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Panto, jazz, drama, fun for the family

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TO Fact Durban Rocks - Mafikizolo



If you’re heading down to Durban for the holidays there is a lot of entertainment you won’t want to miss! Here’s a look at some of the shows and events TONIGHT thinks are worth catching…




An absolute must-see is Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story, presented by The Playhouse Company at the Playhouse Opera Theatre until December 29.

Featuring music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, its multi-award-winning South African creative team is headed by director Ralph Lawson, with set and costume design by Sarah Roberts. Choreography by Christopher Kindo.

TO Durban Jazz Festival - Zahara



The production is performed to live accompaniment by Africa’s premier orchestra, the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Lykele Temmingh (alternate conductor Naum Rousine).

Ticket prices range from R100 to R150, with concessions for students and pensioners. Bookings are open at Computicket.

Our Rating: ****


If you happen to skip the long weekend rush and get to Durban before December 15, you’ll still have time to catch A Golden Christmas with Dolphins By Starlight.

The unique experience runs on December 13, 14 and 15. Take a journey through time with golden oldies like the Christmas Song, Jingle Bells and Ave Maria.

Audience members both young and old can sit back and enjoy a 12-piece orchestra, the Bravo string quartet, Lauren Laing, Clive Gumede, Samantha Landers, Marion Lounden and one of South Africa’s favourite divas, Lelo Zondi, as well as special appearances by Jonathan Johansen (top 16 Idols finalist), Reece van Schalkwyk and Julia Sutton.

Of course, a major highlight is that Durban’s sea-lebrity dolphins are also part of the show. R135 for adults and R110 for children under 13. Book through Computicket or through uShaka ticketing on 031 328 8000.

Our Rating: ****


Here’s a fun-filled family treat… KickstArt (Cabaret, Don’t Dress for Dinner, Venus in Fur) presents the family pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre until January 5.

This new pantomime version of the classic tale is a real adventure story with boisterous chases and great visual tricks which will appeal to the boys. And with such a strong, independent princess, and lots of magic, it will appeal to the girls too. Shows are 2.30pm Tuesday to Sunday and 7pm Saturday. Tickets are R100 to R200. Booking through Computicket.

Our Rating: ****


If you’re more into the naughty than the nice, Durban’s annual adult pantomime may tickle your fancy. The long-standing theatrical tradition of the saucy festive season adult panto continues – and this time the team tip their hats to the greatest love story ever told, Romeo and Juliet, which will play at The Zone Suncoast until December 31… except this version is probably not quite what Shakespeare had in mind.

Shows are Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm; Sunday at 2pm. Tickets are R150 through Computicket. No under-16s.

Our Rating: ***


After an almost 30-year absence from acting, Mbongeni Ngema returns to stage with The Zulu running at the Playhouse Drama Theatre until December 29.

Inspired by stories told to him by his grandmother, and delivered in raw-theatre, story-telling fashion, The Zulu is directed by Christopher John and designed by Sarah Roberts.

Shows are 8pm (Tuesdays to Saturdays) and 3pm (Sundays). Tickets are R150 a person (Tuesdays to Thursdays) and R200 a person (Fridays to Sundays). Children, students and pensioners pay R80. Book through Computicket.

Our Rating: ***


Celebrating one of the world’s greatest music icons, Showtime Australia present The Greatest Love of All – The Whitney Houston Show at iZulu Theatre, Sibaya Casino, until January 5.

The show also runs at the Wild Coast Sun on December 30. It stars Belinda Davids (originally from Port Elizabeth) who was selected for this role out from 15 000 who auditioned for the show.

The show will present and celebrate a catalogue of Houston’s most loved songs from the span of her 29-year career. Hits such as How Will I Know, I Wanna Dance with Somebody, Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Didn’t We Almost Have It All, I’m Every Woman, Exhale (Shoop Shoop), Step by Step and, of course, I Will Always Love You. Tickets through Computicket.

Our Rating: ****





Bringing some of the biggest names in music together on stage, the Siyagiya Festival 2013 runs at Westridge Park Stadium on December 16 from 5pm until late.

Siyagiya’s mainstage Jazz Extravaganza – conceived as a tribute to jazz greats such as Sipho Gumede, Alan Kwela and Sandile Shange – will be produced along the lines of a fully fledged stage musical.

The line-up includes Hugh Masekela, Salif Keita, Lira, Velephi Khumalo, Heels Over Head, Sazi Dlamini and more. The event will also feature performances by Afrosoul, Naima Kay, Zakes Bantwini and others. Tickets range from R150 to R350. Booking through Computicket.


The Durban Jazz Festival takes place annually on December 26 on the banks of Hazelmere Dam. Cooler boxes and braai stands are the order of the day. Patrons are encouraged to also bring their jet skis, boats and small yachts to cool off in the dam.

For those wanting to avoid traffic, a helicopter service is available. This year’s line-up includes Abigail Kubheka, Zahara, the Muffins, Brenda Mntambo and more. Tickets are priced at R200 general and R350 Golden Circle, available at Computicket, and Shoprite/Checkers. Gates open at 11am. For more information visit dbnjazzfestival.co.za


To cross over into 2014 the Fact Durban Rocks concert is hosted at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium.

The event showcases an array of A-list artists on one stage and a fireworks display at midnight. This year’s line-up includes Mafikizolo, Black Coffee, Donald, Big NUZ, Tira, Sfiso Ncwane and many more. This annual event has established itself as THE New Year’s event in the country. Tickets are available from Computicket, Shoprite/Checkers.

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