’s is attached at the end of this newsletter. Hearty congratulations to you all!

Here some of our winners of the night:
Back row: Michele Belknap, Clifford Graham, Lesley Gill And here’s Elza-lynne receiving her Front: Elza-lynne Kruger, Brenda Gray, Vivienne Gray Outstanding Contribution to the
Society Award from our new Chair, Wendy.

CATA Awards Evening

On Monday 07 March 2011 CATA held another excellent event, presenting their awards to amateur dramatic world at the Masque.

Here too, I have attached a list of the winners at the end – with our own productions highlighted for quick reference – again, congratulations and jubilations to all!

Auditions – I have attached 2 audition notices for you at the end of the newsletter 🙂

Member news

We always love to hear from our members – and this month we’ve heard from Kaz – who must be one of our furthest-away members.
Kaz Wurzinger relocated to Japan a few years ago, and is still a member of CDS. Just after the earthquake on the 11th, he replied to an e-mail from Ralph Thornley:

Hello Ralph

How are you doing? Thank you so much for your email and thoughts.
Yes, the quake did shake us up a bit – and I am not just speaking physically.
We are situated a little lower than the epicenter and only received a
level 5 but it was still the strongest we had ever felt before. Lucky
for us we are also pretty much inland and have not been affected by
the tsunamis – we are however still trying to connect with friends and
their families here who are located in some of the affected areas.

Adriana and I were out shopping at the time and my mom and our son were at
home. Within 10 minutes we tried heading home and found my mom a little
distressed but joking about it.

Now, the house is still shaking every few minutes from various
aftershocks and quakes but we are all fine. We will try in keep everyone in the loop as to any developments – but Internet, cell phone and land-line access is limited at times.

Please send our love to all that remember us.

Love and hugs from all of us here to you and yours!

God Bless,

K, A, A and J

Our Location: Saitama Prefecture – Saitama City, Minuma Ward

Since then, Kaz has put together a website with information about the situation: http://sites.google.com/site/kazmatrix/news.

Member’s dues – have you paid for 2011?

Thank you to all of you who have paid your subs at the AGM. There are still a few members whose subs are outstanding and we eagerly await your remittance – why not kill three birds with one stone…come along to the members evening on 17 April, meet our new members and pay your subs at the same time?

Or you could make a direct deposit into our bank account – with your name as the Beneficiary Reference please:
Standard Bank Claremont (Branch Code: 025109)
Current Account Number: 072 637 676

Production updates

Brief Lives – now going to Artscape!

Brief Lives, which ran at The Masque Theatre from the 04 – 12 February, proved in every way to be a triumph of theatre. Brenda Gray delivered a production that was not only visually outstanding, but gave Brian de Kock the opportunity to show his considerable talents as an actor.

The Theatrical adaptation was written in the latter 17th Century. Originally staged in 1967 with Roy Dotrice as John Aubrey, it reached the Guinness Book of Records as the longest running One-man play, with 1782 performances, both on the West End and on Broadway. It has been revived on several occasions since, most notably by Roy Dotrice again in 2008.

As John Aubrey the 17th century diarist, Brian de Kock commanded the stage and garnered the audience’s attention from the first line to the final curtain. The feat of memory alone would have daunted the most able thespian. There are few actors who are able to dissolve into a role to the extent that Brian de Kock is capable. Audiences were rapt in there collective attention. And surely, those who know Brian de Kock were able to forget this fact and watch John Aubrey bare his soul.

Vivienne Gray’s set design was once again flawless in its concept and visual complexity. Gary Fargher’s sound and lighting created an authentic and fitting atmosphere which made the spectacle all the more alluring and believable. Claremont Dramatic Society has once again proved that we are a society able to produce theatre of the highest calibre. This born of our considerable talent pool, and a serious, hard working attitude to theatre.

Should you have missed the Masque staging, or indeed have the need for a second viewing, the production will be presented at The Arena at Artscape from 07 to 14 May.
Booking at Computicket or Dial a Seat 021 421 7695

