Heady mix of arts at Playhouse

Thobani Gama as Fred with Phumelele Majola, Okuhle Danti, Fezeka Shandu, Ayanda Nyawo and Simphiwe Dladla as the 'Voices' in Touch My Blood. PHOTO: Val Adamson

THE Playhouse Company’s 2018 New Stages season features a heady mix of arts genres at the Playhouse complex between 16 and 27 May.

A mainstage production this year is Touch My Blood. Part of The Playhouse Company Actors’ Studio incubation programme and directed by Matjamela Motloung, this plays in The Grand Foyer from 16 to 20 May. The work focuses on a tale of a young man growing up in Hammarsdale, just outside Durban.

It is said that when you are born in Africa, Africa is born in you. It is a land full of rich culture, traditions, beliefs and hopes. This is the premise that underpins Ukuzinza, an in-house Playhouse Company production created as part of the Playhouse Dance Residency programme which runs in the Playhouse Drama Theatre from 23 to 27 May.

Playing in The Loft from 24 to 27 May is the two-hander Whistle Stop. Under the meticulous direction of Frances Slabolepszy, it features the award-winning duo and real-life couple Ameera Patel and Jaques de Silva who unpack the dynamics of a single meeting between a man and a woman on a park bench.

Ameera Patel and Jaques da Silva in Whistle Stop.

A Dialogue session focusing on the theme Disrupting Patriarchy takes place in the Playhouse Drama theatre on 25 May at noon. To understand and challenge the ways in which patriarchy (male dominance) privileges males and disadvantages females, this session aims to stimulate a debate examining how men and woman in relationships and work places, as well as boys and girls in schools and higher education, engage with each other in these spaces, but are polarised in so many ways.

The Playhouse Company’s 2018 New Stages Fringe comprises eight community theatre productions playing in The Loft. On 11 and 12 May at noon, the first of four double bills features Lost Bundle and The Last Chapter. Lost Bundle revolves around the trials of a young woman who lives with her disabled mother and The Last Chapter is a coming-of-age story about an 18-year old youth facing his father’s spiritual legacy.

The second double bill, comprising shows titled My Journey and World, plays on 11 and 12 May at 3pm. Performed by the Siyathuthuka group, My Journey depicts a girl who grows up not knowing her identity but knowing her dreams.

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The third double bill plays on the Fringe on 18 and 19 May at noon. This features The Secret Box and Umsuka. The Secret Box depicts two people trapped in the walls of hope, while aiming to confess what they have done in the past. Umsuka, a Siwela Sonke dance piece told through powerful movement, music and images, tackles the issue of old family secrets when the new generation starts questioning.

The final double bill plays on the Fringe is on 18 and 19 May at 3pm and includes Ubambo Lwami and I Married My Father. Ubambo Lwami, a Phakama Dance Theatre production, presents three characters struggling to stay open minded as they face what is foreign to them. I Married My Father, performed by Dannhauser Active Rural Women Ensemble, portrays a young woman whose chance of happiness is compromised by her mother’s involvement with a married man.

Curated by Creative Director Derrick Mhlongo, Africa aLive: Pop-up Fashion Installation will showcase a high-end couture extravaganza of “A” List South African Designers, on Saturday 26 May from 5pm to 5.45pm in the Grand Foyer.

New Stages 2018 also features a series of arts and crafts exhibitions in the Main Foyer, with openings on 11 and 12 May, 18, 19 and 20 May, and 24 and 25 May.

Complementing the festival line-up are a Test Drive session on 25 May at 10am where upcoming local bands get to show their paces, a Sundowners concerts on 25 May at 5pm for established bands, and another Sundowner’s concert on 26 May at 5pm for established bands and poets .

For further particulars, booking details and performance times visit: www.playhousecompany.com or contact 031 369 9540 (office hours).

 

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  AUTHOR
Lauren Walford
Journalist

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