Auto & General Theatre on the Square 2017 lineup

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A sneak peak into the first five months of 2017 with the Auto & General Theatre on the Square in Sandton, Johannesburg.

Auto & General Theatre On The SquareAfter a successful 2016 the Auto & General Theatre on the Square is even more excited about 2017 and their line-up of new local and international theatre. Pull out your diary and save the dates for the following must-see productions in 2017.

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For more info feel free to mail Daphne or Mika on theatreonthesquare@gmail.com or call the theatre on 011 883 8606.

 


Fiona Ramsay in Blonde Poison. Photo: CuePix / Megan Moore
Fiona Ramsay in Blonde Poison. Photo: CuePix / Megan Moore

BLONDE POISON
A new play by Gail Louw
starring FIONA RAMSAY and directed by JANNA RAMOS-VIOLANTE
10 January – 4 February 2017

BLONDE POISON reunites the creative talents of multi-award winning actress Fiona Ramsay and director Janna Ramos-Violante in a play about beauty, treachery and the high price of survival.

Fiona plays Stella Goldschlag, who lives illegally in war-torn Berlin. When offered the chance of saving herself and her family from the death camps, she becomes a “greifer” or “catcher” for the Gestapo, giving information on Jews in hiding. She was dubbed the Marilyn Monroe of Berlin and awarded the alias, BLONDE POlSON by the Nazis, as she embroiled herself in the murky word of espionage.

Playwright Gail Louw is a former South African now living in the UK. Her play MISS BLONDE POISON has already received critical international acclaim in London and Australia.

Her play MISS DIETRICH REGRETS was produced last year at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square.

Show times: Tuesdays – Saturday at 8.15 and also at 6pm on Saturdays


INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL on 9 – 12 February
Watch the press for details


Godfrey Johnson in Vaslav. Photo credit: Dex Goodman.
Godfrey Johnson in Vaslav. Photo credit: Dex Goodman.

VASLAV
Based on the diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky
starring GODFREY JOHNSON
Directed by LARA BYE
13 – 25 February

Auto & General Theatre on the Square is proud to present the theatrical tour-de-force that is Godfrey Johnson in VASLAV. Harnessing the potential of three arts-in-one, Johnson ignites the spirit of Nijinsky in this celebration of the magnificent power of sheer performance.

Nominated for three Fleur du Cap Awards in 2015, VASLAV has been hailed by critics and audiences alike, with demand for this one-person play extending theatrical runs on more than one occasion. Award-winning actor, singer and pianist, Godfrey Johnson delivers an astonishing performance, seamlessly piloting his audiences across the vast plains of a Europe at war with itself, as experienced by the one man to have ever caused a riot through dancing: the elusive icon of both the Imperial Russian ballet and the Western avant-garde, Vaslav Nijinsky.

Show times: Tuesdays – Saturday at 8.15 and also at 6pm on Saturdays


FROM KOE’SIESTES TO KNEIDLACH
Written by and starring CHANTAL STANFIELD
Directed by MEGAN FURNISS
28 February – 18 March

This is the totally bizarre, completely hilarious, strangely moving and absolutely true story of what happened when a brownish girl from the Cape Flats got involved with a Jew-ish boy from Joburg’s East Rand.

This one-woman piece shows Chantal, a girl from the Cape Flats, navigating a world of new Jewish experiences, from meeting the boyfriend’s family at her first shabbos ever to late-night benching (no, not the gym kind)! She wrestles with confusion over her identity and the various labels that are placed on her while trying to understand Yiddish (oy vey!), gefilte fish and decades-old faribels! She deals with the confusion over what to wear to a bris (ritual circumcision of infant boy) and being questioned about her afro hair.

This uniquely South African tale reveals first-hand experiences of being a Goy (a Yiddish word used by some Jews to describe a non-Jew), and a so-called ‘Coloured’ one at that. ‘Chantal’ tries to get to grips with a culture and heritage that is so vastly different to her own but sometimes surprisingly similar. Along the way we meet the omnipresent voice of her mother, her gay best friend and her first Rabbi, among others.