Here’s an update from our director Clifford Graham:
It’s rare that a cast is gathered and so much interest and enthusiasm shown at that first gathering. This is very definitely the case with the cast and crew of Macbeth. The cast, currently numbering 27 if the production crew are included, looks to be strong, motivated and willing to undertake this daunting challenge. I know we will learn from each other and from The Bard himself. If belief in the supernatural proves to be true, I know dear Will is amongst us in muse and spirit.
To the best of my knowledge, we may have an unprecedented situation in this production. In the audition process, and despite having looked far and wide I was unable to find the Macbeth I was looking for. So in my usual way I formulated “Plan B” which to those now in the know, means I have cast myself in the role. In order to make this work, Brenda Gray has generously offered to direct the scenes that require my full attention as actor. Kyla Thorburn has also offered her services in this regard and will be keeping an eye on the production once we have moved into theatre.
There is still a bit of cast juggling to be done but suffice it to say I am confident that our Lady Macbeth, Michele Belknap will bring her wonderful skills to the fore. Macduff, to be played by Sheldon Cross is in good hands, along with Jane De Sousa as his good wife. Mike Thompson as Good King Duncan and Dean Howarth as Malcolm will also be bringing considerable skills to the production. I am particularly looking forward to seeing Nigel Sweet as The Porter equivocating his way around the set.
Apropos set and production matters, we have a new and promising Production Secretary in Leigh Mather. Our Props Manager is the very capable Angela Pratten. To these two ladies I say welcome!
Wendy Goddard will be the usual excellent Stage Manager she is, and Vivienne Gray will be designing the set. After Vivienne’s last two triumphs (Lady Windermere’s Fan and Brief Lives) we have something to look forward to!

We are still looking for a costume co-ordinator – so please contact me if you can assist: clifford@mondaymissile.co.za or 083 948 9115, alternatively Leigh Mather on 072 614 1328.

Not letting too much of the cat out of the bag, but watch this space…

Learn Thee at the Theatre!

One of the main reasons that most of you became a member a Dramatic Society was because of your enduring passion for anything to do with the stage. Some of you have been had a love affair with the boards for years. Others of you have only recently started your flirtations, and are still finding your feet and areas of interest.

Working with other members on our various productions (be it on stage, backstage, front of house or box office, sound & lighting, costumes, props, prompting, production team, hair & make-up , the list goes on…) – can be one of the most rewarding experiences. You get to learn so much from each other: either tapping into years of experience to help demystify some of the secrets of the stage. Or being infected by the enthusiasm of the newcomers, and their bright-eyed way of looking and learning, and falling in love with it all over again.

Either way, I encourage each of you to come and be a part of creating magical theatre with all of us – you know it’s rewarding 

Get Thee to the Theatre!

Chapter Two
From 25 March to 02 April at the Milnerton Playhouse
This Neil Simon play is directed by our very own Chair – Wendy Goddard – so we have NO excuse to not support her.

This very funny but poignant play is based around four brilliantly penned characters and is widely perceived to be an autobiographical revelation of Neil Simon’s coming to terms with the death of his first wife, followed by his love affair and subsequent marriage to actress Marsha Mason. Although it seems like a heavy subject to deal with, Simon’s wonderful narrative and witty and humorous dialogue makes Chapter Two an immensely likeable piece.

Bookings on 021 557 3206 or 082 267 1061 or E-mail macdram@afrihost.co.za

She has a great cast, the rehearsals have gone well, and knowing her, this is sure to be a winner!

15 – 24 April 2011 – presented by Pinelands Players.

Godspell is a fun, modern day musical, retelling the New Testament parables from The Gospel According to Matthew, presented by a young, dynamic cast.

The show is at times comedic and at times sentimental, and includes the songs, Day by Day, Learn Your Lesson Well, Turn Back O Man, By My Side, On the Willows, and many more.
Director Roche Haupt Buckle and Musical Director Justin Wardle

It will be on at The Arena at Artscape from 15 to 24 April 2011:
Evening 8.15pm R130.00
Saturday Matinee 2.30pm R110.00
Sunday 6.00pm R130.00
Booking at Computicket or Dial a Seat 021 421 7695

Get Thee to the Masque!

01 – 09 April
Come Back Little Sheba by William Inge, directed by Barrie Howard for Constantiaberg Theatre
Players at the Masque Theatre.
A chiropractor who had to quit medical school to marry is driven to occasional binges by the
constant realisation of what he might have been. A story of hope and sobriety.

04 – 08 April
Storybook at the Masque. Classic Fairy Tales (The Troll, Sleeping Beauty and Rumpelstilskin) with
a twist! Hilarious – will captivate audiences from ages 4 to 90!
Mon at 14:30, Tues, Wed, Thurs at 11:00 and 14:30 and Fri at 11:00. All shows R30.
For bookings contact Carol or Carley on 021 782 0875 or 0715697930 or email: dowling@xsinet.co.za

15 & 16 April
The Wonderful World of Operetta presented by Playbill Productions at the Masque.
Directed by Celia Musikanth, musical direction by Lorraine Rothenburg and choreography by Gladys Bullock with her captivating Viennese dancers.
Featuring soprano Liesl Hartje, tenor Matthew Overmeyer, Dermod Gloster, Margaret Hill and Cherith Bain on violin, this production showcases popular music from operettas.
Tickets: Evenings R65 (R55), Matinee R55 (R45).

