Theatre Reviews: Actress – Roles Realised, Or A Journey Towards Joy

October 2, 2023

Actress runs in the Studio Theatre at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre in Fourways until 8 October, It is written by Talia Kodesh and Bruce Dennill with music and lyrics by Bruce Dennill, directed by Daniel Geddes and produced by Collett Dawson. It stars Talia Kodesh and Nathan Ro.



Victory in red heels


HOW MANY BEAUTIFUL dreams have you left by the wayside as life has taken over and pushed you in directions that made you weep? How many times have you stood back and said: ‘I don’t want to be part of someone else’s project’? Bruce Dennill and Talia Kodesh have pooled their considerable talents to engage with this difficult conundrum in life and have created a 10 out of 10 production, in Actress, which performs at the Studio Theatre, Montecasino, until 8 October. Mooted as a ‘pocket musical’, this one-woman tale told with experience, dance, music and articulation is quite simply a must-see. Running loosely along the lines of Evita from within and without, it tells the story of dreams that get averted in complicated ways and have to be recalibrated. And these dreams are yours and mine as much as they are Kodesh’s – who we haven’t seen on stage for many years – and Dennill’s – who you might know better as an arts critic. And there are many magic ingredients in this work which tells a story that could be drooping with platitudes but isn’t, because it’s witty and tight, coherent and focused. There are succinct metaphors and symbols here that lend the work profundity rather than crassness. Kodesh’s character confronts the coldness of an arts community in a country which is not home. She confronts the horrors of her dream role coupled with news of dramatic changes in her own life. At the same time. She confronts the terror of juggling everything, from babies to an unmissable new gig, to family and cultural responsibilities, that happen on the same day. The work will release your own laughter and tears of recognition. Bring tissues (don’t wear mascara). It’s is as much about finding yourself in the sham and dram of being in this world, as it is about acknowledging the things that make you tingle within, be they a pair of red stilettos, a virgin paintbrush or an unwritten novel. But the 10-out-of-10-ness of this show is about all the different elements of it coming together. Perfectly. Dennill’s music is fresh and articulate. It holds the moods in this work with acuity and edge. The sound design in this small theatre is top class. Kodesh can stretch her chords all the way, without you, in the audience, feeling the resonance of noise too big for the venue rattling under your shoes or in your teeth. And the set is bold and simple and clear. There’s even a ‘Random Props Guy’ by way of Nathan Ro, who delivers everything from babies to a kiss, as he moves the boxes on wheels that constitutes the universe on this small stage, and dons bee wings and a unicorn’s headgear as part of a play for little children. Don’t miss this show. It feels low-key without all the bells and whistles of a large budget production and doesn’t shout strobes and an orchestra, or a massive cast and international kudos. It’s simply musical theatre, polished to the hilt and human but stripped of shlock. It’s as good as it gets.

Actress is directed by Daniel Geddes. Written by Bruce Dennill and Talia Kodesh and performed by Talia Kodesh and Nathan Ro, it is produced by Collett Dawson and features creative input by Bruce Dennill (music and lyrics), Sarah Roberts (set and costumes), Denis Hutchinson (lighting), Henry Underhay (sound), Bruce Dennill and Paul Elliott (musical direction), Paul Elliott (musical arrangements, engineering and production) and is stage managed by Zara Gaffney. It is at the Studio Theatre, Montecasino complex in Fourways until 8 October. 

There are very few people who get me to venture past Bolton Road. Collett Dawson and Bruce Dennill Music are part of the chosen few. Paul Vos and I went to watch #Actress on Friday night at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre & Studio. It’s a one woman pocket musical starring the utterly fabulous Talia Kodesh (I want her arms) along with Random Props Guy, the hilarious Nathan Ro and all I have to say is that I loved it. I mean I really, really loved it. The whole is-the-grass-greener thang, the working mom stuff (the birthing/breastfeeding/feeding kids stuff – brilliant), the am-I-a-has-been vibe…it all spoke to me. I found it slick, funny, soulful and moving. It’s only on until October 8th so get your cute butts to Monte if you don’t want to miss out.

