#SleepingBeautyPanto: Janice Honeyman's latest masterpiece at the Joburg Theatre ~ Lia Marus
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#SleepingBeautyPanto: Janice Honeyman’s latest masterpiece at the Joburg Theatre

Theatre producer Bernard Jay is proud to announce his fifteenth collaboration with acclaimed writer/director Janice Honeyman on the annual Joburg Theatre pantomime productions.

The evergreen tale of the beautiful princess who is cursed at her christening by the wicked fairy in Janice Honeyman’s “pantomime of your dreams”, Sleeping Beauty will be on the stage of The Mandela at Joburg Theatre from 7 November to 30 December 2015. This will be the first time the pantomime Sleeping Beauty has been staged at Joburg Theatre since 2002.

Janice Honeyman promises: “Our Sleeping Beauty will bring the pure magic of pantomime once again to Joburg, mixed with sheer spectacle, special effects, laughter, outrageous puns, double-entendres and the most popular of contemporary music, mixed together with some classic melodies always associated with this story. Not to mention the giant spider, the fateful spinning wheel and ‘That Kiss’!”

Bernard Jay adds: “This has to be the most exciting – and certainly most romantic – cast we have ever managed to bring together for a Joburg Theatre pantomime.”

The age-old story of Sleeping Beauty

On her 18th birthday, the Princess Aurora-Adora pricks her finger on a spinning wheel and dies. But our Good Fairy Floradora Daisy offers some hope – she changes the spell to ensure that the princess won’t die but will fall into an enchanted sleep for one hundred years from which she will only awake if kissed by the one she loves, Prince Harry Hunkador the Handsome!

The incredible cast of #SleepingBeautyPanto

After a two-year absence from the panto tradition, the most beloved of all South African panto stars – Tobie Cronjé, – returns to grace the Joburg Theatre stage with his over-the-top portrayal of Dame Nora Nursey.

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South Africa’s newest musical theatre star, Candida Mosoma, returns to Joburg Theatre as the Good Fairy Floradora Daisy directly after her triumphant, show-stopping portrayal of Deloris Van Cartier in the smash hit musical Sister Act.

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Named one of Cosmopolitan’s Sexiest Men in 2010, Sowetan Live’s sexiest in 2011 and fourth in Men’s Health Cover Guy Search in 2014 – Christopher Jaftha – returns to panto at Joburg Theatre as Prince Harry Hunkador the Handsome, following his triumphant success in the title role of Janice Honeyman’s 2013 Aladdin. Chris has already had a phenomenal year in 2015, recently becoming a presenter on Top Billing and having just completed a starring role in the musical West Side Story in Cape Town.

Nicole Fortuin started her career as a dancer – representing South Africa internationally on many occasions – and can be seen this year not only on stage as Chris Jaftha’s Princess Aurora-Adora in Sleeping Beauty, but also together with her same lead actor in SABC3’s new Afrikaans Drama Series Roer Jou Voete.

Timothy Moloi, one of South Africa’s most prolific and popular performers, also returns to the panto this year to play the revealingly named character of Sir Poensface Ponce-a-Lot, following his glorious and highly praised sold-out concert Always & Forever – A Tribute to Luther Vandross at Gold Reef City in celebration of the crooner’s 40th birthday.

TimMoloi01

South African television and theatre star Michelle Botha will play the Wicked Fairy Kakkamella Khakibos. Michelle was last seen at Joburg Theatre in her much-lauded outrageous starring role as The Lady of the Lake in the musical Monty Python’s Spamalot.

Join all the zany pantomime characters – including Matthew Berry as Maaikie Mouse, Dionne Song as Miemsie Mouse, L J Urbani as King Daffy Dum Doodle, Michele Levin as Queen Dolly Dum Dilly and Clive Gilson as Jester Cracker-Jack – as they battle with dragons and time machines to ensure that the prince is ready to wake the sleeping princess on time. Then watch the battle of good over evil commence as our princess is awoken from 100 years of sleep.

Providing additional style and some ‘wow moments’ in Sleeping Beauty will be nine youngsters from the Joburg sports and dance training academy Art of Motion. These hugely talented youngsters will be integrated into the panto story, using their skills in ballet, Irish, Latin American, African, Hip Hop and contemporary dance.

Completing the huge all-South African cast of this year’s Joburg Theatre panto will be Daniel Fisher, Tshepo Ncokoane, Sean Louw, Keaton Ditchfield, Dale Scheepers, Bisi Bangiwe Ka Jobela, Kiruna-Lind Devar, Sarah Richard, Venolia Manale, Mary-Jane Zimri, Suzaan Helberg and Maryanne Van Eyssen.

*  Note from Lia: I’ll be going to see #SleepingBeautyPanto on Sunday 8 November. Follow me on Twitter – @liamarus – to check out my review of the show!

** PPS: I’ve published a collection of my favourite Tweets from the show.  Follow this link to find out more: https://storify.com/liamarus/highlights-of-sleepingbeautypanto.

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