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

See you there!

Claremont Dramatic Society Committee 2011


of a Special General Meeting of the CLAREMONT DRAMATIC SOCIETY
to be held at the Hok, 162 Campground Road, Newlands
on Sunday 17 April 2011 at 18h30.


1. Notice Convening the Meeting

2. Apologies

3. Treasurer’s Report for the Year ended 31 December 2010

4. Adoption of Audited Financial Statements for the Year ended 31 December 2010

5. To consider any Motion from any Member of which due Notice has been lodged with the Secretary at least 14 (fourteen) days prior to this Meeting

6. To consider any business or proposed alterations to the constitution which the Committee may consider proper to bring before the meeting

7. To fix the annual subscription for the ensuing year

8. To Elect an Honorary Auditor for the Year ended 31 December 2011

9. To discuss the Society’s policy with respect to productions invited to Artscape

10. Any other business

Wendy Goddard
March 2011





1. Best Actress – Michele Belknap in the production “Lady Windermere’s Fan”
2. Best Actor – Trevor Joubert in the production “Gigi”
3. Best Supporting Actress – Lesley Gill in the production “Rumours”
4. Best Supporting Actor – Clifford Graham in the production “Lady Windermere’s Fan”
5. Best Production – Director: Brenda Gray for the production “Lady Windermere’s Fan”
6. Shield for Outstanding Contribution to Production –Vivienne Gray for the production “Lady Windermere’s Fan”
7. Shield for Outstanding Contribution to Society – Elza-lynne Kruger
Certificates of Merit:
1. Cameo Performances: Ruth Allsopp (Windermere), Anthony James(Gigi)
2. Outstanding Performances: Luella Holland (Windermere and Gigi), Gary Green (Rumours)
3. Set: Lady Windermere’s Fan – Vivienne Gray
4. Costumes: Lady Windermere’s Fan – Kim Harris
5. Set: Rumours – Kim Harris and Simon Sutton

Best Actor: Trevor Joubert in the production “Gigi”
Best Actress: Michele Belknap in the production “Lady Windermere’s Fan”
Best Production: “Lady Windermere’s Fan” directed by Brenda Gray

Cata Awards 2010

Junior Awards
• Julia Holzberg as Annie – Annie (G & S)
• Kirsty du Plessis as Annie – Annie (G & S)

Certificate of Excellence Awards
• Best Male Solo: Graham Boxall –Annie (G&S)
• Orphan’s Chorus – Annie (G & S)
• Adult Chorus – Annie (G & S)
• HELEN MATHERS – Towards Zero (Fish Hoek Dramatic Society)

Exceptional Artistic Contribution: Jill Cooke Cup
• Shared award:
Dolores Spijkers and Karin Ashdown – Little Mermaid (HHDS)
Kyla Thorburn and Roxy Levy – Annie (G & S)

Technical Excellence: Estelle Knott-Craig Shield
• JUNE and BRUCE EDWARDS – Improbable Fiction (MVDS)

Best Set: Harry Hargreaves Cup
• VIVIENNE GRAY – Lady Windermere’s Fan (Claremont Dramatic Society)

Cameo Performance: Fiona Chisholm Cup
• Best Cameo in a Play: GIZELLE WILLOWS – Lady Windermere’s Fan (CDS)
• Best Cameo in a Musical: ANTHONY JAMES – Gigi (CDS/PP)

Most Promising Newcomer: The Imps Shield
• MIA SIMONOW – Improbable Fiction (MVDS)

Best Supporting Actress in a Play or Musical
• In a play: JANE COHEN – Lady Windermere’s Fan (Claremont Dramatic Society)
• In a musical: Jennifer Moss – Annie (G & S)

Best Supporting Actor in a Play or Musical: Richard Farmer Cup
• In a play: Gordon Molloy – Nobody’s Perfect (Milnerton Players)
• In a musical: David Bolton – Annie (G & S)

Best Actress in a Play or Musical: Doris Tansley Cup
• Play: MICHELE BELKNAP – Lady Windermere’s Fan (Claremont Dramatic Society)
• Musical: not awarded