A standing ovation for the beautiful, fearless, extraordinary Talia Kodesh. What a delightful, clever, funny, sad and totally engrossing show this is. The original music is brilliant, the direction is tight and sharp, Nathan’s comedic interludes are hilarious and Tal is magnificent. I just loved, loved, loved this pocket musical. See it at Monte now. This gem is a real winner.

ACTRESS poses that age-old question – can women have it all? And the answer is … maybe, but not all at the same time. As the eponymous ‘Actress’, Talia Kodesh, takes us on a journey through the seasons of her life, starting as an aspiring young actor / singer / dancer in New York City. Bent but not broken, she returns to Johannesburg where she finds success as a performer. Paris beckons, but our actress discovers what generations of women before her have – that it is really hard and time consuming to raise a bunch of kids. ‘Actress’ keeps her creative spark alive and claws back her agency by becoming a creator in her own right. Talia Kodesh inhabits the stage with verve and vigour, ably assisted by the lovely Random Props Guy, Nathan Ro. The music and lyrics of Bruce Dennill elevate this into a joyful pocket musical that will leave you tapping your toes for days afterwards. ACTRESS runs at the Pieter Toerien theatre at Montecasino until 8 Oct. Book now!

Creating a brand new original musical is a mammoth undertaking – reserved for the very courageous. And this amazing creative team is out there making beautiful things happen. Talia Kodesh gives a star turn in her own story. She perfectly captures the balance between her natural believability and the heightened expression of a musical. She has us in the palm of her hand as it all unfolds and when she kicks into the climax of the song her powerful voice takes us all the way! I loved the innovative direction and staging from Daniel Keith Geddes – and the way Nathan Ro is is brought into the action is brilliant and so much fun. I think they need to make a new category at the Naledi’s for deadpan random props guys. Nathan has this in the bag. The songs by Bruce Dennill are really incredible – perfectly telling the story and the arrangements by Paul Elliott beautifully done. Set, Costumes, Lighting, Sound all impeccably serve the piece. Hats off to producer Collett Dawson – for always showing up with such passion for our theatre industry. Come on Johannesburg – lets support these original works! #actress #PieterToerienTheatre

Thank you, Collett Dawson for inviting us to the most fabulous little pocket musical, Actress, currently running at The Pieter Torien Studio Theatre. This is a must-watch show for just about everyone struggling with juggling the multiple roles society seems to demand from us. By turns hilarious and poignant, Talia Kodesh’s captivating performance, ably supported by the awkwardly comical Nathan Ro as Random Props Guy, is exactly what theatre should be. Fabulously entertaining, thought-provoking, and engaging. It’s sometimes tricky to put on a show with an entirely original musical score, but in this case, Bruce Dennill‘s music, skillfully performed by Talia, hits just the right notes, sweeping the audience along on a captivating musical journey. The show is an absolute gem, with nuanced direction by Daniel Geddes and superb set, costume and lighting design by Sarah Roberts and Dennis Hutchinson. This is honestly one of the best shows I’ve seen lately – authentically human and endearing. Book now and take all your friends before it closes on the 8th of October. This is a show that deserves packed houses and an extended run. Well done to Collett Dawson and the team for a truly wonderful show.

‘Actress.’ Talia Kodesh superbly plays Actress. The woman who goes through all the rigours of trying to be a headliner on the Broadway stage. Talia can sing, dance and act and apart from being a convincing story teller is very funny to boot. The set consists of big coloured boxes in a variety of shapes that are cleverly used to represent people in various situations. A great complement to the production is the frequent involvement of the dead pan stage hand played by Nathan Ro. Hilarious. What a treat. The tale gets deeply emotional towards its climax and pulls at the heart strings. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. It was written by Talia and Bruce Dennil . The incredible, original music and lyrics by Bruce.

