Created by Stuart Lightbody

Directed by Tara Notcott

Kalk Bay Theatre

23 February – 5 March 2016

Dreams and their magic enthrall

From the Standard Bank Ovation Award-winning creators of Illusive and Devilish comes a true story of obsession. It’s a story that begins with an out-of-print book hidden away in a secret library …

Directed by Tara Notcutt, Sleepless Dreams stars sleight-of-hand wizard Stuart Lightbody. As Stuart turns the cards over and over in his hands, these sleepless nights lead to one question: with every piece perfectly in place, can we share a seamless moment of wonder?

Stuart delights his audience with astonishing card tricks and illusion, drawing them into the fascinating and mysterious world of dreams. He also delves into the ancient Japanese legend of baku – the supernatural beings that children call on to devour their bad dreams and nightmares.

Hot off the press – Sleepless Dreams has just been nominated for the Theatre Award at the Fringe World Festival in Perth, Australia.

Tickets are priced at R125, except on Tuesdays when two can be bought for the price of one, and they are on sale at They may also be booked at the door between 3 and 8 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Further information may be obtained by emailing or by phoning 021 788-7257 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

The Theatre is also running a special on Thursday evenings in the restaurant – buy one main course and get a second one free.


Extracts from reviews of shows over the years:

Cape Argus

“… the mesmerising quality of what you see doesn’t lie in being privy to some secret, but simply in the delivery, which is beautifully impossible while still being impossibly beautiful.”

Lightbody is the perfect example of practice making for award-winning material.”

He invites the audience to be immersed in the thrall and wonder of magic”

Lightbody always leaves me gasping in wonder – on and off stage.”

How did he do that?”

It’s not just that these are clever tricks but I am captivated the way he uses his voice, his body, gesture. It’s mesmerizing.”

“…he can layer twists and turns and make it even more satisfying as a theatrical experience.”

Unlike other magicians, Lightbody seems to delight in letting the audience into some of the secrets of the trade. Only some, mind you, because he is still a magician after all.”

Stuart Lightbody [is a] sleight of hand extraordinaire”

Sleight-of-hand gets a shot of elegant theatricality courtesy of performer Stuart Lightbody in Illusive.”

Lightbody should change his name to Lightfingers as he puts the magic back into the art of illusion”

Making cards and coins appear and disappear may seem like a simple idea, but Lightbody does it with elan, keeping you guessing and gasping through a mixture of misdirection and understated skill.”

While he is clearly skilled, his movements are effortless and without unnecessary flourishes”

Even when you know exactly how a trick works you appreciate the performance because he does it so stylishly.”

Lightbody provides a narrative structure to the evening, telling stories about other magicians, or his own experiences, over the years.”

“… the show isn’t melodramatic or over the top; instead it is kept simple, allowing the magic to reign and you to wallow in a sense of wonder and amazement.”

“… an unreal experience that relies on pure artistry to entertain.”

Cape Times

… making full use of meticulously rehearsed and perfected sleight of hand and crafty misdirection.”

The gasps and disbelieving shrieks from his audience are testament to his skill. Every part of the performance is breathtaking and so elegantly executed you find yourself, if only for a moment, believing in magic.”

Lightbody has woven poetic reflections about magic and illusion through the piece…”

His performance is measured, graceful and unpretentious, with just enough showmanship to keep you hooked without straying into cheesy territory.”

The show is just long enough to ensure you remain rapt throughout and desperate for more. It’s uncluttered and flows so effortlessly you’re hardly aware of time passing.”

Don’t miss your chance to ‘play in the gap between reality and imagination’ with Lightbody.”

Adelaide Advertiser

He’s just like The Mentalist on television, only up close without camera tricks.” 

Stuart Lightbody is a well spoken affable young man, lucky to be alive in the 21st century – otherwise he’d be burned as a witch.” 

“… everyone he invites up onto the stage becomes part of a quite amazing disruption of everyday belief”

“… he replaces normal human gullibility with an awestruck sense that what you have seen has to be magic”



Stuart Lightbody

Stuart Lightbody is a multi-award winning sleight-of-hand artist and psychological illusionist. He has made it his life’s work to create elegant moments of wonder and astonishment.

