Executive Producer Bernard Jay is thrilled to announce the signing of legendary talk radio host John Robbie to play the role of Major Dumb-Ou of the Royal Palace of Cool Cornucopia in Janice Honeyman’s 2018 pantomime SNOW WHITE at Joburg Theatre.
“I’ve listened to John Robbie for years and loved his passion, his honesty and his confrontation on controversial issues,” says writer/director Janice Honeyman. “But I’ve since discovered that there is also a great fun guy in there, who is keen to enthusiastically take on the humour and topicality of our crazy panto pranks. Inside his rugger-bugger exterior, there lies a canny wit and a mischievous but mellow interior. He’s a lekker, normal guy, not pretentious or pompous….I can’t wait to share our mutual sense of the silly”.
Rugby player John Robbie won nine caps for Ireland and, with the 1980 British and Irish Lions, played in the fourth test against the Springboks. He immigrated to South Africa in 1981 and became a South African citizen in 1994. In South Africa he won 83 caps for Transvaal and John was voted one of the five SA Players of the Year in 1987.
John Robbie joined local radio broadcaster 702 in 1986 as a sports reporter and twice won the SA Sports Journalist of the Year award, once for radio and once for television. He is also an Ambassador for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. In 1990 he moved into current affairs on 702 and hosted the controversial Talk at Ten Show, culminating in his hosting the Breakfast Show for a total of seventeen years. John has won both Best Morning Host and Best Morning Show awards on multiple occasions.
He recently retired after thirty years on 702, having built an unrivalled reputation on air for professionalism, integrity and fairness. Archbishop Desmond Tutu once told John Robbie that his show was not a radio show but a mission.
“For many years my mum put on the Christmas panto in my home town of Greystones in Ireland,” admits John Robbie. “As kids we had parts and I have never forgotten the fun of it all. Now, after thirty years on 702, I have the chance to re-live it all again on the professional stage. I was thrilled when approached by Bernard Jay and Janice Honeyman and, although terrified, accepted readily. I cannot wait. However,” he continues, “I warn you that I don't normally sing and when I do, I don't sing normally! Roll on Christmas 2018.”
Not seen on the stage since 2008, Janice Honeyman’s SNOW WHITE, “the fairest panto in the land”, is produced by Joburg Theatre and Bernard Jay and opens on The Mandela stage at Joburg Theatre on November 11th 2018. Tickets for SNOW WHITE will be available through webtickets.co.za and joburgtheatre.com from November 8th 2017. Further casting for the 2018 pantomime will be announced shortly.
Meanwhile, 2017’s pantomime, Janice Honeyman’s PINOCCHIO starring Tobie Cronjé and André Schwartz, has already achieved record-breaking advance ticket sales of over 25,000. PINOCCHIO opens on November 12th 2017.