Good theatre should be born from great collaboration and creativity and “Actress”, currently showing at Pieter Toerien’s Studio Theatre at Montecasino until next weekend only, is a perfect example of this. From the writing, through design, to the staging and performances, the show is a delight, that eventually pulls at the heartstrings. Central to the proceedings, and ably abetted by Nathan Ro in some scene stealing moments, is Talia Kodesh. A true triple threat of the theatre, she takes the audience on a self journey of several other “roles” that life casts her in, resulting in a cathartic moment that shows that it is ok to be more than just a triple threat(women are the multitaskers of the universe!). Congrats to all involved in the production. Talia, Bruce Dennill, Daniel Geddes, Sarah Roberts, Denis Hutchison et al, you have created a lovely local gem and here’s wishing you all a successful run!

Congratulations Collett Dawson,Talia Kodesh, Daniel Keith Geddes , Bruce Dennill on a really special show Actress was so captivating , beautiful music with Talia in superb Voice congratulations to you all wish you so much success with a fine production!

It was an absolute pleasure attending the opening night of a brand new pocket musical, ‘Actress: The role of a lifetime’, last night at the Montecasino Studio Theatre. Starring the multi-talented Talia Kodesh and bringing to life her own powerful vision, she executes what one might call the role she was truly born for, wearing the shoes she was always meant to fit into. Where the spotlight often shines on grand productions, this show was a heartwarming reminder that sometimes, it’s the intimate gems that shine the brightest. Honouring her story, was an incredible team that executed the show with purposeful brilliance. Actress is produced by the incomparable Collett Dawson who has a knack for putting her support behind worthwhile stories. With original music and lyrics by Bruce Dennill, the story unfolds in the poetic way that mirrors how a true thespian moves through their own experiences – with glitter in their eyes, so to speak. With ingenious set and costumes by Sarah Roberts, masterful lighting as always by Denis Hutchinson, and layered, thoughtful, fully considered direction by Daniel Geddes, each scene is one that draws and holds not only one’s attention, but also one’s heart. Accompanying Talia on stage, with a role totally unique to this show, was the uproarious Nathan Ro, whose performance is one you NEED to experience for yourself. To me, the story of Actress is less about who you want to be, and more about who you were always meant to become. It’s less about an actress, and more about a woman; about her goals and dreams, and why it’s important to allow them to change. It is the story of an actress who is so much MORE than that – she’s a wife, mother, and teacher – multifaceted and complicated. And although juggling all those balls can be awfully chaotic, it sure makes for a beautiful stage play. It’s also a story about home. Sometimes, home is a stage. Sometimes, a place. And sometimes, it’s the role you were born for, in the hearts of those you love. Bookings are via Webtickets, Pick ‘n Pay Outlets or the Montecasino Theatre Box Office on 011 511 1988. For Group Bookings, contact Geraldine on 011 511 1988. #actress #NewShowAlert Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre & Studio Pieter Toerien Productions

What a lovely refreshing evening at the Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre & Studio tonight. It was thoroughly enjoyable especially as a fellow thespian. Lovely direction by Daniel Keith Geddes, lovely music by Bruce Dennill and clear and nuanced performance by Talia Kodesh and the gorgeous and delightful Nathan Ro. Thank you Mark Sage, Darryl Evans and Collett Dawson for a lovely evening at the theatre. I left with a big smile. Book your tickets peeps. Local is very lekker!!

