Press: Compelling dark comedy explores facade of perfect marriage

November 13, 2015

In an exciting Cape Town premiere, Page to Stage Productions presents Michael Gow’s award-winning Sweet Phoebe. It will be performed at Alexander Bar and Theatre from 23 to 28 November at 7pm. 


Helen and Frazer have it sussed. They have the perfect job, the perfect house, the perfect marriage!  Everything is in fact perfect!   And then in walks Phoebe...


Written by acclaimed Australian playwright Michael Gow (Away; Toy Symphony), Sweet Phoebe is a superb dark comedy in which sensible priorities are forgotten, marriage is laid bare and a well adjusted suburban lifestyle lurches out of control. Sweet Phoebe is also famous as the play that launched the international career of Oscar winning actress Cate Blanchett.


Directed by Paul Griffiths (Cock; I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; EDGES) the show features Genna Galloway, who has been dazzling audiences with her musical comedy Dragging 30, and touring internationally with The Sound of Music, with popular actor Matt Newman, who was recently seen at Alexander Bar in Cock.

“We all have relationships, or maybe marriages, that we engage in with our own set of rules,” says Griffiths. “It’s interesting to explore the dynamic that happens between two people when those rules are thrown into disarray. Sweet Phoebe is a darkly witty, but poignant, exploration of this, which might make us feel better about our own lives!”.


Paul Griffiths extensive experience started in musical theatre productions such as Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Peter Pan, Camelot, Mame, Fiddler on the Roof and Maynardville in The Taming of the Shrew. He then moved to London where he spent the next eight years, completing an MA with Distinction in Theatre Directing from Middlesex University – a course which included modules at The GITIS Conservatory in Moscow, RESAD Drama School in Madrid and master classes from The Berliner Ensemble.  He was Education Associate for The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond where he directed the theatre's Shakespeare-in-Schools Programme and was then appointed as Associate Director and was Acting Artistic Director of The Bridewell Theatre. In 2006 Paul was appointed head of Drama and Musical Theatre at the Waterfront Theatre School, where he has directed many productions,  and his company 'Big Leaf Productions" is producing numerous national plays and musicals. His freelance directing credits in recent years include Cock , EDGES and I Love, You're Perfect, Now Change.


Genna Galloway is already a veteran of musical theatre and has performed in a wide range of major productions, in South Africa and internationally. Credits include Showboat;   Thoroughly Modern Millie; Rent; We Will Rock You; Cats; Noah of Cape Town; Grease; Dirty Dancing and The Sound of Music.


Genna appeared in Disney’s production of Beauty and the Beast, produced by Hazel Feldman and Pieter Toerien and has assisted and choreographed for the return of Seussical Jr. at the National Children’s Theatre. She played Carabosse in Imagine Theatre’s production of Sleeping Beauty in England;  was part of the unique and exciting cooking musical, Chef, Rattle and Roll, at The Globe Theatre, Gold Reef City and added to her choreographic résumé with Annie Jr. at the National Children’s Theatre. Genna is also part of the highly acclaimed five part harmony girl group, The Brunettes, who have toured internationally and are in great demand for corporate events. She also performed as lead vocalist in FollowSpot’s Big Girls and Another Day at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival and the Cape Town Fringe Festival, before returning home to write, produce and star in her own comedy cabaret, Dragging 30 which will continue to tour nationally in 2016.


Matt Newman has been seen on stage in Cape Town as M in COCK and as Andrew in The Treatment. Other theatre roles in the UK include Gremio in The Taming of the Shrew (Southwark Playhouse, London); Tom Snout in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Guildford Shakespeare Company);  Robin in Robin Hood (Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds); Brad in The Rocky Horror Show (Civic Theatre, Chelmsford) and They’re Playing Our Song (English Theatre, Frankfurt). Recent television credits include Strike Back III (HBO) and Bluestone 42 (BBC Television).


Sweet Phoebe will be performed from 23 to 28 November at 7pm. Advisory: strong language.  Tickets cost R90 or R80 online. Bookings can be made at


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