26th Episode of 'Just the Ticket!'PERCY TUCKER
Radio Today presents a radio adaptation of 'Just the Ticket' by Percy Tucker on his 50+ years in SA theatre on Sundays 6pm / repeated Thursday at 11.30am.
This episode deals with the year 1976.
On 4th January, we picked our way through rubble and scaffolding to see the first performance in what was to become The Market Theatre. This evening of a compilation of poetry entitled 'Pleasure and Repentance', was directed by Barney Simon. Janet Suzman, was amongst the cast. She had especially come from London for this special evening.
More laws were passed by the Government forbidding Black and Coloured patrons to go to drive-in cinemas. Earlier they had decreed that the cinemas could employ coloured usherettes, provided the staff did not look at the screen!
Artists who appeared in 1976 included Rolf Harris, from Australia, The Bat-Dor Ballet from Israel, The Chinese Circus from Taiwan, Demis Roussos, Charles Aznavour and Dave Brubeck whose life was threatened if he and his sons appeared on stage.
Andre and Philo Pieterse built the massive Film Trust Arena near Eastgate, where they presented big shows like 'Disney on Ice', Juliet Prowse and her full show from Las Vegas, and Sergio Franchi in his full show from the MGM Grand Hotel Las Vegas. Tim Rice appeared as guest artist, playing the part of Pharoah in the musical which he had written with Andrew Lloyd-Webber 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'. Diane Todd starred opposite Louis Burke in a new production by Brickhill/Burke of 'The Sound of Music' at His Majesty's. On 16th June 1976 the country erupted in flames and bullets ... the Soweto riots.
5 days later Barney Simon with a production of 'The Seagull' opened the Upstairs at the Market. This ironically was followed by 'The Crucible' which served as a bleak parable for the times.
Des and Dawn Lindberg, just prior to the Soweto uprising, had opened their production of 'The Black Mikado' in Soweto. Hear them speak about playing in Soweto during this time and their subsequent tour and the 'mishaps' that befell them. On 19th October, The Main Market Theatre officially opened with 'Marat/Sade' directed by Barney Simon. John Kani and Winston Ntshona were arrested in Umtata when acting in their play 'Sizwe Banzi' which the security police said undermined the security of the state. Protests were held all over the world until their release.
'Rabbit' came to town and girls went hysterical! Joan and Louis opened 'Follies Fantastique' at His Majesty's with Joan and Alvon Collison.
‘The Comedians' directed by Leonard Schach, opened at the Market and was banned!
This and more on Ivan May's 'Kutcha Vultcha' on Radio Today this Sunday 6pm and repeated Thursdays at 11.30am.
Submitted by Percy Tucker
PR Company: 'Just the Ticket'
Cellphone Number: 083 377 9388
Client's name: Radio Today