The Festive Season starts early as Shrek by Popular Demand returns to the Peoples Theatre
He’s big, he’s green, and he’s a lovable Ogre……..The Festive Season is coming early to Joburg as Shrek, the Disney troll and his Princess Fiona of Far Far Away, return to the Peoples Theatre at the end of October.
The beloved monster was such a hit with Joburg audiences first time round that the Peoples Theatre has brought him back for another season. When Shrek: The Musical Jr made its debut in 2015 it played to capacity houses.
“We could not fit in the number of people who requested tickets and we have had so many requests to bring Shrek back,” said theatre veterans Jill Girard and Keith Smith, who have been thrilling audiences, both young and old, for years.
The jolly green giant will spend the next two months, from 30 October to 24 December, at the Braamfontein theatre precinct, ensuring a very festive and jolly season for Joburgers.
“The production is different from the initial one. It has a new dynamic, a new cast, new back drops, and technology, but the essence and sincerity of Shrek will be the same,” said Girard and Smith.
“Every show goes to a new generation of children as children grow older. Shrek is a production that appeals to all generations and that is why we have chosen it for the festive season.”
So what can the audience expect from the production? “A fantastic show filled with fun, emotion, life lesson, great music, incredible new set, technology, wonderful sound and a dynamic talented professional cast.”
Luciano Zuppa was born into a large Italian family where music played an important part of his life from an early age. The cabaret revues It’s Still Rock ‘n Roll To Us, Beatles in Season and Bless My Soul It’s Rock ‘n Roll, were his first professional productions presented at the famed No 58 Theatre Restaurant in Hillbrow. Since then he has sung, danced and acted his way through the musicals, The Pirates of Penzance, Singing in the Rain, Hello Dolly, My Fair Lady, Grease, Hair, The King and I, Jesus Christ Superstar in Concert, and the musical trilogy, Sweeney Todd, Sweet Charity and Candide. Performing the lead role in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Oklahoma! and West Side Story. Career highlights include The Best of Rice and Webber at the Natal Playhouse, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road at the Sound Stage, Elton John – This Is His Song at the Sun City Superbowl, Immortality – The Bee Gees and the extravaganza Fantasy both at Carnival City, the highly acclaimed production of Queen At The Ballet in Dublin and performing in The Ice Palace Ball at the old town castle in Dubrovnik.
Megan Van Wyk trained under the tutelage of theatre doyenne Marlene Thomasse-Pieterse and graduated from Stageworld Theatre School in Port Elizabeth with her ATCL in both Musical Theatre and Speech & Drama. With a strong love for everything dramatic from Shakespeare to Sondheim, she played in various theatre productions during her time in PE before being selected to work with the Ubom! Eastern Cape Drama Co. under the artistic direction of Janet Buckland in 2013. She joined the Jittery Citizens improvisational comedy troupe in 2015 and loves making things up on the spot! She is a storyteller at heart and brings with her a quirky sense of humour, curiosity and boundless energy.
Sibusiso Mkhize is a theatre practitioner and a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand with a BA (Hons) in Dramatic Arts and has been an accomplished performer since an early age. Sibusiso has appeared in television productions like Cooking Magic, Soul Buddies and was a cast member of the Oscar-winning film Tsotsi. He has worked with Kgafela oa Magogodi in Chilahaebolae, Meagan Willson in Ruined, Prince Lamla in Thari and has several other theatre productions under his belt.
Idols fans will recognise the dynamic Roberto Queiroz from season 12, where he made it to the top 24. This season of Shrek’s Lord Farquaad is also the award winning writer of the play Maid in Mzansi in 2014. In 2016 je graduated from Wits University with a Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Art. This year he played the Grand Duke in Cinderella kids at the Peoples Theatre. He also produced and wrote his first album this year, and also hosts my very own party at Kitcheners every Sunday under the name Khona Karaoke Sundays,
Ayanda Sibisi was born and raised in Durban and obtained a national diploma in drama studies from the Durban University of Technology in 2010. She starred in various musicals such as Cinderella, Beauty and Beast, Library Lion in isiZulu and recently, Fantasy of Lights; in 2013 she performed as a principal vocalist in the Lion King in Hong Kong. She also just recently finished performing in Cape Town at the Baxter Theatre,with Sibikwa Arts Centre in a riveting theatre piece which won a Standard Bank Ovation Award on its debut in Grahamstown in 2016 called Chapter 2 Section 9. Ayanda was nominated for the Durban Theatre Award Newcomer in a Musical for Beauty and The Beast as Madame DeLa Grande Bouche. From 2014 onwards, Ayanda was seen in various TV productions such as the reality tv show “Top Actor”.
Carmen Tromp successfully graduated from Oakfields College in 2014, obtaining her diploma in Musical Theatre. Her lead roles in student productions include Hot Mikado and Carrie – The Musical. She performed at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival and in professional theatre productions such as Dawid, Liefling, Aspoestertjie, Sister Act, Sneeuwitjie, Seusical Jr and most recently Winnie The Pooh Kids. She is also involved in corporate performances, dancing for Kurt Darren in his music videos & national tour.
Siphosethu August Sihlangu is an urban gospel recording artist, a Wits university Honours graduate who majored in script writing and performance studies. Born and bred in Tembisa, he also helps mentor and develop young leaders through his NPO called the G.O.D Unlimited Programme. As an actor he was part of the amazing Disney Lion King musical in Germany for two years and upon his return in South Africa, joined the Cast of “A Short Cut To A Short Life” at the National Children’s theatre with their school touring production. Previous experience on stage include “Alice In Wonderland Jnr” with the People’s theatre, “Broken Glasses”, “The Father”, “Subterranean Homesick Blues”, and “Once Upon A Special Star”, all staged at the Wits WALE festival.
This season of Shrek sees the talented Jaydene Marais return to the People’s Theatre. Jaydene has been involved in theatre since the age of 8 years old with her first role as Christopher Robin in Peoples Theatre’s Winnie The Pooh. After many children’s roles throughout her school years, she acted in her first professional production in 2013 as the evil stepsister Drizzela in Peoples Theatre’s Disney’s Cinderella Jr. Her theatre credits include Peoples Theatre’s productions of Disney’s Pinocchio Jr as Jiminy Cricket, Storybook Theatre in 2014 and 2015, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr, Disney’s The Jungle Book Jr & Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr, Winnie The Pooh kids, Cinderella Jr and most recently Beneath African Skies. Jaydene is thrilled to be back at Peoples Theatre for this production of Shrek Jr.
Shrek: The Musical Jr is based on the 2001 Oscar-winning animated film by the DreamWorks production stable. Come and join Shrek, the wise-cracking Donkey and a host of familiar fairy-tale characters as they set out to rescue the feisty Princess Fiona from a dragon-guarded tower – while at the same time saving the kingdom from the clutches of the evil Lord Farquaad. Expect heaps of laughter, action, unexpected twists and sensational musical favourites along the way.
Media Release courtesy of Buz Publicity and Media.