Best Actor in a Play or Musical : Geoffrey Tansley Cup/Downey Cup
• Play: Barrie Howard – God’s Favorite (Constantiaberg Theatre Players)
• Musical: Shared award
Shaun Browne – Annie (G & S) and
Graham Boxall – Annie (G & S)

Outstanding Service to Amateur Theatre: Cods Cup

Most Adventurous Production: Cape Times Cup
• The Little Mermaid (HHDS)

Best Director of a Musical: Joseph Manca Cup
• Kyla Thorburn – Annie (G & S)

Best Director of a Play: Bertie Stern Cup
• COLEEN VAN STADEN – Improbable Fiction (MVDS)

Best Musical: Marcia Lawton Cup
• Annie (G & S)

Best Play: Sol Rodsell Cup
• Road to Mecca (Milnerton Players)

Audition notice
Sunday 03 April 2011 at 15h00 at The Hok in Claremont


A South African Comedy/Drama by Ralph Kelly and directed by Walter Hodges, will be performed at the Milnerton Playhouse on 7,8 & 9 July 2011. The cast of seven includes Pamela Burger, Gary Green, Bernie Jacobs, Heather Gibbons, and Ralph Kelly. Ralph is still looking for two more actors to fill the roles of :-

ERNIE HARRIS:- (40-ish, Big part), is struggling to make ends meet after a hijacking. He is obliged to rent his mother-in-law’s granny flat to a Malawian and his Jewish wife – this in a predominantly AWB suburb. It is 1994 with South Africa trying to adjust to the new dispensation. To add more spice to the mix, the Malawian has psychic powers! Ernie is full of bluster, with a passion for horse-racing, much to his wife’s despair.

DOMINEE MOSTERT:- (Small to Medium part) A clergyman of some years. He tries to resolve an explosive situation in which his professed Christian principles are compromised.

Auditions will be held @ The Hok on Sunday April 3rd @ 15h00. If any one would like to help backstage or Front-of-house they can contact Pamela Burger on 082 488 0442 or 696-5959 after 6pm or e-mail pamb@masterparts.com




Directed By: Miranda Lewis

AUDITION DATE: Saturday 16 April 2011 at 14:00

PLACE: Rendezvous (Old Zandvlei Bowling Club), 57 Promenade Road, Muizenberg

ENQUIRIES: Andrew Blake on (021) 781 0114 or 082 493 3330

Both these hilarious comedies are exercises in coarse acting. Performers in this
genre play the parts absolutely straight and it is their belief in their
characterisation that make the plays funny to the audience.
Final choice of play will be made after audition.

Both productions feature the talents of
“The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society”.

In the case of “Haunted Through Lounge” these are:
Thelma: (playing June) quick-tempered, prima donna, age 30+
Lottie (playing Marty) homely, down-to-earth, with strong accent, age 50+
Mrs Reece (playing Lady Madge Graves, Mrs Slaughter)
elegant, bossy, enterprising, age 45+
Felicity (playing Crematia) nervous, well-meaning but incompetent actress,
age 25-35
Jasmine (playing Old Yokel, Arnold Death, Dr Blood, Rev Tombs)
attractive, versatile, fraught, age 30s
Producer harassed, age under 35

In the case of “S S Farndale” these are:
Mrs Reece (playing Mr St Clair, Lillian, Steward, Mavis Smith, Captain Brown, Jolly Tar)
Elegant, bossy, enterprising, age over 45
Thelma (playing Constance Lombard, A Jolly Tar)
quick-tempered, prima donna, age over 30
Felicity (playing Daisy, Cicely, Captain Jones, Porter, A Jolly Tar)
nervous, well-meaning but incompetent actress, 25-35
Gordon (playing Noël Nightingale, Gwendolyn, A Jolly Tar)
long-suffering stage manager, frozen faced and
monotonous when acting, age immaterial
Disc Jockey slick and extrovert performer, age under 30

Read Full Post »

Claremont Dramatic Society Newsletter
Box 50, Eppindust, 7475

Tel: 021 671 2242 Cell: 082 821 4353 Fax: 021 528 2299
E-mail: andrethomas@vodamail.co.za


January 2011 – Number 94________________________________________

They say that the definition of insanity is when you keep doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome. Well, this year I intend to do things differently, so that there is a better outcome – at work, play and personal. What are your goals and mottos for 2011?

May it be a super successful and fun year for each and every one of us!

