Paul Slab goes behind the scenes of a radio studio in festive stage comedy

Paul Slab goes behind the scenes of a radio studio in festive stage comedy

After taking Grahamstown Festival and Johannesburg audiences by storm, The Playhouse Company will present the Paul Slabolepszy comedy, ‘For Your Ears Only’, at the Playhouse Drama Theatre from December 12 to 23.
Taking the form of a live radio play on stage, the production stars Slabolepszy himself as Nigel the crusty old maintenance man, as well as Michael Richard as Denton, a magniloquent (grandiose, bombastic) radio producer; Louise Saint-Claire as “theatrical legend”, Veronica; Sibu Radebe as Tumi, a young TV star; Michael Gritten as Harold, an ageing “matinee idol”; Bheki Mqadi as Bra Doc, a middle-aged actor-playwright; and Bronwyn van Graan as Pearl, a spunky “voice artist”. If some of these characters seem familiar to radio listeners, this is because Paul Slab, as he is affectionately known, is also Head Writer of ‘Radio Vuka’, the SAfm radio play that airs on weekdays at 3.45pm. Some of the play’s characters feature in ‘Radio Vuka’.
Directed by Ralph Lawson, ‘For Your Ears Only’ offers a humorous look into what happens behind the scenes in a radio studio, and sees a group of actors, a producer and a writer assemble in a radio studio to record a weekly “soapie” called ‘The Soul of Sister Serious’. Sub-titled “What you hear is only half the story…”, as the narrative unfolds, we find the producer in hysterics, the writing wracked with paranoia, and two of the actors heading for the divorce courts.

“With ‘For Your Ears Only’, we are pleased to welcome Paul Slabolepszy back to The Playhouse Company after quite some time. The production’s all-star cast is sure to entertain both local and visiting festive season audiences. This unusual ‘play within a play’ is very different from what we have come to accept as conventional theatre, but it’s exciting, intriguing, creative and puts your imagination into full drive ,” says Linda Bukhosini, CEO and Artistic Director of The Playhouse Company.

The set for the production comprises a large sound studio equipped with all the paraphernalia associated with live recording for radio, including the obligatory hanging microphones, as well as loads of different items for sound effects, such as different-sized doors (locks, bolts, chains), windows, a “creaky” garden gate, an old-fashioned cash register, telephones, cups and saucers, glasses, a bucket of water, assorted bunches of keys, a bicycle bell on a stick, a large punch bag (with a baseball bat to one side), cowhide drums, a battered roller-skate, an antiquated wind machine, a cuckoo clock, a vuvuzela and, literally, all the bells and whistles imaginable, all coming together for a sneak peek into the world of recording a radio show.

* Tickets at R80 are available for the previews on December 9, 10 and 11 by calling 031 369 9407. From December 12, tickets are available via Computicket on www.computicket.co.za; or from the Playhouse Box Office on 031 369 9596. A discount of up to 20% off the usual ticket price on block bookings is available from Dawn Haddon on 031 369 9407. Pensioners and scholars under 18 secure discounted tickets on presentation of ID.
Playhouse patrons receive discounted parking at the Royal Hotel Parking and at the Albany Grove Parkade. The Playhouse coffee shop offers a variety of light meals and drinks, while the Playhouse bar is open for every performance.