I have been as objective as I can – this is from the heart. Joy and creativity make for a compelling combination. Talia Kodesh and Bruce Dennill have partnered in creating a ‘pocket musical’ called “Actress”, an everyman (person?) play exploring the universal issue of how identity changes with different life stages. Dennill has written an original score effortlessly in line with international trends, with songs such as “I’m here” providing particularly tenacious earworms. Kodesh’s transcendent triple threat is perfectly complemented by Nathan Ro who delivers a fulgent, funny foil as the ‘Random Props Guy’. They are supported by an eye-catching concept set reminiscent of Mondrian. Look out for exquisite details such as the titles of each book read on stage, and the caption on Kodesh’s sling bag. Kodesh and Dennill have assembled a dream team comprising producer Collett dawson, director Daniel Geddes, set/costume designer Sarah Roberts, lighting designer Denis Hutchinson, sound designer Henry Underhay, musical master Paul Elliott and Stage Manager Zara Gaffney. It would be a travesty if this treasure was not given a chance to shine brightly for many more audiences.


Talia Kodesh Shines in a Tale of Roles and Resilience in ‘Actress’

By Shaun Zietsman

Step into the spotlight and witness ‘Actress,’ where Talia Kodesh’s captivating performance shines a spotlight on the enduring strength of the human spirit and the power of resilience. A compelling narrative that will leave your heart forever changed. If you are an avid theatre lover and attendee like myself, or just someone looking for a captivating night out, ready to experience something new… I’ve got the perfect recommendation for you: “Actress.” I attended the opening night of this show at the Pieter Toerien Theatre at Montecasino, and honestly, it was utterly spectacular. From the moment the curtain rose to the final bow, “Actress” had me hooked, and it’s a show I can’t recommend highly enough. With a whirlwind of emotions and artistry, it combined music, humour, dancing, drama, speech, heart, soul, and thought-provoking moments into an 80-minute rollercoaster of a show. It’s the kind of theatre experience that leaves you feeling invigorated and deeply moved. Talia Kodesh, the star of the show, deserves every bit of praise she received. Her portrayal of ‘Actress’ is nothing short of mesmerising. Throughout the performance, she effortlessly transitions between her various roles as actresswifemotherdaughter, and teacher. Kodesh’s ability to convey the complexities of these roles while navigating the challenges they bring just goes to show the manner of her exceptional talent. But the brilliance of “Actress” extends beyond Kodesh alone. Natha Ro, the “props guy,” adds a delightful layer of humour and charm to the production with his expressive facial expressions and impeccable comedic timing. His presence on stage is a constant source of joy, and the audience couldn’t help but laugh and anticipate his every move. He really added a unique twist to show and Ro truly complimented Kodesh’s performance. The heart of “Actress” lies in its storytelling. Set in both New York and South Africa, the narrative follows ‘Actress’ on her tumultuous journey through stress and success, anger and auditions, triumph and tears, dance and delirium. The story touches upon the universal themes of balancing various roles and the complexities that come with them. As ‘Actress’ grapples with the challenges of her multifaceted life, the audience is taken on a poignant exploration of the human experience. It’s a story that resonates with anyone who has ever had to adapt to new expectations, whether they are self-imposed or imposed by others. It’s a journey filled with moments of joy, sorrow, and the possibility of finding peace amid life’s chaos. One of the standout features of “Actress” is its memorable musical score, composed by Bruce Dennill. The songs seamlessly blend with the narrative, enhancing the emotional depth of the story. Dennill’s music captures the essence of each scene, creating a powerful connection between the characters and the audience. The theatre was packed, and the show concluded with a well-deserved standing ovation. It’s a production that lingers in your thoughts long after the final curtain falls, leaving you with a profound appreciation for the art of theatre. For me, this is what theatre is all about and why i fell in love with theatre in the first place. Shows like THIS. “Actress” is a theatrical gem that deserves a place on your must-see list. It’s a show that will make you laugh, cry, and reflect on the intricacies of life. So, pack your dancing shoes, your tissues, and your sense of wonder, and make your way to Pieter Toerien’s Studio Theatre at Montecasino from September 27th to October 8th, 2023. This is an opportunity to witness the magic of live theatre at its finest.

