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Summer Stages: South Africa - Gauteng Theatre Highlights

Fiona Ramsay and Janna Ramos-Violante in DOUBT

With 2015 approaching the halfway mark, the South African theatre scene is shifting into second gear. Here is a list of some of the highlights that Gauteng theatre lovers can look forward to.

DOUBT: A PARABLE runs at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square from 28 July - 15 August 2015. The intimate theatre at Johannesburg's Sandton Square is always a sure bet when looking for first-class theatre and drama offerings. Coming up is John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play, DOUBT: A PARABLE. The gripping story of suspicion and suspense, set in 1964, examines a priest suspected of misconduct. Award winning actor, director and theatre maker, James Cuningham directs an all-star cast, which includes Fiona Ramsay, Mwenya Kabwe, James MacEwan (who returns from L.A. for the role of Father Flynn) and Janna Ramos-Violante. Read more here.

SISTER ACT runs at the Joburg Theatre from 10 July - 16 August 2015. Billed as the biggest musical in Johannesburg this year, SISTER ACT boasts a stellar South African cast in the country's première production of this feel-good musical comedy. "The role of Deloris Van Cartier in SISTER ACT is - arguably - the flashiest and most challenging written for a black female in recent musical theatre history," says executive producer Bernard Jay. Stepping into those shoes is Candida Mosoma, who will put her own spin on the disco diva who inspires a whole community with her uplifting approach to gospel music. SISTER ACT will be directed by Janice Honeyman. Read more here.

Candice van Litsenborgh as Audrey
Photo credit: Pat Bromilow-Downing

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS runs at the Pieter Toerien Main Theatre at Montecasino from 12 June - 9 August 2015. Durban-based production company, KickstArt, brings their award-winning version of the cult-rock musical LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS to the stages of Joburg. The reliable team of Steven Stead (director) and Greg King (set) seldom disappoints. This production stars popular stand-up comedian Alan Committie as Seymour, the would-be botanist; the inimitable Candice van Lisenborgh as his ditzy love interest, Audrey; and Michael Richard as Mr Mushnik, Seymour's miserly employer. Read more here.

ALEXA - A MOBILE THRILLER disembarks from the ZwarrieAter, Centurion, Pretoria from 15 - 27 June 2015. Following his Naledi-nominated production of ONSKULD, up-and-coming director Quintin Wils is back with the second installment of his unique mobile thriller concept. ALEXA - A MOBILE THRILLER is described as a "intricate immersive experience" and literally takes its audience on a journey. Audience members meet up with the actors and drive with them in cars while the performance takes place. Herman Vorster script deals with "the mystery of method acting" and stars Carina Nel and Vianney Farmer. Seating is limited! Read more here.

The National Arts Festival and Standard Bank Jazz Festival takes place from 2 - 12 July. Many Gauteng theatre lovers make the annual journey to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, the small university city situated in the Eastern Cape. Now in its 41st year, the festival is seen as the biggest annual celebration of the arts on the African continent. The vast programme includes local and international productions that range from drama and dance to visual art and street theatre. The festival incorporates the Standard Bank Jazz Festival, which this year sees international acts such as the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra and US-based guitarist Lionel Loueke sharing the programme with local stars Ray Phiri and Pops Mohammed. Read more here.

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