Leah Mari, Roland Perold and Amanda Kunene at a rehearsal for the inaugural Stories 2020 at Seabrookes Theatre. Picture: Jacobus van Heerden
Leah Mari, Roland Perold and Amanda Kunene at a rehearsal for the inaugural Stories 2020 at Seabrookes Theatre. Picture: Jacobus van Heerden

Telling stories of a roller-coaster year

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Nov 28, 2020

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A musical journey created through lockdown

Durban - As the end of a very peculiar year approaches, many of us have endured a roller-coaster of hardships and challenges and have material for phenomenal tales.

One such creative musical response to lockdown, Stories 2020, will make its debut at the Seabrookes Theatre at Durban High School on December 13.

Stories 2020 features Roland Perold, Amanda Kunene, Samantha Landers, Blessing Xaba, Anthony Downing and Leah Mari on vocals, with fellow tunesmith Jaco Griessel on keys.

This musical collection of stories is in the form of 12 songs from seven South African rising composers who have created new material for this collaborative project.

Durban is going to be host to the first performance of this original material.

Perold, Downing, Griessel and Mari were joined by Marcel Meyer, Wessel Odendaal and Luca Hart in composing for this showcase.

“There’s nothing quite like sitting in an auditorium as the lights dim and you await the opening lines, or overture, of a live performance.

“The conductor takes his place at the podium, the actors enter, the technicians have their fingers hovering over cue buttons and, soon, a collective experience is realised as the audience becomes engrossed by the action,” muses Perold.

“Pre-Covid-19 we had the pleasure of large-scale, well-resourced musicals that came our way by means of Broadway and The West End after years of research and development.

“At its core, though, is still the old age tradition of storytelling.

“Our Stories series creates a platform for local writers to showcase works at the beginning of the writing process; before helicopters (Miss Saigon) or chandeliers (Phantom) blew budgets out the water. We invite the audience to come along for the ride and witness exciting new material by the country’s leading musical theatre creatives,” said Perold.

“Stories 2020 is a collective of dramaturgs, composers and lyricists who started a song writing circle during South Africa’s Covid hard lockdown.

The group met regularly over Zoom, presenting new songs, works in development, considered aspects of the craft and challenges relating to new writing; all with the goal of hosting a song-writing showcase in December of 2020.”

All those who crave theatre are invited to come and enjoy this very first offering.

You may be witness to the birth of South Africa’s next big spectacular musical, or an intimate chamber work that pulls dearly on the collective heart strings.

The event will be hosted at Seabrookes Theatre on Sunday, December 13, at 11.30am.

A group of six singers will present the material with live piano accompaniment in a one-act, 70-minute format.

For more info visit http://rolandperold.com/stories-2020/

Tickets are available at R50 and can be booked through Sophie Thompson of Publicity Matters, on WhatsApp: 083 609 8729.

All Covid protocols will be observed.

The Independent on Saturday

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