ACTRESS is the gift that just keeps giving – it seems that the season for gift-giving (and receiving) arrived early with this absolute gem of a production!! What a privilege for us all that Talia Kodesh is back on stage in this ‘pocket dramedy’ that showcases her numerous talents – I’ll get to those shortly. But this production also displays the expertise of the collaborative efforts of some highly skilled industry specialists … ACTRESS is co-written by Talia together with Bruce Dennill, who also wrote all of the original, beautiful music and lyrics for the show. These provide an emotive and evocative backdrop for our actress’s progression, her every decision, excitement, hope and disappointment throughout 80 minutes that will keep you riveted. And then there is the ‘RPG’ (Random Props Guy) – someone who we actually all need and deserve in our lives – played by Nathan Ro, who is there to provide much needed support at any and every given moment: from providing emergency wine and coffee (in a homey, welcoming SA mug), to performing lightning-fast circumcisions (words that should probably never be put together in a sentence!), he’s there with stoic, dead-pan hilarity!Director Daniel Keith Geddes needs no introduction – he’s achieved something special here as the players move around with accomplished speed and seamless elegance. And then … Talia herself … WOW! More than a triple threat as we see her reveal her heart and soul on that stage. To act, dance and sing superbly is one thing, but to expose one’s vulnerability at all the additional roles that we know, but rarely acknowledge, that a young woman in this industry plays: daughter, friend, wife and mother … takes enormous strength, courage and more raw talent than many performers will ever possess in a lifetime! As she takes us along on a journey of emotional peaks and valleys in the life and times of an actress trying to have it all, while being everything to everyone, we can’t help but feel the mounting pressure that she herself is feeling trying to juggle everything and everyone at once. When reality comes crashing down the devastion is huge, and Kodesh’s portrayal of it is raw and real … but so is the realization that she can turn it around and create something that will work for her, for her life and circumstances as they are in that moment. Because that is the versatility and gift of the ACTRESS! Having Collett Dawson of The CoLab Network as producer of this stellar piece is an inspired move. Collett pours her all into the projects she works on and this one is no different! ACTRESS is onstage at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre & Studio until 8 October and is not to be missed!

A TRIUMPH! Especially as this is a homegrown production- an excellent entertainment experience! A high five to actress Talia Kodesh, Nathan Ro – the ‘extra’ and Bruce Dennill – who composed the original music and lyrics! Thank you Collett Dawson for managing part of the PR so well! A highly recommended experience ! Don’t miss this!

What roles do you play in your everyday life? Partner? Parent? Student? Teacher? ‘Actress’, now onstage at the Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre & Studio sets out to define the daily roles played by our lead character of ‘Actress’. This new one-woman, pocket musical, stars Talia Kodesh (‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Cats’, ‘We Will Rock You’) in the title role. However, Kodesh is not only the face of the show, but she also forms a part of the brains behind the writing of the show alongside Bruce Dennill, who also took on the role of composer and lyricist, and Daniel Geddes, who performs the role of director for this production. Kodesh performs her heart out from the get-go, as an actress who made the move to New York City seeking their big break but soon realises that home is where the heart is and returns to South Africa. Throughout the 90-minute performance, Talia takes you on a journey through one woman’s eyes as she tries to balance life as a parent, wife, actress, daughter and teacher, goes through many highs and lows and learns to accept that life is never constant. The show started as a passion project for Kodesh whilst she was living in New York City in 2010. It wasn’t until 2020 that Kodesh found the missing piece for her show in Dennill, which gave the final push to finally bring this story to the stage. After 13 years, it’s great to see her vision come to life. The production has a simple set which consists of an exposed stage filled with road cases and 9 multicoloured boxes, which move around the stage and help create locations, modes of transportation and furniture within the world in which our actress resides. However, there is one essential world defining tool, which I have yet to mention. This production may be defined as a one woman show, however, Kodesh is not alone on stage. Throughout the show we see her Random Props Guy (RPG), played by Nathan Ro, appear and disappear like a highly skilled, yet incredibly awkward, stage ninja. RPG also stands in for a variety of other characters, including husband, doctor, wardrobe mistress and an entire school of children (to understand more, you have to see it for yourself). This production has the capability to relate to and tell so many people’s stories of change, success, failure, parenthood, ambition and love all whilst being scored by an exciting new list of songs that you’ll be humming along to on your drive back home. ‘Actress’ will be on at the Pieter Torien Studio Theatre stage from 27 September to 8 October. Tickets are available on Webtickets.

