Born to Perform joins the cast of Pinocchio


Joburg Theatre has been home to the annual Janice Honeyman pantomime for many years.

This year Pinocchio will open at the Joburg Theatre and feature a cast of actors from Born to Perform,

Award-winning writer and director Honeyman and executive producer Bernard Jay, who has been involved with this special theatrical production for the past 17 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 fairytale characters, while 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.

Read On this day in 1942: Walt Disney’s Pinocchio released

Born to Perform was founded 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. Born to Perform creates music, theatre and television that showcases the talent of many young South Africans and provides them with a platform to showcase their talent.

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 10 youngsters between the ages of nine and 14.

These talented youngsters will have the opportunity to perform on the same stage as some of South Africa’s most experienced artists, 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, so I’m delighted to introduce our own ‘babes’ into the script this year,” said Honeyman.

The students of Born to Perform had the opportunity to meet Schwartz, choreographer Nicol Sheraton and 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 12 November and continues until 30 December.

Tickets for Pinocchio are from R185 and can be purchased online at or in person at the Joburg Theatre box office.

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