Classic Agatha Christie mystery launches new theatre company

2018-07-04 06:02

WITH a powerful, twenty-two-strong cast under his direction, former Royal Shakespeare Company actor Paul Spence has chosen a classic Agatha Christie mystery as the inaugural production for an exciting new theatre company in the KZN Midlands; the Upstagers Dramatic Club.

The Diamond Snow is the first play by the Upstagers Dramatic Club at The Schlesinger Theatre, Michaelhouse, but certainly not the last.

Paul Spence, the founding director of this new company, aims to create ongoing work during the Michaelhouse school holidays.

The cast of The Diamond Snow also features current Michaelhouse masters Mike Thomson and Leon Roets, two former drama teachers in Di Smythe (Laddsworth) and Elmarie Verster (Cordwalles), current drama teacher Nicolene Badenhorst (Clifton) – as well as the owner of the legendary Barbz Café of Nottingham Road, Barbara Zietsman, who plays the Housekeeper.

The Schlesinger Theatre invited Paul Spence to be the founding director of this new theatre company — a rich mix of professional and keen amateur actors — to fulfil a particular purpose.

• To encourage and inspire a passionate love for theatre in the KZN Midlands

• To grow and develop the audience of the Schlesinger Theatre

• To invite patrons of the Schlesinger Theatre to play an active role in keeping theatre alive

• To extend the Schlesinger Theatre programme into the Michaelhouse school holidays, which adds to the professional and school production repertoire that runs throughout the calendar year

• To provide classic and nostalgic theatrical entertainment for local Midlands audiences

Paul Spence has set his new play in 1936, a year when John Schlesinger, benefactor of the prestigious Schlesinger Theatre, was a schoolboy at Michaelhouse. The home in which The Diamond Snow is set, Cockington Court, is named after original Cockington Court in Devon, where a young Agatha Christie took part in amateur theatrical productions on the lawns.

For further information on the Upstagers Dramatic Club e-mail Paul Spence at


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