Member’s evening – End of Year Party

It seems that I missed out on a good end of year members’ braai – especially the ‘party pieces’ and contributions performed by some of our members were very much enjoyed – Thank You to each and every one of you 

Claremont Dramatic Society AGM

Our AGM takes place on Wednesday 23 February 2011 at Kelvin Grove at 19h00 for 19h30. Please diarise this as we need as many people as possible to attend so that we have a quorum and plenty of support for the society. Please see the attached Agenda for more details.

We will be electing a new chair as Simon Sutton has relocated to Oudtshoorn. Please let the committee know of any nominations for this position.

As Kim Harris and Allison Blair will sadly be leaving the committee, will also be electing further committee members – nominations welcome!

Please RSVP to Pam Burger at E-mail: pamb@masterparts.com or on telephone: 082 488 0442

We will try and keep the participation cost at R85 as it was last year, but will confirm this in early February.

After the business end of the meeting has been dealt with, we switch to award mode and our honoured CDS Awards Panel will present the Claremont Dramatic Society Awards for 2010.

CDS Member’s Award

The annual Members’ Choice Awards is, of course, going to be decided upon again at the AGM. Upon arrival at the AGM, paid up members will be given a ballot paper, and will be asked to vote for their favourite actor, actress and production of the year. Non-members are also eligible for an award. Completed forms will be handed in, and the results will be announced after the main awards have been presented. YOU, the member, decide on the criteria. Which has been the most memorable, funny, noteworthy, etc. performance or play of the year? It’s YOUR choice.

And just to jog your memory, here is a list of the 2010 plays, so that you can start thinking about it now… a list of all performers in each play will be available at the AGM.

Lady Windermere’s Fan
Gigi (together with Pinelands Players)

Remember – only paid-up members may vote. The treasurer will be present to confirm your status, and will relieve you of your subs on the night, should it be necessary.

CATA Awards Evening

This evening of awards will take place on Monday 07 March 2011 at the Masque.

Please diarise this so that you can make a booking as soon as we get the details for that.

Our heartiest congratulations to this year’s nominees – which you will find at the end of the newsletter. CDS and Pinelands Players are highlighted in yellow.

Auditions for Macbeth!
Auditions will be on 20 February at The Hok from 13h00. Contact the director Clifford Graham on 083 948 9115 or Email clifford@mondaymissile.co.za for a full character brief and details. Audition materials will not be supplied.

Production updates

This production was a huge success! We owe a great vote of thanks to director Clifford Graham and his team – Gary Fargher for sound & lighting and Allison Blair for managing FOH. Every one that helped in any way (particularly on box office and front of house from CDS and other societies) is warmly appreciated.

A special Thank You to Pinelands Players for the wonderful way in which this production was co-produced – with a special mention to Tina Gough for being a first class business manager, and remaining enthusiastic and involved throughout!

Brief Lives
Adapted by Patrick Garland from John Aubrey’s Book of lives.
Directed by Brenda Gray. Starring Brian de Kock.
Opening night is Friday 4 February at 20h00 – please spread the word and encourage as many friends to come and see the play

The Theatrical adaptation was written in the latter 17th Century. Originally staged in 1967 with Roy Dotrice as John Aubrey, it reached the Guinness Book of Records as the longest running One-man play, with 1782 performances, both on the West End and on Broadway. It has been revived on several occasions since, most notably by Roy Dotrice again in 2008.

Brief lives attempts to represent a day in the life of John Aubrey when he stayed in lodgings in London in his final years. His room is more like a museum, with the collections of a dedicated antiquary carefully acquired in a lifetime of searching after antiquities and curiosities. At the beginning of the play he wakes from a large four-poster bed – and is sitting before the fire in his nightgown at the end of it. In between he eats, drinks, reads, writes, washes, chatters, dozes, all without any self-conscious awareness of the spectators. He makes up for the absence of friends by bringing to life reminiscences of people, some famous, some obscure, remembering them and telling stories about them. As he himself says, the greatest pleasure of an old man is to renew acquaintance with his old and deceased friends.

Some comments on the earlier productions.

“Join John Aubrey, reclusive antiquarian, as he takes you on a nostalgic journey through history and gives his unique take on days gone by, including all the bits the history books missed out on!”

“Delicious, outrageous and incredible.” ( Evening Standard)

“Should not be missed by anyone wanting to experience a thoroughly enjoyable delve into history- and a great piece of character acting.” (Music OMH.com)

We still need a little help with a few things – please let the relevant people know if you can assist:
• Masque get-in Sunday 23rd
Vivienne Gray (Set Designer / Artist extraordinaire ), Bruce Edwards & Clifford Graham will prepare stage layout markings in the morning – need additional manpower (with muscles) to help erect flaps & place locks from about 1:00 pm onwards (estimate only a couple of hours needed).
• FOH & Box Office
Allison Blair is looking for members to help fill up some duties on her schedule – please give her a call if you’re able to assist (Ph:083 273 0954)
• Allison King is assisting with Props- we still need to source
[1] ornate period chair (17th Century) – high back – straight legs [2] aged files & documents / books [3] aged leather folder sized: 380mm x 260mm (holds loose leaf papers)- any one who can assist with props please call Brenda Gray (021 686 3554)

Get Thee to the Theatre!