Show times: Tuesdays – Saturday at 8.15 and also at 6pm on Saturdays


James Cairns in EL BLANCO: Tales of the Mariachi. Photo: Jane Berg/CuePix
James Cairns in EL BLANCO: Tales of the Mariachi. Photo: Jane Berg/CuePix

EL BLANCO: Tales of the Mariachi
Starring JAMES CAIRNS
Directed by JENINE COLLOCOTT
written by GWYDION BEYNON
21 March – 8 April

It’s hard to beat the story well told. Stories in themselves are an act of creation, connecting the past with the present. Creation itself is a story. Without stories, we would have nothing but darkness and silence.

This is what James Cairns’ character El Blanco believes. While he may unashamedly spin a pack of lies, in this instance, he comes close to the truth.

El Blanco’s struggle, mostly with himself, to earn the title of Mariachi is masterfully presented through music and storytelling. “Stories are songs for people who cannot sing,” is one of El Blanco’s gems “and songs are stories for those who can.”

El Blanco must overcome his belief that he can do neither. The tale leads us through a chain of false epiphanies which only lead him back into self-doubt. At the outset, El Blanco promises that “there will be song, there will be stories and there will be many lies”. As we discover, lies often reveal truths that would otherwise remain unspoken.

From the pen of Gwydion Beynon and starring James Cairns, EL BLANCO: TALES OF MARIACHI exhibits the prodigious talents of these two artists. Get a ticket if you can.

As a result of a drunken promise, Cairns and Beynon joined forces to make El Blanco: Tales of the Mariachi. Cairns has long wowed South African audiences with his solo performances and others (Dirt, The Sitting Man, The Snow Goose) and Beynon has penned a litany of recent hits (The Epicene Butcher, Amateur Hour). They suspected that they might be a good combination and they were absolutely right. After winning a Standard Bank Gold Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival, EL BLANCO was invited on full bursary to the Brighton Fringe Festival.

“A dazzling performance from a very skilled entertainer.” — artsmart.co.za

Show times: Tuesdays – Saturday at 8.15 and also at 6pm on Saturdays


Sisonke Yafele, Ayanda Nondlwana and Mandisi Heshu in the South African production of THE GRUFFALO
Sisonke Yafele, Ayanda Nondlwana and
Mandisi Heshu in the South African
production of THE GRUFFALO

THE GRUFFALO
11 April – 7 May

The South African version of Tall Stories’ West End hit, THE GRUFFALO, will be coming to Jozi from 18 April – 7 May, with a four-week run at Sandton’s Auto & General Theatre on the Square. Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in the magical, musical adaptation of the classic picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

The production’s catchy songs, lively storytelling, energy and interactive enthusiasm charmed audiences in their sold-out season at the 2016 Cape Town Fringe, where THE GRUFFALO was the biggest grossing production, selling out 6 of its 11 performances. The same team staged the much-loved children’s tale in Port Alfred and Port Elizabeth during the 2016 holiday season, receiving rave reviews.

Ayanda Nondlwana, Nombasa Ngoqo, Sisonke Yafele and Mandisi Heshu are directed by Tara Notcutt in a production that boasts a uniquely South African flavour. Artistic Director of UK-based Tall Stories, Olivia Jacobs, attended several performances in Cape Town and was thrilled with the spontaneously warm reaction it provoked, while thecritter.co.za wrote of the “screeches of joy” from the Cape Town audience.

Audience participation, ingenious comedic work by the narrator, and carefully spaced rhymes and bouncy songs keep busy young minds focused, while the rest of the family enjoy the energy and fun of children’s theatre.

Show times: Monday to Saturday at 11 am and 3pm


Auto & General Theatre on the Square
011 883 8606
011 883 9673 (fax)
www.theatreonthesquare.co.za

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