David Kramer’s Danger in the Dark, a reworking of the hit musical Poison, comes to the Baxter Theatre for a limited season.
Baxter chief executive officer and artistic director, Lara Foot, invited Kramer to restage the musical, given its relevant content experienced daily in communities across the Western Cape.
Originally written in the early 90s by Kramer and the late Taliep Petersen, and produced by Renaye Kramer, Poison was very well received in South Africa, Malaysia and London.
It had a return season, directed by Bobby Heaney, at the Baxter Theatre in 2004 as part of the Klipfontein Corridor Project.
With this reworked version of the musical, Kramer tells the story from the point of view of Pamela, a social worker who is writing her thesis on drug abuse in the Cape Flats.
He has written the new book for Danger in the Dark but has retained many of the original songs.
Kramer has assembled a creative team and cast of eight lead performers with a chorus of 14, who dance, sing and play a variety of roles, accompanied by a live band of five musicians.
The ensemble is led by Alexis Petersen (Langarm) as Pamela, Rushney Ferguson (District Six – Kanala!) as Juanita, Loukmaan Adams (District Six – The Musical) as Michael, Elton Landrew (Kat and the Kings) as Poison, Eldon van der Merwe (Arendsvlei) as Chicco, Tashreeq de Villiers (Aunty Merle, The Musical) as Lucky, Edith Plaatjies (King Kong) as Mrs Joseph and Chad Baai (Spring Awakening) as Shawn.
The chorus comprises Luke Buys, Loreto Cabrera, Lewellyn Afrika, Luke de Kock, Anzio September, Lubabalo Pupu, Rori York Bingham, Nadine Suliaman, Alex Rodkin, Chamonay Anthony, Mekaila Mathys, Crystal Finck, Gabriela Dirkse and Tanzley Jooste.
Directed by Kramer with assistant director, Grant van Ster, the creative team is made up of Camillo Lombard (musical director), Patrick Curtis (set and lighting designer), David Classen (sound designer), Widaad Albertus (costume designer), Kirsti Cummings (videographer) and choreography by Shaun Oelf and Grant van Ster.
Grandall Vlotman (conductor and keyboards), Shaun Francke (guitar), Jason Ward (drums and percussion), Yvan Potts (synthesizers) and Kurt Randall (bassist) make up the band.
Set in the underbelly of the Cape Flats, the story unfolds in 1995, when Pamela meets up with Juanita, a friend from her school days. Soon she realises that Juanita is trapped in an abusive relationship with a drug lord and she is desperate to help her friend escape.
Pamela is drawn into dark and dangerous places and situations, yet she pursues against all odds, for the safety and survival of her friend.
Danger in the Dark previews at the Baxter Theatre from 11 to 14 October, opens on 15 October and runs until 2 November, at 19:30 with Saturday matinees at 14:00.
Ticket prices range from R100 to R195. There is an age restriction of 12 years.