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

Opening Doors for Andrew
21 & 22 January 2011
A fabulous fundraising concert to raise funds for a “walking suit” for Andrew Merryweather, who was left a paraplegic four years ago after an assault by a group of Matric students.

This show features Harry Curtis with his warm, mellow, relaxed style of singing and the duo of Len (keyboard) and Lainey (vocals) singing the best loved songs of all time. A highlight is Gladys Bullock’s brilliant ballroom dancers.

Tickets R60 (R50). Bookings through Pat McDonald on 021 5318261 or 0843006388.

Brief Lives
04 – 12 February 2011
At the Masque in Muizenberg

See you all soon!

Claremont Dramatic Society

Notice is hereby given
of the 58th Annual General Meeting of the Claremont Dramatic Society
to be held at Kelvin Grove, Campground Road, Newlands
on Wednesday 23 February 2011 at 19h00 for 19h30.


1 Notice Convening the Meeting
2 Apologies
3 a) Minutes of the 57th Annual General Meeting
b) Matters Arising
4 Chairman’s Report for the Year ended 31 December 2010
5 Treasurer’s Report for the Year ended 31 December 2010
6 Adoption of Audited Financial Statement for the Year ended 31 December 2010
7 To consider any Motion from any Member of which due Notice has been lodged with the Secretary at least 7 (seven) days prior to this Meeting.
8 To Elect the Committee for the Year ended 31 December 2011
9 To Elect an Honorary Auditor for the Year ended 31 December 2011
10 Any Other Business
Elza-lynne Kruger
January 2011




Julia Holzberg – Annie (G&S Society)
Kirsty du Plessis – Annie (G&S Society)
Liam Walsh – The Little Mermaid (Hottentots Holland)
Niomi Fokkens – Annie (G&S Society)
Helena Comitis – Annie (G&S Society)
Hobbes – Annie (G&S Society)
Shenzi – Annie (G&S Society)

Lindsay Small – Allo Allo (Hottentots Holland)
Robyn Wainwright – Improbable Fiction (Muizenberg)
Dolores Spijkers – Little Mermaid (Hottentots Holland)
Karin Ashdown – Little Mermaid (Hottentots Holland)
Roxy Levy and Kyla Thorburn – Annie (G&S Society)

Bruce and June Edwards – Improbable Fiction (Muizenberg)
June Edwards – Improbable Fiction (Muizenberg)
Gary Fargher – Lady Windermere’s Fan (Claremont)
Ramsey Lotter – Fawlty Towers (Hottentots Holland)
Willy Sass/Wayne Hendricks – Nobody’s Perfect (Milnerton)

Lindsay Small – Allo Allo (Hottentots Holland)
David Davidson – Nunsense A-Men (Festival Players)
Simon Sutton – Rumours (Claremont)
Fanus Bothma – Road to Mecca (Milnerton)
Vivienne Gray – Lady Windermere’s Fan (Claremont)
Fin and Sheila McCormack – Nobody’s Perfect (Milnerton)
Ann Coetzee – Fawlty Towers (Hottentots Holland)

Gizelle Willows – Lady Windermere’s Fan (Claremont)
Anthony James – Gigi (Claremont/Pinelands)
Michael Harris – Annie (G&S Society)
Mike Tompson – Annie (G&S Society)

Mia Simonow – Improbable Fiction (Muizenberg)
Marais Devis – Allo Allo (Hottentots Holland)
Daneal Lowe – Allo Allo (Hottentots Holland)
Amy Everleigh – Allo Allo (Hottentots Holland)
James Pape – Rumours (Claremont)
Kelly Kowalski – Pride and Prejudice (Muizenberg)
Isobel Byers – Pride and Prejudice (Muizenberg)
Marius Botha – Death by Fatal Murder (Milnerton)
Clare Simonis – Nobody’s Perfect (Milnerton)
Garth Brandon-Podd – Fawlty Towers (Hottentots Holland)
Mark Dentry – Fawlty Towers (Hottentots Holland)

