Peoples Theatre presents Beauty and the Beast JR


Johannesburg’s Peoples Theatre in Braamfontein will be bringing the pages of Beauty and the Beast to life when it stages the production from Monday, October 29, to Sunday, December 23.

Peoples Theatre presents Beauty and the Beast JR
Image Supplied by Peoples Theatre

Directed by Jill Girard and Keith Smith, the fairytale was originally written by French author Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve.

La Belle et la Bete was published in 1740 and later condensed and rewritten by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont.

This version, published in 1756, was followed, in 1889, by Andrew Lang’s take on the story. According to Wikipedia, Lang’s version is the one most commonly retold.

The tale revolves around a cruel young prince who is turned into a hideous beast by an enchantress. To break the spell, the Beast must learn to love another and earn her love in return before the last petal falls from an enchanted rose.

A decade later, in a village near the Beast's castle, a man, Maurice, gets lost while on his way to demonstrate an invention at a fair. He seeks shelter in the Beast’s castle, where he is imprisoned.

His beautiful, intelligent daughter, Belle, goes in search of Maurice and, when she finds him, trades herself for her father’s freedom.

Meanwhile, the Beast’s servants begin to coach him on how to act like a gentleman, but when Belle refuses a dinner invitation from the Beast, he loses his temper and tells her to starve.

Eventually, Belle escapes from the castle and into the forest, where she is attacked by wolves.

The Beast comes to her rescue, but is injured in the process. Belle has a change of heart and helps him back to the castle, where he again invites her to dinner, an invitation Belle accepts.

Despite her new friendship, Belle longs to see her father, who has been labelled a lunatic by the villagers.

The Beast allows Belle to return home, where, jealous of her affections for another, one of the villagers, Gaston, whips the villagers into a frenzy and they storm the castle.

Gaston stabs the beast, who, although much stronger than Gaston, refuses to kill him. Shamed, the villager runs away.

Belle then arrives back at the castle, where she tells the dying beast she loves him, breaking the decade-long spell.

Beauty and the Beast has had many incarnations, but its many messages, most notably to not judge a book by its cover, remain constant.

“It is these educational messages that the cast of the production will bring to life to delight young audiences in the coming months,”

say Girard and Smith, adding that their intention is also to inculcate a love of reading in children.

Beauty and the Beast’s cast features Masego Mothibakgomo as Belle. The singer-actress’s love for the arts began as a small child in Kuruman and Mothibistad, where her mother, Rebatho, was a singer and actress in the local church.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from the University of Pretoria and her theatrical performances include Disneyland (Lion King), Romeo, Juliet and Alchemy of Desire, Dead Man’s Blues and King Kong the Musical. She has also starred in the short film, Seussical, and, as a singer, is currently working on an original album.

Mothibakgomo also involves herself in outreach programmes, where she introduces drama and vocal training at schools. 

Jonathan Blaine Shore, who stars as the Beast, is a screen and stage actor, dancer and voice artist. He studied a Bachelor of Arts in Performance at Afda Johannesburg, where he graduated on the Dean’s List with Distinction, achieving cum laude in the screen and stage disciplines, and winning the Undergraduate Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Professionally, Blaine began his career at 13 in lead roles at the Peoples Theatre. He has appeared in numerous theatrical productions in Johannesburg, including Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. On screen, Blaine appeared in the 2013 international feature film, Kite, as well as in the BBC series, Leonardo, in 2011, YOTV: Act One in 2014 and Those Who Can’t in 2015. Recently, he appeared as George Giannopoulos in the SABC3 series, Bedford Wives, as well as Terence in the SABC3 sitcom, Taryn & Sharon.

His other credits include A Seussified Christmas Carol at the National Children’s Theatre, a production that was this year nominated for a Naledi award for Best Production for Children.

Other cast members are Alida Senekal (Mrs Potts), who studied Performing Arts and Drama at Stageworld Theatre School in Port Elizabeth and her LTCL in Musical Theatre through Trinity Guildhall London College.

Her stage experience includes Medea, The Crucible, Othello, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Animal Farm. For young audiences she has worked on King Arthur, Stayin’ Alive, Into the woods, Enchanted Forest, Cinders Panto, The Three Musketeers , Khoko’s Treasure, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Annie Jr.

Her Afrikaans work includes Mamma ek Wil n Man he, Wie’s Jou Pappa, Dokter, Wat die Hart van Vol is and Pippie Langkous Die Musical, for which she received a Broadwayworld SA nomination for best performer for young audiences 2017.

Alida was the head anchor on the Bay FM breakfast show for two years and appeared in KykNet’s Binnelanders as nurse Petro Bam.