Review by Erin & Caron

ACTRESS opens, an original pocket musical with the beautiful triple threat Talia Kodesh, joined by Nathan Ro as the Props Guy adding stability and humour, and a seriously fantastic song book by Bruce Dennill. It’s a very funny and very sad 80 minute narrative of dreams, reality and motherhood. With ruby slippers, wine and a fascinating Mondriaan-inspired moving set. If ever there was love in a room, last night was it. Congratulations Collett Dawson and Daniel Keith Geddes on a piece that has lived up to its hype.


With the gorgeous Talia Kodesh. For years I have been trying to think of a word/s that describe the emotions of moving away from SA and starting a new life in a different country…..TALIA KODESH came close to finding those words last night in her brilliant, one-woman, musical dramedy, ACTRESS. A mixture of grateful, guilty, hopeful, sad, lonely, worried, feeling like you’ve failed, disconnected, cold, happy, sad, excited, amazed, home-sick, desperately wanting to come home, fine, awestruck by where you are, hopeful again, excited, happy, sad…I think I might start calling it the Talia feeling. For all our problems in SA (and Africa) we share a sense of community and incomparable African warmth which Talia conveys in this show and she embraces it with joy. And then she does it again when she embraces the journey of becoming a Mum – the myriad emotions that are the universal language of mothers. Talia’s Mum’s important presence in her life is tangible throughout this show and the role that Talia plays when she becomes a Mum is her most applauded and complicated role ever. But, I should be talking about the show. What an absolute joy to watch Talia on stage. She is a phenomenal singer, actor and dancer and we loved every minute. The set is brilliantly simple and Nathan Ro is an inspired prop. He is perfectly bland. The original music by Bruce Denill is haunting and emotive and just lovely and the story is carried through the lyrics of each song. Congratulations, Daniel Geddes and Collett Dawson! What a wonderful piece of work. GO AND SEE THIS SHOW. It is a work filled with love and emotion. On till 8 October. Book through Webtickets: Or call the box office on 011 511 1988

Phenomenal show at Pieter Toerien Theatre. Great music, raw passion and fabulous staging. Catch it before it moves on. #theatre #winning #musical

This is a masterpiece of theatre. DO NOT MISS IT. You will cry, you will laugh and your soul will be forever changed. @taliakodesh you are extraordinary @brucedennill what have you done? What have you done?? And I don’t know @nathanro but I really want to know you because you are brilliant.

I’ve seen a few productions recently which have left me asking ‘what was the point of that?’ Then you see one like this and you know the difference. Thank you Bruce and Collett, and of course Talia, Nathan and all involved. It’s hard to accurately describe – clever, funny, relevant, very well acted, staged and directed – but different too. A ‘don’t miss’ in my opinion. Standing ovation so it seems my view was shared.

ACTRESS.. a pocket musical at Pieter Toerien Montecasino Studio opened tonight and received a well deserved standing ovation . Talia Kodesh is “ACTRESS” and she is superb. Music and lyrics by the fabulous Bruce Dennill and it’s wondrous. Brand new music which reminded me a bit of TELL ME ON A SUNDAY.. similar style . Direction by Daniel Geddes, lighting Denis Hutchinson, sets and costume Sarah Roberts all masters of their craft. Produced by CoLab Network and hopefully we will see more of this collaboration. Nathan Ro is a delightful addition to this production Go And See It !!!!