Helen Mathers – Towards Zero (Fish Hoek)
Miranda Lewis – Improbable Fiction (Muizenberg)
Angela Lee-Wright – Improbable Fiction (Muizenberg)
Tamara Richards – Romantic Comedy ( Constantiaberg)
Jane Cohen – Lady Windermere’s Fan (Claremont)
Kelly Kowalski – Pride and Prejudice (Muizenberg)
Christin Sterley – Pride and Prejudice (Muizenberg)
Kelly Kowalsky – What the Butler Saw (Muizenberg)
Cheri-Lee Blackie – Gods Favourite (Constantiaberg)
Lisa Squire-Harris – Little Mermaid (Hottentots Holland)
Coleen van Staden – Annie (G&S Society)
Laura Bosman – Annie (G&S Society)
Jennifer Moss – Annie (G&S Society)
Victoria Harris – Annie (G&S Society)
Linda Eedes – Annie (G&S Society)
Julie Harris – Annie (G&S Society)

John McConnell – Improbable Fiction (Muizenberg)
Jabu Hallinan – Improbable Fiction (Muizenberg)
Wesley Figaji – Gods Favourite (Constantiaberg)
Bruce Sanderson – Road to Mecca (Milnerton)
Gordon Molloy – Nobody’s Perfect (Milnerton)
Mike Tompson – Lady Windermere’s Fan (Claremont)
Trevor Joubert – Death by Fatal Murder (Milnerton)
David Bolton – Annie (G&S Society)
Julian Fernandez – Nunsense A-Men (Festival Players)

Ann Coetzee – Allo Allo (Hottentots Holland)
Gizelle Willows – Romantic Comedy (Constantiaberg)
Lynn Moss – Rumours (Claremont)
Judith Herbig – Road to Mecca (Milnerton)
Luella Holland – Lady Windermere’s Fan (Claremont)
Michelle Belknap – Lady Windermere’s Fan (Claremont)
Pam Burger – God’s Favourite (Constantiaberg)

Norman McFarlane – Allo Allo (Hottentots Holland)
Nigel Sweet – Death by Fatal Murder (Milnerton)
Gavin Werner – God’s Favourite (Constantiaberg)
Barrie Howard – God’s Favourite (Constantiaberg)
Andrew Weiss – Nobody’s Perfect (Milnerton)
Graham Boxall – Annie (G&S Society)
Shaun Browne – Annie (G&S Society)
Trevor Joubert – Gigi (Claremont/Pinelands)

Coleen van Staden – Improbable Fiction (Muizenberg)
Celia Musikanth – God’s Favourite (Constantiaberg)
Mari Mocke – Road to Mecca (Milnerton)
Brenda Gray – Lady Windermere’s Fan (Claremont)
Kyla Thorburn – Annie (G&S Society)
Darryl Spijkers – Little Mermaid (Hottentots Holland)
Recipients of Certificates of Excellence, and winners of special musical awards will be announced on the night

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Claremont Chat

Claremont Dramatic Society Newsletter
Box 50, Eppindust, 7475

Tel: 021 671 2242 Cell: 082 821 4353 Fax: 021 528 2299
E-mail: andrethomas@vodamail.co.za


November 2010 – Number 93________________________________________

It’s a musical time of the year – what with Annie well under way (you have 11 shows left to come and see it if you haven’t yet). And our own Gigi opening in a week – can’t wait to see that one too.

I’ve been very fortunate to be able to work backstage as TSM at Artscape – the sheer size was overwhelming. But as always – the fellow cast & crew and the audiences make it all so worthwhile!

We’re also very excited to see Julie Summers playing Spud’s mom in the long-anticipated movie which is due to open in a week – can’t wait!

Member’s evening – Christmas Party – reminder !

The date for our end of year bash has been set – and we hope to see you all there!
Please do let Pam know if you’ll be joining us.
Date: Sunday, 12 December 2010 at 17h30 for 18h00
Venue: Hok, Claremont
What to bring: Meat for the braai, and a plate of eats for the table.
And don’t forget your “party piece”!!

The Inter-Society Quiz
We all had a great evening at the annual Inter-Society Quiz – thanks to a super organising team for some very interesting questions, good snacks and an all-round wonderful time. The 2 CDS teams tied – and didn’t win, which means that we don’t need to organise next year’s event.
Thanks to our fellow CDSers for flying our flag: Wendy Goddard, Jay Heale, Simon Dutton and myself on one team and Su Farmer, Elza-lynne Kruger, Pam Burger and Colin Wilkinson – thank you all!

