‘Cabaret’ finally comes to the Hexagon Theatre

2008-08-10 00:00

DON’T forget that Friday sees the first night of the spectacular Kander and Ebb musical Cabaret at the Hexagon Theatre. The show will run until August 23.

Director Peter Mitchell has been wanting to stage the show for a very long time. After battling to obtain the rights, with no success, he eventually gave up. But when Justin Southey, a graduate of the drama department and a long-time favourite with Hexagon audiences, returned to Pietermaritzburg to complete his honours degree — in maths — and then embark on his masters degree, Mitchell decided to give it another go.

“Justin is a musical genius,” says Mitchell, “and his structured and creative approach to music and theatre must obviously come from his love of mathematics.

Combined with his immense musical talent is his talent for clowning, which makes him a remarkable performer and absolutely perfect for the Emcee character in Cabaret.”

Southey also composed the songs for last year’s KickstArt production of Winnie the Pooh.

It all came together well — Mitchell applied for the rights, which were available this time around.

And actor James Aitchison, who has just finished his masters degree in drama, was available for two months before leaving for America with his wife.

With two of the performers he wanted for the show available, Mitchell decided the time had come. Cabaret had to finally happen!

Aitchison and Southey first appeared together in Mitchell’s 1999 production of West Side Story as students and have been seen together in many productions — not all musical. Caitlin Kilburn, who plays Sally, is no stranger to local audiences either, having been singing since she was six and having been a member of the Pietermaritzburg Children’s Choir, as well as Meryl Kurz’s Pig and Whistle company for many years. She is presently studying for an honours degree in Drama.

Cabaret looks set to be a highlight of the Hexagon calendar this year, with seven performances from Friday.

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