In 1984 the Natal Performing Arts Council, with a view to forming an entirely new dance company, invited me to mount a programme of four ballets on the existing Napac Ballet Company. The show was performed at Durban’s Alhambra Theatre, the company’s long-time home.

Opening on 20 July ’84, Ballet Quartet consisted of Burlesque, Afternoon of a Faun, Dark Waves and Le Café Jaques

The late Ann Layfield was the ballet mistress.


The Natal Playhouse was at an advanced stage of construction, but it would be another year before we could perform on the main stage. The old Prince’s cinema was being converted to a modern Drama Theatre while the Playhouse was being gutted, and provided with wonderful new studios and facilities. Rodney Phillips and Robert Cross headed an extremely busy team!


The following year, still at the Alhambra, I mounted a programme introducing the dancers of the new Napac Dance Company. We called the programme Première.

The opening of the new Natal Playhouse was still months away, so our next programme also opened at the Alhambra Theatre. There, we presented La Valse:Preludes, Transfigured Night, and Pineapple Poll. This programme also toured to the Sand du Plessis Theatre, Bloemfontein 28 Feb. & 1 Mar. the following year (1986).

6th and 28th July saw two shows in the Playhouse Foyer (the auditorium was not yet open): Take Three (see slideshow below) and East Meets West, compiled by Colin Mandell, featuring the dancer Maya Makanjee.

Our final season at the Alhambra was Geoffrey Sutherland’s Peer Gynt. It ran from  from 3-12 October 1985 (anyone got the full programme or photos?)

Any memories from this period you would like to share? Do drop me a line!