Congratulations to the winning team from Constantiaberg 

Production update

Gigi – an update from Clifford Graham – The Director

It’s hard to believe that in the past week the Masque Stage has become Paris. It still feels as though rehearsals have only just begun! I have to say that if that were the case, then we would have been ready for the stage months ago.

June Wells has been hard at work getting the set decorated in the Claremont Hok and I’m sure you are going to be wowed with the result. Costumes are undergoing final adjustments, lighting and sound are been plotted and planning for construction is well underway.
As is usually the case at this time of the year, a horsey Gigi (or two) have been prancing across the rehearsal stage. Douxville will never be the same again!

Our photo shoot last Sunday saw us on Muizenberg Beach as the sun was creeping over Cape Hangklip illuminating the subjects faces with more than just a hint of magic. I’m sure nature provided a benchmark for us to follow. It’s been a wonderful process one way or the other, and the final push to opening night is going to be as challenging as it will be rewarding. I can’t thank everyone enough for their efforts to date, everyone involved has been wonderfully patient, artistic and above all dedicated to making Gigi the production it will be!
Suffice it to say that as the audience experiences the magic of the musical, we will get our thanks by their applause.

Luella Holland as Gigi

Get Thee to the Theatre!

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

Gigi opens at the Masque on 3 December and runs till December 18.
Fri. 03 Dec. 20:00
Sat. 04 14:30 and 18:30
Wed. 08 20:00 [N.B. day of the week]
Thu. 09 20:00
Fri. 10 20:00
Sat. 11 14:30 and 18:30
Sun. 12 15:00 [N.B. day and time]
Tue. 14 20:00 [N.B. day of the week]
Wed. 15 20:00 [N.B. day of the week]
Thu. 16 14:30 and 20:00 [N.B. day of the week and matinée] PUBL. HOL.
Fri. 17 20:00
Sat. 18 14:30 and 18:30

Matinées R65 (R75 for non-members) – all other performances R70 (R80 for non-members)

13 November to 05 December 2010
Gilbert & Sullivan is putting on this all-time favourite. It is on at Artscape, and everything is in full swing, with some wonderful stories coming out of the rehearsals – including a very quick-learning dog Max adopted from TEARS that picked up his moves on day 1!
Bookings at Computicket or on Dial-a-Seat (021-421 7695).

Nobody’s Perfect
26 November to 04 December 2010
Nobody’s Perfect by Simon Williams presented by Milnerton Players and directed by Sheila McCormick at the Playhouse. In this fast-moving, witty comedy shy, staid, statistician Leonard, works from home suffering jibes from his teenage daughter, Dee Dee, and his rascally father, Gus. Anxious to make it as an author, he sends book after book to a feminist publisher but editor Harriet rejects all his masculine efforts until he submits a novel, based on his experiences as a single parent, under a feminine pseudonym. Bookings on 021 557 3206, 082 267 1061 or macdram@afrihost.co.za

Rock ‘n Rouge
31 December 2010

Rock ‘n Rouge. Light up your New Year’s Eve with Cape Town’s hottest comedy cabaret
group back by popular demand at the Masque! A brand new show, covering a variety of
songs from musicals such as Cabaret, La Cage aux Follies, Gypsy, Avenue Q, Mamma Mia
and We Will Rock You, promises a night of comedy, glamour, song, dance, and a little bit of
naughty. Tickets R100 (R90) which include snacks during the intervals, champagne to toast
the new year, and a DJ in the foyer for the party after the show. Contact Luella Holland on
082 484 6629 for more information.

Help Thee the Masque!

I wasn’t there – but I understand that the Barn Dance was a fantastic affair – and that much fun was had by all – well done on the organisation and the gees!!

Great news….the Masque Theatre is alive and well on its website http://www.masquetheatre.co.za.

If ever you work backstage at the Masque and/or help build a set please note that
should you wish to alter or adapt any of the standard flats or book flats for any production, permission must first be obtained from Scott Gill on 021 712 4200 or gillfam@telkomsa.net.

The Masque is in URGENT need of a Maintenance Manager.
There are a number of maintenance issues that arise from time to time at the theatre that need immediate attention so ideally our volunteer should be someone who is either retired or who is free during the day. An alternative would be for the Maintenance Manager to put together a team that could be called on for specific jobs – this could make life a lot easier when specialised tasks come to light. If there is

ANYONE out there who is willing to please let Shelley Lombard know on shellbee@iafrica.com or 021 671 0604 (W) – your help would be very much appreciated.
Please note that this is a volunteer position.

See you all soon!

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