“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.” – Shannon L. Alder
The Sakellarides/ Devar family are a very integral part of the theatre community. Theatre makers, supporters and the like are familiar with this talented unit, and those who have had the fortune of personally becoming a part of their lives all agree unanimously that this family are the warmest, kindest, most generous bunch of people, in an industry that very often can be cruel.
Over the past few years, the family were faced with the misfortune of Nik Sakellarides falling very ill and ending up in intensive care on two very long, different occasions.
This was a very dark time for Brenda Sakellarides who managed to pull through, and with Nik’s strong recovery finally saw the light of day, despite the emotional and financial strain.
Just when life started normalizing, another devastating bit of news came to the fore, when their 16 year old son Ziya Devar was diagnosed with aggressive Ulcerative Colitis.
Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in your digestive tract. Ulcerative Colitis affects the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum.
Ulcerative Colitis can be debilitating and can sometimes lead to life-threatening complications. While it has no known cure, treatment can greatly reduce signs and symptoms of the disease and even bring about long-term remission.
A post was published on Facebook very recently asking the Theatre/ Entertainment Community and beyond to please assist Brenda and her family with any donations to go towards the increasingly exhorbitant medical costs for Ziya’s recovery.
This sparked Owen Lonzar’s idea to produce a show with some of the biggest names in the theatre industry, to raise money so that young Ziya can fight this illness without worrying about the financial burden placed on his family.
Lonzar explains: “There are genuinely very few good people in the world, who are always willing to help others. Brenda and Nik are always willing to help others. They are very special people, so I thought I need to do this. It is also great because the community are involved. We don’t always have the money to give in this industry, so at least if these artists can perform, other people can buy tickets. It is also important to be actively involved. We have a small community and we need to be able to look after each other, and this is one way that we can.”
Caitlin Clerk came on board to assist in the administrative detail, and a wonderful night of music, musical theatre, talent and of course, community and giving has been organised, to entertain audiences but more importantly to raise money for Ziya’s recovery.
Silver Linings Songbook will take place Sunday, 24 June 2018 at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square at 18h30.
Not only will you be helping others in need, but the line up of performers boasts some of the best talent in the country. This includes Jonathan Roxmouth, Timothy Moloi, Angela Killian, Sylvaine Strike, Ilse Klink, Bryan Schimmel (piano solo), Itu Sings, Kiruna – Lind Devar, Noni Mkhonto, Judy Ditchfield, Dolly Louw, Andrea Shine, Natasha van der Merwe, Caitlin Clerk, Nqobile Sipamla, Tonya Koenderman, Hayley Christian Francis, Luciano Zuppa, Dennis East, Claire Taylor and Toni Morkel.
Special Appearance from Kate Monster (aka Ashleigh Harvey) from Avenue Q, and Malcolm Terrey will be MCing the event.
A huge thank you to Daphne Kuhn for the use of the Auto & General Theatre on the Square, and to all the artists and crew involved in the giving of their time for such an important cause.
Book now for Silver Linings Songbook for Sunday, 24 June 2018 at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square at 18h30. Tickets will cost R200 each.
Bookings through computicket.com or call 011 883-8606