(Lisa Bobbert can be seen as Shirley Valentine at the South African Women's Arts Festival) 


There’s always a full dance card on KZN’s entertainment scene as Winter morphs into Spring. This season is no exception. The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2019 Early Spring Season runs each Thursday from 22 August to 12 September, with World Symphony Series concerts performed in the Durban City Hall on 22 August, and on 5 and 12 September, and in The Playhouse Opera on 5 September, each event starting at 19h30. For details of the season’s stellar line-up of guest artists, and the exciting repertoire to be enjoyed, call 031-369 9438, email  or visit


The Playhouse Company follows tradition, presenting the 23rd edition of its South African Women’s Arts Festival (SAWAF) in celebration of Women’s Month.  The festival roster features exciting drama, music and dance as well as crafts, topical discussions and fun, free entertainment, all showcasing works performed, created or inspired by women, in various venues in the city-centre Playhouse complex, from Wednesday to Saturday, 7 to 10 August 7. SAWAF’s drama offering this year is a classic – Willy Russell’s celebrated comedy-drama, Shirley Valentine, to be staged at 7.30 pm daily from Wednesday to Saturday, August 8 to 10, at the Playhouse Drama theatre. Directed by Steven Stead, much loved leading lady of the Durban stage, Lisa Bobbert reprises her multi-award winning portrayal of an individual with lost dreams and a lack of purpose, who then discovers the opportunity and courage to change her life for the better.


Also a must for the diary is Trafficked, a dance-drama by Phakama Dance Theatre, a professional dance company developed as part of the Playhouse’s Dance Residency Programme. Dancers Leagan Peffer, Nkanyiso Kunene and Sandile Mkhize form part of the dance troupe. Trafficked will have festival performances in the Playhouse Loft theatre at 10am on August 7, 10am and noon on August 8, 7pm on August 9, and 3pm and 7pm on August 10.


Dr Nothembi Mkhwebane will perform at the Traditional Extravaganza concert as part of SAWAF2019


The festival’s music highlight will be the Traditional Extravaganza Concert at 7pm on Women’s Day, Friday, August 9, in the Playhouse’s large Opera theatre. Directed by award-winning Durban theatre personality Clare Mortimer, this concert will highlight such glittering talents as celebrated singer-actress and musician Tu Nokwe; internationally renowned and award-winning African ‘Queen of Ndebele’ music, Dr Nothembi Mkhwebane; maskandi groups Vumile Mngoma and Izingane Zoma; and, as the show host, popular musician, motivational speaker Dawn Thandeka King. And for more information including workshops, discussions, exhibitions and more, email


Another Playhouse attraction is a twice-off guest appearance by the Russian Cossack Dance Ensemble for Durban on Saturday 31 August at 2pm and 6pm. Also running at The Playhouse this season, from 6 to 15 September, is the much-loved Shall We Dance annual extravaganza, bringing a number of dancing genres to life on the stage, in a dazzling showcase of the magnificent styles of ballroom, Latin American, Belly dancing, Bollywood, ballet and everything in-between. For more info like the Facebook page, Shall We Dance SA. Tickets are available through Webtickets.


(Don't miss Dalin Oliver when he hits Durban at the end of August)


Cape Town comedian Dalin Oliver hits Durban with his third one man Stand-Up Comedy Show – Adulting. Written and performed by Dalin, and directed by Stuart Taylor, this hot-property laugh-a-line act plays the Happy Hippo Comedy Club, 222 Mahatma Gandhi Rd, Durban Central, on 30 and 31 August, starting at 8pm. Oliver recently turned 30 and noticed that people expect him to have it all together when in actual fact, it’s all falling apart. Not literally, okay sometimes, but figuratively, mostly, because each day leads to more challenges and confusion about how to survive in the “big world”. Adulting is soooooo hard people. Bookings @, or call 083 426 7504. Tickets are R100 per person.


Also on the comedy front, the inimitable Benny Bushwhacker (aka funny man Ben Voss) appears at the Sneddon theatre until 11 August. The Republic of South Africa proudly welcomes home, Benny Bushwhacker, world renowned conservationist, environmental campaigner, and the only man to have thrice walked the length of Africa barefoot. The legend returns to share what it takes to survive the African bush… and for the African bush to survive. For more info visit or like


Benny Bushwhacker (aka funny man Ben Voss) appears at the Sneddon theatre


UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts presents the annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience at the Sneddon from 27 August – 8 September. Star acts by Cape Town’s JazzArt company, and a collaboration between luminaries, Boyzie Cekwana and Danya Hammoud, will be complimented by a variety of workshops. For more information call 031-260 1650, or visit


The Hilton Arts Festival, now in its 27th year, takes place from 13 to 15 September on the campus of Hilton College in the KZN Midlands. The full programme will appear in KZN copies of The Sunday Times on Sunday 11 August.  Booking opens on 12 August, and the programme will be live on the festival website from the morning of 12 August.  For more info visit or contact the Festival Office on or 033 383 0127.


Finally, for the details of the robust line-up of enticing supper theatre and revue shows in store for enthusiasts in Durban’s popular Rhumbelow Theatre chain of venues this August and September, visit, or log onto or email


 Jonathan Roxmouth



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