We don’t get the time to get out much but with the encouragement of Collett Dawson tonight myself, Matthew Marinus with malakai in tow (which is always terrifying in a theatre situation!) went to see Actress with the stunning Talia Kodesh. I have never cried so much to the point where I thought if the lights came up at one point, people would think I was mad. As moms we learn to juggle, we learn to change, we learn to accept the new and at some point that ahha moment and what is really important in life hits us. This is so much more than a musical (although the music by Bruce Dennill and direction by Daniel Geddes was sensational) I felt like I was watching my life on stage and feeling every single moment and when malakai said “mommy is this about you?” It nearly finished me off! This show is special in the simplest way and Talia connects with every moment. Well done to everyone on something so very special and also a shout out to Nathan Ro who managed to make me laugh in between the tears ! Original material is a hard one to present to an audience, but this team have managed triumph. Go see it.

The show is superb! It has been played to a full house so if you want to see it – MOVE (and you should see it!)!
Bruce Dennill, Nathan Ro, Collett Dawson and Talia, what a fantastic achievement! Well done and all the best for the many return performances!
So good to see Talia Kodesh on stage in Actress last week, Written by good friend Bruce Dennill.
The show hits with a familiarity to not only those of us with careers in the creative industry but also as women, mothers, people that need to make choices and decisions about life and what we do. The roles we are expected to take to make, to be happy the timing. How many times we need to move, get up, get going !
Nathan Ro is fantastic as so many things on stage, in a dry and wandering way.
The set by Sarah Roberts is a Mondrian work that moves around the stage and morphs into what is needed, your imagination needs to do the rest. Daniel Keith Geddes has done a great job using the set and spaces and working with the 2 performers on the stage with the set,
It’s wonderful seeing Talia on stage, the music is fabulous and it’s a “our story”. Bruce’s music is refreshing and the lyrics truthful and light.
Homegrown talent indeed that we can be proud of and enjoy. Only on until Sunday so do go and see it.




Saw the phenomenal ‘pocket musical’ 𝘈𝘤𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴 on Friday night. Running at Montecasino’s Studio Theatre, Talia Kodesh performs in this one-woman show, and her acting, dancing and powerful singing chops are on full display here. It tells the story of a South African woman in New York trying to make it as a performer, before returning to South Africa and finding her feet in performing again. And then life intervenes, as it does, and she’s forced to make some difficult choices. While not explored in detail, 𝘈𝘤𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘴 touches on the difficulties that women face, when they are forced to choose between motherhood and/or a professional career. Written with Bruce Dennill, who also wrote the music, which ranges from soft melodies to gutsy showstoppers, Kodesh imbues her portrayal with pathos, wit and a lot of funnies along the way. Joining her on stage is Nathan Ro as ‘RPG, Random Prop Guy’, who complements the show with his wry facial expressions. This is world-class theatre, see it before it ends its run this weekend.
Having performed in major musicals such as Beauty and the Beast, Rent, Chicago, and the more intimate musical The Last Five Years, Talia Kodesh makes a triumphant return to the stage, after taking some time off, in the new original pocket musical, ‘Actress’.
This original musical, conceived and written by Talia and Bruce Dennill, and under the brilliant and innovative direction of Daniel Geddes, take us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, laughter, and storytelling, reminding us anything is possible (no matter who you are, or where you are) when you set your mind to it.
From the bustling, fast-paced, and crowded, New York to returning home to South Africa, ‘Actress’, delves into the life of a woman juggling the roles of an artist, mother, wife, and more, portraying the complexities of her journey, and the unwavering support of family, friends and loved ones.
As a musical storyteller Bruce’s (eight) original songs each added depth to ‘Actress’s’ narrative, while Talia’s powerful voice captivated the audience.
A special mention must go out to Random Props Guy, Nathan Ro, who played the perfect supporting guy to the leading lady.
With ingenious set and costume design by Sarah Roberts, masterful lighting by Denis Hutchinson, and producer Collett Dawson, ‘Actress’ is an absolute MUST-see.
‘Actress’ is on stage at the Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre & Studio, Montecasino until Sunday, 8 October 2023.