In the lead role is newcomer, Roshanda Lewis.

For the first time in fourteen years, Durbanites can look forward to an exciting brand new holiday pantomime.

Directed by Steven Stead, Cinderella, a firm favourite among both adults and kids, will be staged at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from December 7 to January 6 - and in the lead role is newcomer, Roshanda Lewis.

The 20-year old, Bluff resident and second-year music performance student, says she’s over the moon to be playing the lead.

“It was the first time I’ve auditioned for professional production, so my nerves are shot. It’s all new to me to I’m loving the experience and learning so much from the others,” said Lewis about her time in rehearsals.

For Durban, pantomimes have become a year-end favourite for residents and over the years KickstArt theatre company never fails to deliver. From Sinbad the Sailor to Sleeping Beauty, this year is no different. There will be plenty of twists to this tale - lush sets, gorgeous baroque costumes, toe-tapping songs, jokes aplenty and audience participation can be expected.

“Although there are changes in the script and a lot of moments - ultimately Cinderella, a kitchenmaid, is still a character with grace and kindness and that’s what makes her so special,” said Lewis.

She and the rest of the cast, who consists of  Darren King and Bryan Hiles as the Ugly Sisters, Mthokozisi Zulu as Buttons, Nathan Kruger as the Prince, Lyle Buxton as Dandini and  Anne-Marie Clulow as the Fairy Godmother,with designed by Greg King and choreography by Janine Bennewit, have been hard at work - rehearsing up to eight hours a days.

“Rehearsals have been challenging. While we have a lot of fun - we also need to be serious about it. One of the most challenging things for me has been the fact that we need to constantly have an upbeat energy throughout the day. We need to be on top of our game all the time,” said the newcomer.

For Lewis, who has only done a few school productions like - she is very nervous about opening night.

“I’m trying not to show that I’m extremely nervous, but I really am. I think people come to the theatre to experience something unique and special, it’s an escape from the bad experiences of the everyday world and I want them to leave the theatre feeling good, feeling uplifted and with a smile on their faces- hopefully I can make that happen,” Lewis said.

Stead, director of the production said Cinderella was his first live-theatre piece experience

“I was utterly enchanted seeing the iconic John Moss version when I was just three years old. My love and awe for theatre began sitting watching this production many moons ago and re-staging it, reminds me why I love theatre so much. We always have great fun recreating and re-interpreting this beautiful timeless story,” said Stead.

Cinderella will be staged at Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from December 7 to January 6. Tickets are R240/R190/R160 for adults; R190/R170/R140 for children under 12 and pensioners.

R140 for December 7 at 11am - schools’ performances throughout.

And R140 for previews throughout December 7 at 11am; December 8 at 2.30pm and 7pm and December 9 at 2.30pm. Tickets available at Computicket.

For schools’ performances, charity fundraisers or block bookings of 50 or more, contact KickstArt Theatre via email: [email protected]