DANGER IN THE DARK Reworks Kramer and Petersen’s POISON

Final Poster for DANGER IN THE DARK

David Kramer’s Danger in the Dark, a reworking of the hit musical, Poison, which he and the legendary late Taliep Petersen wrote in the early 1990s and was produced by Renaye Kramer, will premiere at the Baxter Theatre Centre this October. Kramer has written a new book for Danger in the Dark, but he has retained many of the original songs.

Poison was very well received in South Africa, Malaysia and London. The original production premiered in 1992 under the auspices of CAPAB Opera and was first reworked in 1994 for a season produced by Volkswagen Musicactive. A production at the Port Elizabeth Opera House followed in 1995, with another revival, directed by Bobby Heaney, having been staged at the Baxter Theatre in 2004 as part of the Klipfontein Corridor Project.

In the current adaptation of this powerful musical, Kramer has decided to tell the story from the point of view of Pamela, a social worker who is writing her thesis on drug abuse on the Cape Flats. Considering the critical crisis plaguing communities all over the Western Cape, the timing of this production could not be more perfect.

Danger in the Dark unfolds in 1995, when Pamela meets up with Juanita, a friend from her school days. She soon realises that Juanita is trapped in an abusive relationship with a drug lord and she is desperate to help her friend escape. Pamela is drawn into dark and dangerous places and situations, yet she endures against all odds, for the safety and survival of her friend.

David Kramer

Directed by Kramer with assistant director Grant van Ster, the acclaimed creative team for Danger in the Dark is made up of Camillo Lombard (musical director), Patrick Curtis (set and lighting designer), David Classen (sound designer), Widaad Albertus (costume designer), Kirsti Cummings (videographer) and Shaun Oelf and Grant van Ster (choreography).

Kramer has assembled a stellar cast of eight lead performers with a chorus of 14, who dance, sing and play a variety of roles, accompanied by a live band of five musicians.

The cast is led by Alexis Petersen as Pamela, Rushney Ferguson as Juanita, Elton Landrew as Poison, Eldon van der Merwe as Chicco, Tashreeq de Villiers as Lucky, Edith Plaatjies as Mrs Joseph, Loukmaan Adams as Michael and Chad Baai as Shawn. The ensemble comprises Luke Buys, Loreto Cabrera, Lewellyn Afrika, Luke de Kock, Anzio September, Lubabalo Pupu, Rori York Bingham, Nadine Suliaman, Alex Rodkin, Chamonay Anthony, Mekaila Mathys, Crystal Finck, Gabriela Dirkse and Tanzley Jooste.

Grandall Vlotman (conductor and keyboards), Shaun Francke (guitar), Jason Ward (drums and percussion), Yvan Potts (synthesizers) and Kurt Randall (bassist) make up the band.

Made possible by the City of Cape Town, Danger in the Dark previews at the Baxter Theatre from 11 – 14 October, opens on 15 October and runs until 2 November. Ticket prices range from R100 to R195 and booking is now open through Webtickets. For discounted block or schools’ bookings, fundraisers and charities, contact Leon van Zyl. There is an age restriction of 12 years.

Countdown to LANGARM: 84 Days to Go!

LANGARM PosterOnly 84 days remain until the first performance of the award-winning writer-director David Kramer’s new musical, Langarm, which will open at The Fugard Theatre on 20 November. Produced by Eric Abraham,  Langarm tells a story of love and intrigue set in the world of Cape Town’s ballroom dance culture in the 1960s. With the threat of the new apartheid laws hanging over their heads, people will do almost anything to survive.

In 1965, when Dinah Levin is widowed, she invites her nephew, Jeff, whose fiancé has just dumped him to help her manage her late husband’s Canterbury Hotel. Here he meets a lovely young ballroom dancer named Angelina, who asks him to partner her in The Swaziland Ballroom Championships – the perfect opportunity for Jeff to humiliate his ex. Aware that he will risk arrest by flouting the law, he throws caution to the wind and agrees. When Jeff decides to rejuvenate the Canterbury by offering langarm dances and Eddie Jephta comes to play the hotel with his Moonlight Serenaders langarm band, Dinah has to confront the secrets of her past.

David Kramer says:

I have been wanting for many years to do a musical inspired by the langarm-ballroom bands from this time.  I grew up watching my parents dancing to the music of these bands, and Langarm pays homage to the likes of the Johnny Lyners Blue Moon Jazz Band and Willie’s Starlite Orchestra.

The stellar creative team who will work with Kramer to bring Langarm to life includes Charl-Johan Lingenfelder (musical arrangements), Saul Radomsky (set design), Widaad Albertus (costume design) and Grant van Ster (choreography).

Daniel Galloway, the executive director of the Fugard Theatre, comments:

We are proud to be collaborating on our fifth production with David Kramer following the success of District Six – KanalaOrpheus in AfricaBlood Brothers and Kat and the Kings.

Langarm will be performed at the Fugard Theatre from 20 November from Tuesdays to Saturdays at 20:00 with a matinee performance on Saturdays at 15:00.  From Sunday 16 December, there will be an additional Sunday matinee at 15:00. There will be a Monday night performance at 20:00 on New Year’s Eve, 31 December 2018. Tickets ranging from R150 to R260 can be booked through the Fugard Theatre’s box office on 021 461 4554 or through the Fugard Theatre’s website. There is a 15% discount available for the Friends of The Fugard members.