Durban's premier theatre producer company, KickstArt, has walked away with three Naledi Awards in Johannesburg last week for their dark and brooding staging of Stephen Sondheim's blood-drenched classic Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, while their first production of 2016, another iconic Stephen Sondheim production, the musical fairy tale parable for grown-ups: Into the Woods is on the boards at the Elizabeth Sneddon theatre in Durban
Sweeney Todd, which opened in Durban in 2014 and went onto perform in Johannesburg last year and earlier this year in Cape Town in association with Pieter Toerien, was awarded with three awards at the glittering Naledis at the Lyric Theatre last week: Steven Stead won best director of a musical / revue; the ever dependable and charming Jonathan Roxmouth won best performance in a musical (male) as the title character in the Johannesburg staging of the production, and it won the Joan Brickhill Award for Best Production of a Musical, sponsored by Carolyn Steyn.
"Having our work recognised in this way on a national platform is hugely gratifying. It is especially fulfilling, knowing how rare and difficult a piece Sweeney Todd is, and knowing that we managed to pull it off, and how very significant the competition was. You don't go up against a veteran like Janice Honeyman without a sense of humility!" says Steven Stead.
Following the local and national success of Sweeney Todd, KickstArt opend their 2016 Durban programme with a brand new production of another Stephen Sondheim classic, Into the Woods which is now on at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on UKZN campus for a short run until 1 May.
Into the Woods is a modern twist on several of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the familiar plots of their most iconic stories and exploring the possible consequences of the characters' wishes and dreams. Staging this complex, rewarding, funny and profound production has long been on director Steven Stead's wish-list, and now he and his creative collaborator, Greg King are realising a dream - to bring the first ever professional production to Durban.
Already this well-cast, thoughtful and beautifully-crafted production has received enthusiastic praise from critics and audiences alike.
Into the Woods is directed by Steven Stead, with musical direction by American musical theatre expert, Drew Rienstra, set design by Greg King, costume designs by Neil Stuart Harris, and lighting by Tina le Roux.
It is on until 1 May, with performances 7.30pm Tues-Sat, 2.30pm Sat, and 6pm Sunday.
Please note that despite its fairytale characters, Into the Woods is aimed at adult audiences, and is not suitable for young children. PG eight years old.