There is something for everyone at this year's ‘031 Theatre Festival’

Sue Diepeveen as Marie in “Trophy Wife”. Picture: Supplied

Sue Diepeveen as Marie in “Trophy Wife”. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 5, 2024


The Durban theatre scene is heating up with plenty of hot stage productions that are sure to keep you warm this winter.

Here are some upcoming theatre attractions which are set to appeal to all tastes.

“031 Theatre Festival”

The second annual “031 Theatre Festival” is set to offer theatre-lovers top productions over three days.

This family-friendly festival will include shows like “Trophy Wife”, “Adventure of Who”, “Mr and Mrs Normal”, “ Yesterday’s Hero” and “Tower and the Tree,” among other prestigious productions.

Opening the festival is “Trophy Wife,” a show which tackles the objectification of women.

The compelling production shines the spotlight on the “blesser-blessee” phenomenon that continues to intrigue South Africans.

It follows the highs and lows of reaching middle-age and pokes fun at how society ignores women during this stage of their lives.

Written and performed by Sue Diepeveen, it tells the story of Maria, who suffers the loss of her husband and her mother in the space of a year.

Feeling invisible and desperate, her only hope, it seems, is to find herself a rich husband, but she’ll also need to make a few changes in order to attract this type of man.

The show is directed by Wynne Bredenkamp and Greg Karvellas.

Meanwhile, “Yesterday’s Hero”, performed by writer, director, actor and the 2020 National Arts Festival Ovation winner, Patrick Kenny, is a hilarious one-man comedy about being “almost famous”.

Directed by multi-award-winning comedian Aaron McIlroy, it follows a minor celebrity as he moves up and down the ladder of fame and fortune from being a local radio comedian, to a jetsetting beer trolley pusher and even a soap opera doctor.

In addition, perennial favourites McIlroy and Lisa Bobbert will also return to the festival with their hit musical comedy, “Mr and Mrs Normal”.

Lisa Bobbert and Aaron McIlroy. Picture: Supplied

The production is a zany musical smorgasbord that caters for all theatrical tastes.

Interspersed with show-stopping musical hits, this laugh-out-loud comedy is directed and choreographed by theatre whizz Daisy Spencer.

For the kids, the whimsical fantasy “Adventure of Who,” will take them on a journey of self-discovery.

The show follows the story of a child on a magical quest to find a name.

This warm-hearted solo show is written and performed by Kaylee McIlroy.

And the multi-award-winning production, “The Tower & the Tree,” by Patrick and Shannon Kenny is a funny and modern fairy tale about love and friendship, which is narrated through puppetry.

With so much to offer, this exciting festival is suitable for people from all walks of life.

Where: The Seabrookes Theatre at Durban High School.

When: June 7 to June 9.

Cost: Prices for each show varies. All tickets can be purchased at Webtickets.

KZN Philharmonic’s 2024 Winter Season

Members of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra. Picture: Supplied

The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2024 Winter Season will kick off in Durban next week.

It will feature a spectacular roster of classical music luminaries such as Japanese maestro Yasuo Shinozaki, SA-based Israeli-American conductor Daniel Boico, Russian-born maestro Daniel Raiskin and Cape Town conductor Brandon Phillips, who will open the season.

Bongani Tembe, KZN Philharmonic’s chief executive and artistic director is excited to invite music-lovers to the four-concert season.

“We are delighted to pick up on the grand traditions of our long-running World Symphony Series, in which celebrated guest stars join our dedicated orchestral musicians in creating many hours of musical enchantment.

“The season dovetails with our continued commitment to community engagement and skills transfer among new-generation artists and learners,” said Tembe.

Where: The Playhouse Opera Theatre.

When: Every Thursday from June 6 to June 27.

Cost: Tickets cost R50 and are available from Quicket.

“The Emperor’s New Clothes”

The cast of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. Picture: Supplied

Leading theatre company, KickstArt is getting ready to present the South African premiere of the family musical “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.

According to the production team: “this will be a musical of a very different kind, taking on the version of the famous Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale by Broadway stalwarts Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.”

Directed by Steven Stead, with design by Greg King, musical direction by Roland Perold and fresh new orchestrations by Jaco Griessel, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” will star Daniel Anderson as Emperor Marcus, with Roland Perold as the Swindler.

Others in the cast are Marion Loudon as Deena, the head of the Imperial Wardrobe; Lyle Buxton as William, the Emperor’s chief adviser; Mthokozisi Zulu as Arno, the royal stable hand as well as Keryn Scott, Amahle Tembe and Roshanda Lewis as villagers.

This vibrant musical will delight children and adults alike.

Where: The Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre at the University of KwaZulu Natal.

When: From June 15 to July 7.

Cost: R120 - R220 from Webtickets or visit