The Young Performers Project 2024 presents:
Dream On
A Poppins Tale of Joseph
Playhouse Opera: 6 – 14 July
The 2024 annual Young Performers Project (YPP) will have the biggest cast yet: 170 children aging from 5 years to 19 years from more than 50 schools throughout KZN will be participating in the production of the specially-created jukebox production of Dream On – a pastiche of fabulous musical theatre numbers, coming to the Playhouse Opera with daytime shows from 5 until 14 July.
“Everybody loved Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat so much last year, that we wanted to include some of our favourite Joseph numbers such as Any Dream will Do; Close Every Door and Joseph’s Coat – but add some other great songs and dances too – especially for the girls,” explained YPP Musical Director Des Govender.
“The solution was to create a jukebox musical using numbers from Joseph, Prince of Egypt and Les Mis, and tunes by Elvis, the Beatles, the Bangles, Ben Rector, and others.”
The plotline is: a young show director is beside herself when she needs to create a production at the Playhouse, but all the best shows have been taken. The kindly cleaner, Brenton from the Bluff, who has a penchant for showtunes himself, (played by Rory Booth) suggests the director summon Mary Poppins who always has a solution for everything. In flies Poppins (Georgie Mabbett Kelly) with her children Jane and Michael, and her trusty carpet bag, into which they all toss ideas and inspiration. A book on bugs and beetles, a piece of jewellery, and an assortment of scripts are all mixed together, whereby Mary Poppins magically reveals the perfect story for the director. The ethos of the Joseph story about the importance of family, forgiveness, love and respect is embellished with some brilliant toe-tapping tunes.
Dream On is being directed by Durban’s own director and choreographer, Daisy Spencer. The production team includes musical direction by Des Govender (who has led the team since 2017), choreography by Simone Mann, set design by Chris Taylor, costume design by Kathy Singery, lighting by Dylan Heath, and sound by Anthony Govender. Kyran Taylor (a first-year pupil at the International School of Performing Arts, who matriculated from Reddam House Umhlanga last year) reprises his role of Joseph.
For the second time, the enormous cast includes primary school learners. Historically YPP focused on high school learners, but last year the attraction of a live on stage massed children’s choir led to the decision to audition primary school learners to create two on-stage choirs of 55 children each, who alternate performances. This exercise was so successful, it is being repeated again this year.
The cast jointly represents virtually 50 schools across all locations, demographics and languages representing private, government, independent, rural, online and township schools – as well as home-schooled individuals from Warner Beach to Umhlali – and everywhere in-between.
The first musical, Curtain Up! and many subsequent YPP productions were directed by the late Themi Venturas – an integral part of the YPP family over the years. Some noteworthy YPP productions include: One Voice, Grease, Annie, The Wiz, Oliver!, Fiddler on the Roof, School of Rock SA, Big River, Hairspray, Seussical, Can you Feel it?, Footloose, Soldiers in the City, Legally Blonde, The Buddy Holly Story, and last year’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Good to Know
Preview – Fri 5 July
Opens – Sat 6 July
Until – 14 July
The musical is staged by The Young Performers Project NPC, in association with The Playhouse Company, SAMRO and Go! Durban Academy (eThekwini Municipality)
The show runs at 90 minutes, with an interval. It is suitable for age four and above.
Tickets through Webtickets.
Public tickets: R 150 – R 225
OAPS: R150 for all seats. Previews and School Performances: R90 a ticket
Parking available at Royal Hotel.

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