Born To Perform joins the cast of Pinocchio

Joburg Theatre has been home to the annual Janice Honeyman pantomime for very many years. Each year, South African audiences anticipate and love the tradition of this end-of-the-year treat.

Award-winning writer and director Janice Honeyman and executive producer Bernard Jay - who has been involved with this special theatrical production for the past seventeen years - have maintained the British tradition of the pantomime, which dates back to the 17th Century music halls, by including the usual slapstick, fun, over-the-top humour and fairy-tale characters, whilst adding that unique, localised Honeyman twist.

As part of the pantomime formula, and as a way to introduce a mentorship programme to performing arts institutions, Joburg Theatre has decided to incorporate the Born to Perform students to take part in this year’s pantomime.

Born to Perform was created by Matthew Marinus and Gemma Donnelly after they saw a huge need for the development of professional opportunities for talented children and teens in South Africa.

Two groups of students have been selected to perform on alternative show nights in the Pinocchio pantomime. The students have been divided into two teams of ten youngsters between the age of nine and fourteen.

These youngsters are very talented and now have the opportunity to perform on the same stage as some of our most experienced artists in theatre, including Tobie Cronjé and André Schwartz.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the students to experience the true nature and discipline of the theatre industry,” says Janice Honeyman. “So I’m delighted to introduce our own ‘babes’ into the script this year.”

On Saturday April 22nd, the students of Born to Perform had the opportunity to meet actor André Schwartz, choreographer Nicol Sheraton and producer Bernard Jay. Schwartz shared some valuable insight with the students, who were then afforded the opportunity to perform a dance routine for them.

Pinocchio opens on The Mandela stage of Joburg Theatre on November 12th and continues until December 30th.

Tickets for Pinocchio from R185 are on sale: telephone 0861 670 670, go online at, or book in person at the Joburg Theatre box office.

Patrons can also book and pay via the Nedbank app or walk-in at selected Pick ‘n Pay stores (a full list is available at– or book on-line and then pay at any Pick ‘n Pay store.

Images by Justine Mac


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