Aunty Merle - Marc Lottering's most beloved alter ego comes to Joburg for the first time

Marc Lottering brings to life his most beloved alter ego in hit musical comedy for the first time on a Johannesburg stage


Aunty Merle

ˈɑːnti mɜːl’


  1. A warm hearted South African woman who ‘gently’ loves to share opinions, over a slice of home baked lemon meringue;
  2. Someone who likes to know what’s happening in the lives of others, in order to know what to pray for;
  3. Someone who always looks impeccable and takes great pride in her free-standing home;
  4. The type of woman who will casually drop into conversation that both her children have degrees;
  5. Her heart is warm and giving, but she will sort you out good and solid should you try to hurt those close to her.

Everyone has an Aunty Merle in their life!  Having drawn inspiration from his own mother for this character over 20 years ago, Marc Lottering brings to life his most beloved alter ego, Aunty Merle Abrahams, for the first time on a Johannesburg stage.  Hailing from Belgravia Road in Athlone, Aunty Merle sashays onto the stage at the Mandela at Joburg Theatre from 1 February to 3 March 2019 for a limited season run. 

Aunty Merle is very close to my heart, as the character is drawn from charismatic women whom I was surrounded by while growing up on the Cape Flats,” 

comments Lottering.

High drama unfolds as Merle’s daughter, Abigail, announces her engagement to her boyfriend, Alan. 

As Merle puts it:

He’s a good looking white chap!” 

But it’s never smooth-sailing in the world of musicals when Abigail’s twisted and corrupt ex, Denver Paulse – who holds a dodgy top job with the SABC - is determined to get her back – and if not, threatens to reveal a very dark secret which is bound to tear the lovers apart.

This show brings people together by merging music and comedy with South African flavour. The audience will leave feeling love and warmth, with a craving for lemon meringue.” 

Written by Marc Lottering and directed by Lara Foot, the musical comedy boasts a talented South African cast including Tracey-Lee Oliver as Abigail, Paul du Toit as Alan, Tankiso Mamabolo as Lydia and Loukmaan Adams as Denver Paulse; with the rest of the stellar cast including Royston Stoffels, Gina Shmukler, Adrian Galley, Carmen Maarman, Zandile Madliwa, Sizwesandile Mnisi, Anzio September, Crystal Finck and Tashreeq de Villiers - accompanied by a live 8-piece band.  Twenty-two original songs, with lyrics by Marc Lottering and Tarryn Lamb; musical direction by Alistair Izobel and choreography by Grant Van Ster, have earned the cast thunderous standing ovations.

The show has received four Fleur du Cap nominations and has come off its third sell-out season in Cape Town. 

It’s a feel-good musical…but beneath the surface, Lottering presents a savvy critique on relationships, family, race, identity and navigating the personal and the political as live our lives.”

– Robyn Cohen, Cape Times

a musical with an international punch, a debut production that astonishes with its assuredness.”

 Karen Rutter, WeekendSpecial

“…witty one-liners that are met with sassy comebacks.”

– Kirsten Delcie, Whats On In Cape Town 

Because Aunty Merle is all about sharing the love, she’s offering patrons a 20% discount on tickets purchased for shows between 1 and 7 February.  Performances are Wednesdays to Saturdays at 8pm, with matinee shows on Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm.  The show is suitable for all ages (no under 3’s). 

Join in the conversation online with #MerleInJozi is an award-winning Digital Media, Marketing, and Advertising Company est. 2015, is a Member of the Independent Media Association of South Africa (IMASA), and Brand South Africa's Play Your Part Ambassadors, with a global reach of over 10 million

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