Travis Hornsby, who plays Gaston, is a performance artist, fitness instructor and cultural-theory enthusiast.

Having recently returned from teaching aerial acrobatics in the Netherlands, he has been with  the People’s Theatre for its last two productions, Annie and Our Stories, Our Africa.

Hornsby began his acting career in 2010 in the feature film, Spud, reprising his role in Spud: The Madness Continues and Spud: Learning to Fly.

He was recently placed 1st in the men’s division of the Pole Championship Series Africa (2017) and 1st in the Advanced Art Division of the Acro Pole Art Classic (2016). 

Luciano Zuppa, who stars as Maurice, needs no introduction to South Africa’s theatre-goers.

He began his career at the famed No 58 Theatre Restaurant in Hillbrow in the cabaret revues It’s Still Rock ‘n Roll to Us, Beatles in Season and Bless My Soul It’s Rock ‘n Roll.

Since then he has sung, danced and acted his way through the musicals The Pirates of Penzance, Singing in the Rain, Hello Dolly, My Fair Lady, Grease, Hair, The King and I, Jesus Christ Superstar in Concert and the musical trilogy, Sweeney Todd, Sweet Charity and Candide.

Zuppa has taken the lead role in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Oklahoma! and West Side Story, while cabaret tours have included Elton John - This Is His Song, New York State of Mind and Putting It Together with Stephen Sondheim.

He lists among his career highlights The Best of Rice and Webber at Durban’s Playhouse complex, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road at Sound Stage, Elton John - This Is His Song at the Sun City Superbowl, Immortality - The Bee Gees and the extravaganza, Fantasy, both at Carnival City, as well as the highly acclaimed production of Queen at the Ballet in Dublin, Ireland.

Zuppa says he especially enjoyed performing in the national tours of Queen at the Opera, for which he was nominated for three regional Vita awards, playing the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, Mr Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors and Judge Turpin in the Naledi award-winning Pieter Toerien and Kickstart production of Sweeney Todd.

Beauty and the Beast will be his fifth production for the Peoples Theatre.

Kutlwano Marvin Molepo, a trained musical theatre student at Tshwane University of Technology, takes the role of Lumiere.

His credits include Pippie Longstockings, the South African film, ZA Apocalypse, and the international movie, Money Monster.

For the Peoples Theatre, he has featured in Alice in Wonderland and Our Stories, Our Africa.

Ayanda Sibisi is no stranger to the role she fills in Beauty and the Beast, that of the wardrobe, Madame de la Grande Bouche, having performed the role for Durban’s Kickstart Productions. For her turn in the production, she was received a best newcomer nomination at the Mercury Durban Theatre Awards.

Sibisi, who obtained her National Diploma in Drama Studies at the Durban University of Technology in 2010, began pursuing her acting career fulltime in 2012 in the Playhouse production of Cinderella.

She has since appeared in The Lion King, which saw her travel to Hong Kong, Shrek Jr the Musical at the Peoples Theatre, The Lion Library, in isiZulu, at The National Children’s Theatre, Chapter 2 Section 9 at the Sibikwa Arts Centre, Fantasy of Lights, Buddy Holly and, most recently, The Color Purple.

Sibisi’s television roles include Top Actor and The Herd.

For the duration of the run, there will be a collection point at the Peoples Theatre foyer,  Peoples Theatre askes audiences to bring non-perishable food stuffs, toiletries for teenage girls and toys for chirldren- boys and girls to donate to The House Group. 

The House Group is situated on the Hillbrow/ Berea Boarder.  NPO: 037- 622/ Fundraiser number: 011 009 003.

website: 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

E-mail to take your brand/business to the next level

Like What You've Read ? Be an Anonymous Angel 
CLICK HERE for the latest Tech News
CLICK HERE for the latest News & Trends
Follow @letstorqueza
Keep up to date with all that is happening in South Africa
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Follow @ilovezacom on
 #iloveza❤️🇿🇦 #AfterFajrGrind Accolades:

2021 Winner of Brand South Africa's Nation Pride Play Your Part Award

2018 Winner of Tech Savvy Boss Award at the Roshgold Young Business Achiever Award

Nabihah Plaatjes Accolades:

2023 CEO of the Independent Media Association of South Africa (IMASA)

2018 Contributing Author to SAFFRON: A Collection of Personal Narratives

2017 Recipient of Owami Women & Brand South Africa's Play Your Part Award

Ziyaad Plaatjes Accolades:

2021 Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans: Arts, Entertainment, Film & Media 

2020 Contributing Author to There's a Story in Everyone

Trending Posts