There’s a change of scene at Kalk Bay Theatre as act one comes to a close and the curtain rises on a new era.
As one of the country’s leading independent theatres, Kalk Bay Theatre recently celebrated its tenth birthday under the ownership of Simon and Helen Cooper. During the past decade, the Theatre has become renowned for its varied programme of world-class entertainment across drama, comedy, dance and music, and its unique dinner-theatre experience where guests can linger after the show and meet the performers in a relaxed environment. In collaboration with its sister company, KBT Productions, Kalk Bay Theatre has provided a platform for shows such as the multiple award-winning, London Road.
“Having recently achieved a significant milestone of presenting ten years of incredible theatre, Helen and I decided that it was time to explore new challenges and shift our main focus to our production company, KBT Productions. Through that, we will produce work for runs at other theatres and festivals, although we will still work at Kalk Bay Theatre in the new era. KBT Productions will have the option of using two performance slots a year at the Kalk Bay Theatre so our work will still be showcased there. We have already hosted a number of our productions at Kalk Bay Theatre, the National Arts Festival, the Baxter, the Theatre on the Square, the Fugard, Wits 969, the Schools’ Festival and others, including A Town Called Fokol Lutho, Same Time Next Year and The Snow Goose. We are excited to expand on the opportunities for creating and touring more works, including a trio of KBT Productions shows that run at Kalk Bay Theatre and National Arts Festival in the next few months.
“Helen and I are delighted to announce that, as from 1 September, the multiple award-winning Follow Spot Productions, under the direction of Vanessa Harris and Ash Searle, will be taking over the theatre venue. We are inspired by their vision, heartened by their commitment and their energy. They have already revitalised the Kalk Bay Theatre Restaurant and Bar, which they have been running since December last year, with their trademark verve and slick style. We wish Vanessa and Ash all the best for their venture.”
Ash and Vanessa are both seasoned dancers, choreographers and producers, and founders of Follow Spot Productions. Their shows have won numerous awards, and been invited to perform internationally at the Fringe World Festival in Perth, Australia, and the Brighton Fringe Festival in England. They are also in great demand for corporate performances, and for the past two years have curated a venue featuring their own work at the National Arts Festival.
“We are honoured to be taking over such a precious Cape Town theatrical landmark,” says Vanessa Harris. “We will be building on everything patrons have come to expect from the Theatre – quality entertainment, delicious food and wine and a unique, intimate theatre experience.”
Says Simon, “We still have five wonderful shows at Kalk Bay Theatre before we leave with Undermined [Nhlanhla Mhkwanazi, Luke Brown and Stefan Erasmus directed by Tara Notcutt] opening this week. In May, Roland Perold and Michele Maxwell perform in Show and Tell and in June, James Cairns and Taryn Bennett directed by Jenine Collocott in The Snow Goose grace the Kalk Bay Theatre stage. After the National Arts Festival, a new play, Vaslav, will be staged at Kalk Bay with Godfrey Johnson in role of Vaslav Nijinsky, directed by Lara Bye, and then The Agony & the Ecstacy of Steve Jobs rounds off August.”
For more about Kalk Bay Theatre and the programme line-up, visit www.kalkbaytheatre.co.za , Like Kalk Bay Theatre, Cape Town on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @KalkBayTheatre