Bumper season for KBT Productions at the NAFChristine Skinner
KBT Productions, producer of the multiple-award-winning London Road, is presenting no less than seven projects at this year’s National Arts Festival.
In addition to mounting London Road for the final time at Grahamstown, the company is co-producing various shows including Tonight Neither Hamlet, The Shadow of Brel, Stories of Crimes and Passion, Kaput and Sie Weiss Alles. It will also present Imprints, a new exhibition of prints by fine art printmakers Alma Ita Vorster and Helen Brent Cooper.
KBT Productions was established in 2009 by Simon and Helen Cooper, to present productions at venues other than Kalk Bay Theatre in Cape Town, which they own and operate. Since its inception, the company has produced Rob van Vuuren in Rob van Vuuren is Rob van Vuuren; a run of Jutro at the Baxter; Kaput and Sie Weiss Alles, which won a Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award, and the première of the multiple award-winning London Road, which was the top grossing Fringe production at the National Arts Festival last year.
As a producer, Simon has also been involved in other theatre productions, including collaborating with Megan Choritz and Graham Weir for Uncomfortable Productions, which presented the world-première of the Fleur du Cap nominated, full-length a cappella musical, Noah of Cape Town.
“I have been attending the National Arts Festival for 23 years, and so it is an honour for KBT Productions to be presenting work on the stages here,” says Simon Cooper. “Grahamstown is a highlight of the year for us. We are proud to be associated with the artists and fellow producers of seven world-class productions.”
London Road is Nicholas Spagnoletti’s funny, poignant and inspiring story of an unlikely friendship between an elderly Jewish widow and a young Nigerian woman. It features the power house duo of Robyn Scott and Ntombi Makhutshi with direction by acclaimed director Lara Bye. Its many accolades include, most recently, this month, Nicholas Spagnoletti being awarded the Olive Schreiner Prize for Drama.
Produced in collaboration with Dowling Sisters Productions, Tonight Neither Hamlet features prolific actor, broadcaster and scriptwriter Adrian Galley, directed by Christopher Weare, recent recipient of the Fleur du Cap Lifetime Achievement Award. Rainer Lewandowski’s play is a quirky, witty and intriguing look at what happens behind the theatre curtain as told by the forgotten character of the stage, the curtain puller. When a performance of Hamlet is cancelled, the limelight proves irresistible as he reveals to his captive audience the world beyond the curtain and shares with them his own ‘to be or not to be’.
Celebrated performer, musician, director, composer and cabaret star, Godfrey Johnson, returns to the National Arts Festival after a six-year absence with a triple-bill offering. In partnership with Yawazzi, KBT Productions is presenting two of these – Godfrey’s award-winning The Shadow of Brel, his homage to music great Jacques Brel; and Stories of Crime and Passion, a deliciously dark and wonderful line-up of songs about love, murder and revenge. Both of these shows feature Godfrey’s mesmerizing musical arrangements with his signature piano and vocal style.
Dark Laugh Theatre in association with Fresco and KBT Productions present Kaput, a story of two brothers living peacefully on the Mediterranean Sea until the cyclical turmoil in the Middle East disrupts their lives. The stellar creative team includes direction by James Cuningham and a cast featuring Taryn Bennett, Helen Iskander and Dorian Burstein.
With James Cairns Productions, KBT Productions presents James Cairns’ Sie Weiss Alles, which has received universal praise since it opened last year. Directed by Tamara Guhrs and featuring Cairns with Taryn Bennett, the play is set in Berlin, 1945 at the fall of the Third Reich. An SS officer’s orders are to question a young woman. Who is she? Someone who just wants to stay alive. The woman and the officer have a history. With the Russians only hours away, their thoughts are on survival. Does she know how to get out of Berlin safely and will she tell him if she does?
Helen Brent Cooper is known to many Cape Town theatre-goers as the co-founder of Kalk Bay Theatre and KBT Productions. She is also a talented print artist and, together with Alma Ita Vorster, is showcasing her work in Imprints. The exhibition explores how process and concept merge to create an imprint, utilising traditional and experimental print making techniques. Imprints features sculpture, printmaking and mixed media collage.
Bookings for all shows can be made at Computicket.
082 855 7277
Web site: http://www.kbt.co.za
National Arts Festival
Dates: Thursday, 3rd July 2014 - Sunday, 13th July 2014