Stuart is a graduate from the College of Magic in Cape Town. At the 2005 SA Magic Championships he won the Grand Prix Trophy, becoming the South African National Magic Champion. He has represented South Africa at the World Magic Seminar in Las Vegas in 2005 and at the World Magic Championships in Sweden in 2006. In 2015 he again won the South African Close-up Magic Championships and so currently holds the title.

Stuart has written and performed seven one-man theatre shows including 52 (2008), Telling Lies (2010), Stuperstition (2011), Dark Imaginings (2012), Illusive (2013), Devilish (2014) and Sleepless Dreams (2015). These include six shows presented at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, the largest arts festival in Africa, where he has won four Standard Bank Ovation Awards for excellence, including two coveted Silver Ovation Awards.

For the past four years Stuart has also toured Australia and Europe performing Stuperstition, Illusive, Devilish and Sleepless Dreams. At the Perth World Fringe Festival he has been nominated for the ABC Performance Award once, and for the Theatre Award three times. At the Adelaide Fringe Festival he won a weekly best of the festival award and received a 5-star review from the Adelaide Advertiser.

In Europe Stuart has toured shows to Brighton Fringe, Amsterdam Fringe, and Prague Fringe Festival where he regularly sells out his run, has won the Prague Fringe Creative Award and has received a special mention in the Spirit of the Fringe Award.

Stuart Lightbody has been teaching at the College of Magic for over a decade and continues to enjoy a deep fascination for his art. He loves sharing his performances with others.

Tara Notcutt

Tara is one of South Africa’s most celebrated young directors. At the age of 29, she is an independent director and producer, as well as Artistic Director of The Pink Couch, with a repertoire of award-winning and internationally travelling work under her belt.  Tara has a BA in Theatre and Performance, majoring in Theatre Making, from the University of Cape Town, where she repeatedly was on the Dean’s Merit List and won the Class Medal for her year.

In 2010, Tara was awarded the Fleur du Cap Theatre Award Rosalie van der Gucht Prize for New Directors, and the Baxter Theatre/GIPCA/ Theatre Arts Admin Collective Emerging Theatre Director’s Bursary. In 2011 she was invited to the prestigious Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab to spend three weeks working with some of the world’s leading young directors in New York City, and in 2012 she was named one of the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans. Since then she has been nominated for Best Director at the Fleur du Cap Awards for …miskien and The Three Little Pigs, as well as received Best Production accolades for …miskien and The Three Little Pigs at Clover Aardklop and Woordfees respectively. She has three Silver and six Standard Bank Ovation Awards for various works presented at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

She has worked as Project Manager for the annual Shakespeare season at Maynardville Open-Air Theatre from 2008 to 2013. She has also run the Cape Town Edge venue at the National Arts Festival as Programme Co-ordinator and Administrator from 2010 to the present.

Since 2009, Tara has presented works at 45 festivals in 15 cities in 4 countries on 3 continents, but South Africa is her favourite location. Her most lauded work includes …miskien, Mafeking Road, The Three Little Pigs, and Three Blind Mice which she director for the NAF’s Main Festival. She was recently Assistant Director of The Merry Widow of Malagawi, directed by Janice Honeyman for Cape Town Opera, and will be assisting Matthew Wild with his production of Salome in March, also for Cape Town Opera. After that, she will be directing her first full scale opera, La Bohème, for Africa Arts in April.

Her passion lies in creating theatre that she would love to see, with people with whom she would love to make it. One of her favourite collaborators is Albert Pretorius, who is one of the co-founders of The Pink Couch and with whom she has created six shows. Other favourites include Gideon Lombard and Mathew Lewis who are the other co-founders of The Pink Couch, as well as Rob van Vuuren and James Cairns, with whom she and Albert created both The Three Little Pigs and Three Blind Mice.


Contact: The New Kalk Bay Theatre & Restaurant, 52 Main Road, Kalk Bay

For bookings – online at (payment by credit card, eft or snapscan) – or

at Theatre door between 3 and 8 p.m. Tues-Sat

For information – email – or

phone 021 788-7257 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Mon-Sat

Ticket price: R125

Show time: 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Show days: Tuesday – Saturday

Specials: Tuesday (theatre tickets: buy 1, get 1 free)

Thursday (restaurant: buy 1 main course, get 1 main course free)