Press: David Kramer Adapts Hilarious Hit Rom Com ‘Happy New Year’ for SA Premiere at the Fugard Theatre

Eric Abraham and The Fugard Theatre present the South African premiere of HAPPY NEW YEAR, a hilarious, heart-warming rom com, adapted by South African icon David Kramer from the hit, award-winning play MIDSUMMER (A Play With Songs) by David Greig and Gordon McIntyre.  


HAPPY NEW YEAR will be presented from 19 February 2019 in The Fugard Studio Theatre and bookings are now open through The Fugard Theatre box office and website.


Directed by internationally acclaimed director and former Artistic Director of The Tricycle Theatre in London, Nicolas Kent, the cast stars popular actors Bianca Flanders (Krotoa – Eva Van De Kaap, The Demon Bride, Aunty Merle the Musical, Blood Brothers, Orpheus in Africa, Kristalvlakte) as Lee-André, and Dean Balie (Orpheus in Africa, Blood Brothers, Kat and the Kings, Hamlet, Babbelagtig, Sweet Bird of Youth), as Dan.


Whilst at The Tricycle Theatre, Nicolas Kent brought David Kramer’s Kat and the Kings and three more of his shows to London and recently Kent suggested this play would make a happy South African adaptation, thus the collaboration.


High flying divorce lawyer Lee-André meets car salesman and small-time criminal Dan in a bar one midsummer’s night when the married man she’s been seeing cancels their date. She’s out of Dan’s league, he’s totally not her type, but when these two disparate souls come together, a wild weekend of alcohol-infused adventure and abandon ensues. Between bridge-burning, car chases, wedding bust ups and self-loathing hangovers, they discover they are not so different after all, and that maybe there are second chances at life – and love.


The original production of MIDSUMMER (A Play With Songs) won the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe,  and garnered praise such as, ‘an exhilarating theatrical journey… you float out laughing as if you've just swallowed sunshine on a spoon’ (The Guardian), ‘theatrical ingenuity’ (The New York Times), ‘riotously funny as it is touchingly romantic’ (Variety), ‘a joyous romp’  (The Independent) and ‘beautifully written, combining sharp dialogue with evocative description and passages’ (The Telegraph).


“HAPPY NEW YEAR is a delightful and refreshing twist on a rom-com,” says Daniel Galloway, Managing Director of The Fugard Theatre. “It is honest, down to earth and deliciously hilarious – a brilliant piece of storytelling with wonderful songs. We are honoured to have South Africa’s own David Kramer adapting this universal and musical tale of love, hope and acceptance to resonate more deeply with our local audiences.”

Director Nicolas Kent has directed productions in over 100 theatres around the world including the West End and New York; as well as for notable companies in Great Britain including The National Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal Court, The Donmar Warehouse, The Hampstead Theatre, the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith and the Young Vic. From 1984 to 2012 he was Artistic Director of the Tricycle Theatre in London, where the verbatim plays he directed became known as the Tricycle Tribunal plays, and included The Colour of Justice (the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry), Nuremberg, Srebrenica, Bloody Sunday (Olivier Award for Special Achievement), Guantanamo & The Riots. Most of which were broadcast by the BBC, and two which were performed in the Houses of Parliament and one on Capitol Hill.


David Kramer is a national treasure and needs no introduction to South African audiences. His latest smash hit musical, LANGARM, is currently playing at The Fugard Theatre and marks his fifth production with the Theatre. Together with the late Taliep Petersen, he created six musicals which enjoyed enormous local and international success, including the Laurence Olivier Award winning Kat and the Kings which played on Broadway and the West End. He adapted Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers to a local setting, which was produced by The Fugard Theatre and Pieter Toerien Productions in 2012. His numerous awards and accolades include honorary Doctorates from the University of Stellenbosch and the University of Cape Town and a career highlight was performing at Carnegie Hall showcasing the music of the Cape.


HAPPY NEW YEAR is adapted by David Kramer from the original MIDSUMMER (A Play With Songs) by David Greig and Gordon McIntyre. Direction is by Nicolas Kent, Set Design is by Chris Pienaar, Costume Design by Widaad Albertus, Lighting Design by Marie Roux, Sound Design is by David Classen and Illustration is by Lucie de Moyencourt.


HAPPY NEW YEAR will be performed from 19 February 2019 Tuesday to Saturday at 8pm with matinees at 4pm on Saturdays. There is a recommend age advisory of 14 years with parental guidance (SL).


Tickets from R160 to R220 can be booked through The Fugard Theatre box office on 021 461 4554 or through The Fugard Theatre’s website at


There is a 20% discount available for the Friends of The Fugard members on Wednesdays to Saturdays, a 15% discount for pensioners and 10% discount for students. These discounted tickets can be booked through the Fugard Theatre box office. Not yet a Friends of the Fugard member? Sign up now at the box office or online for priority booking and great specials!


Please note: Latecomers will not be admitted until a suitable break or interval. Access to The Studio Theatre is via two flights of stairs, if assistance is required kindly enquire at the box office.


Visit the cosy ground-floor bar for a before and after show drink and delicious snacks. If the weather plays along, enjoy the panoramic city views from The Fugard Theatre’s fantastic rooftop bar. There is secure parking for a small fee directly opposite The Fugard Theatre in Harrington Square.


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