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Leefstyl | Lifestyle > Kos & Wyn | Food & Wine > Kennisgewings | Notices

Sir Antony Sher and Janet Suzman honoured at luncheon and auction at Baxter


2010-12-13

Meet Sir Antony Sher and Janet Suzman in a special fundraising luncheon and auction at the Baxter on 21 December

Internationally respected South African-born theatre luminaries Sir Antony Sher and Janet Suzman will receive honorary doctorates from the University of Cape Town later month in honour and recognition of their extraordinary achievements in theatre.

To celebrate this auspicious milestone the Baxter Theatre Centre will host a luncheon and a much-needed fundraising auction on 21 December 2010, which also launches the brand new VIP lounge. Situated on the upper level, the gallery space has been transformed into an exclusive lounge, recycling and glamourising old furniture from the theatre’s collection over its 33-year history of award-winning work worldwide.

Events kick off at 12noon, starting with drinks on arrival in the newly-renovated lounge, followed by lunch, entertainment and the auction, which includes personal items donated by theatre blue-bloods Sher and Suzman, in the New Rehearsal Room on the same level. Popular comedian Nik Rabinowitz, currently performing in his one-man show You Can’t Be Serious at the Baxter, will take on the role of auctioneer and MC.

Other items on auction are exclusive bottles of Diemersfontein wines, personally autographed pictures of the two stage, film and television stars and specially created table centre-pieces. The Baxter’s head of wardrobe and props, the award-winning Koos Marais, created these sculptures using recycled fabric and props.

The three-course meal, served with a selection of Diemersfontein wines, will be interspersed with keynote addresses by Sher and Suzman and a special performance by the two, as well as other surprise performances.

Tickets cost R1000 and proceeds will go to securing the future of the Baxter Theatre Centre, an icon and one of Cape Town’s and South Africa’s landmarks, culturally and architecturally.

“This event celebrates our proud association with these two remarkable artists,” says Lara Foot, CEO and director of the Baxter. “It consolidates the long-standing relationship that our theatre has had with these giants in our industry. They are so much a part of our family and we are grateful to both Antony and Janet for agreeing to do this for us.”

Early last year Sher performed the role of Prospero opposite John Kani as Caliban in The Tempest, a Baxter Theatre Centre and Royal Shakespeare Company collaboration featuring a star-studded cast, directed by Janice Honeyman. After its world premiere in Cape Town, it transferred to the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon and then travelled to five other cities in the UK.

In 2005 Sher’s one-man play Primo, directed by veteran British actor and director Richard Wilcox, created a box-office sensation when it sold out before it opened at the Baxter Studio. He received the Fleur du Cap best actor award for his performance as Primo Levi.

Sher left South Africa for London in 1968. In 2000, having won the Olivier Award twice, he was made a Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE) for his services to theatre and writing.

Suzman last worked at the Baxter in 2007 when she directed Hamlet, the first Baxter and RSC collaboration. The production premiered at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in 2006. It then transferred to the Baxter and a year later returned for a short run before heading off to Stratford-upon-Avon to launch the RSC’s prestigious year-long Complete Works Festival.

She appeared with Kim Cattrall in Whose Life is it Anyway, and the two of them got together again this year as director and actor, and have recently finished a sell-out run of Antony and Cleopatra at The Liverpool Playhouse. The Sunday Times ( London) referred to Suzman as “the greatest Cleopatra of the past 50 years”. Most recently she appeared in South African playwright Craig Higginson’s Dream of the Dog, which she helped to develop. It was such a success that it transferred directly to the West End’s Trafalgar Studios after its initial run at the Finborough.

Both Sher and Suzman are RSC Associates. They kick-started the Brett Goldin Bursary with the RSC and the Baxter when the 27-year old actor and his fashion-designer friend Richard Bloom were killed over the Easter weekend in 2007 just days before Brett was due to leave for Stratford to perform the role of Guildenstern in Hamlet. Since its inception five recipients have already benefited from the Bursary.  

To book your seat, sponsor a ticket or to make a donation for the special luncheon and auction on 21 December, contact the Baxter’s Fundraising and Campaign Manager, Johann Davis on 021 680 3983, cell 083 299 2604 or email johann.davis@uct.ac.za. Seating is limited so early booking is strongly advised.