Theatre On The Bay’s playbill has something for everyone

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GERTRUDE Stein And A Companion opens on February 1, 2022, and runs till February 5. It’s an evocative and witty play that explores the extraordinary relationship between lifelong partners Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas who rejected the conservative values of middle class America in the early 1900s and found refuge in the bohemian decadence of Paris…and in each other.

This award-winning production was first performed at the Alexander Bar in Cape Town in 2018 and was nominated for a Fleur du Cap Theatre award for Best Ensemble Performance. In 2019, the production was invited to the Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival where Lynita Crofford won the award for best female performance. In November 2019 the play was performed at the Theatre on the Square in Sandton in Johannesburg where Lynita Crofford and Shirley Johnston – who star in this production, directed by Chris Weir – both won the prestigious Naledi award for best lead performances in a play. 

Gertrude Stein And A Companion. Photo supplied

Age restriction: PG (contains adult themes). Tickets: R180 – R220 here.

From February 8 – 12, Chester Missing and Conrad Koch’s Ramapuppet is Conrad’s most local-is-lekker show to date. Starring Hilton, the ostrich who gives relationship advice; Mr Dixon, school teacher of 43 years; Ronnie the rock ‘n roll internet troll; and of course his celebrity mate Chester Missing, they’ll be roasting everything from awkward Covid-19 protocols to laser hair removal. Ramapuppet is just over an hour of delightful, gut-wrenchingly funny, world-class ventriloquism poking fun at the bonkers hurdles South Africans face. From lockdown to looting, from Zoom meetings to alcohol bans, and that manager at Checkers who wields more power than presidents, there is so much in Mzansi to laugh at.

Photo supplied

The show is family friendly, PG. Tickets R180 – R220 here.

Shirley Valentine is an award-winning British one-woman play by Willy Russell. It runs from February 4 to March 5. Shirley, a bored, middle-aged housewife, is trapped in a stale, loveless marriage. Her children are all grown up and she frequently talks to the wall in her kitchen while preparing her husband’s regular evening meal of egg and chips. Shirley feels stuck in a rut and finds solace in her daily glass of wine as she muses over the lack of excitement in her life. When her best friend asks her to go to Greece with her for two weeks, Shirley jumps at the chance with a mix of exhilaration and jittery nerves. Leaving a note for her husband that simply reads “Gone to Greece – Back in two weeks”, Shirley leaves for her holiday.

Photo supplied

Starring Natasha Sutherland, it’s directed by Gina Schmukler. Age restriction: PG (contains adult themes). Tickets: R180 – R220 here.

The Dead Tinder Society (March 8-19) explores the funny, scary, vulnerable world of dating. Not just any dating – online dating. Specifically, Tinder. Especially in the 21st Century when technology is at its peak, human connection is tenuous at best, and the prospect of sex with new people is as alarming as it is tantalising.

Written by Ashleigh Harvey, this hilarious romp through lust, one-night stands, rage, heartbreak, desire, friendship, loyalty and re-discovering oneself after the dust has settled, tries to answer many questions: How do you resurrect your love life while mothering a baby and a toddler? How do you forgive? And how do you tell a famous Springbok rugby player that you won’t have sex with him on the N1?

Photo supplied

Sharon Spiegel-Wagner stars, directed by Lesedi Job. Age restriction: PG (contains colourful language and adult themes). Tickets: R180 – R220 here.

The Last Five Years (March 29-April 9) is a one-act drama-comedy telling the story of the short-lived marriage between Catherine Hiatt, a struggling actress, and Jamie Wellerstein, an up-and-coming novelist on the brink of getting his big break. This story of two people meeting at the wrong time in their lives is told in a fresh and new manner. Cathy (Zoë McLaughlin) tells their story backwards from the end of their relationship to first meeting, while Jamie (Anthony Downing) proceeds chronologically. They meet only once, in the middle of the show.

Anthony Downing, photo by Val Adamson

Paul Griffiths directs, and musical direction is by Jaco Griessel. Age restriction: PG-13. Tickets: R180 – R220 here.

For more information, call Theatre On The Bay box office on 021 438 3300.

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