Presented and performed by stage and TV personality Jailoshini Naidoo, Funniest Moments, a special tribute to Durban’s legendary playwright Ronnie Govender, will be staged at Sibaya Casino’s iZulu Theatre from 16 to 19 April 2015.
Two Lifetime achievements awards, declared a Living Legend by KZN’s Premier’s office, an Honorary Doctorate from DUT … the list of awards for Ronnie Govender goes on, marking a lifetime of splendid achievement, notable among which is his highly-entertaining and thought-provoking body of plays.
Who can forget SA’s longest running play, The Lahnee’s Pleasure, or celebrated Govender titles such as At The Edge, 1949, Off-Side!, In-Side!, Beyond Calvary and Swami among others? These works offer hilarity at its highest, and bathos at its most moving.
In honour of the recent 80th Birthday of this giant of the theatre, award-winning actress Jailoshini Naidoo, formidable in her own right as an artist, has put together Funniest Moments, a thoroughly entertaining pastiche of memorable excerpts from Ronnie Govender’s outstanding plays.
This theatrical treat presented by Durban’s actress par excellence, stars Jailoshini in what promises to be a roller-coaster ride of superb entertainment. The much-loved star will be supported by two other luminaries of the stage, the brilliant singer/muso Ramesh Hassen and well-known actor Henry Ramkissoon (of The Dingalings fame), who has established himself as an outstanding comic.
Says Jailoshini: “Last year Ronnie Govender turned 80. The thought that went through my mind was that this was a milestone in the brilliant career of a writer and director who has been widely honoured over the years. The unswerving, often lone struggle by this stalwart to establish non-racial theatre and his eventual list of outstanding productions is well known. Yet while the country aptly celebrated the 80th birthday of another luminary, Athol Fugard, we neglected to do so with our own multi award-winning playwright. This is what motivated me, with Govender’s permission, to put this production together.”
Having worked under Ronnie Govender often, Jailoshini is well acquainted with his several box office hits, notably The Lahnee’s Pleasure, and the internationally acclaimed At The Edge and 1949 which were based on true stories from his Commonwealth Award-winning book, At The Edge and Other Cato Manor Stories.
“While it was a labour of love, I must confess that selecting excerpts from all these wonderful plays for Funniest Moments was a nightmare – simply because I had a hard time deciding what to leave out,” Jailoshini observes. The production promises a wealth of hilarious and moving moments selected from over 16 plays written and directed by Govender over a span of 35 years.
Performances of Funniest Moments are at: 8pm on Thursday 16 April and Friday 17 April; at 8.30pm on Saturday 18 April; and at 3pm and 6pm on Sunday 19 April. Tickets at R120 are available at Computicket outlets at Shoprite Checkers, or by phone at 0861 915 8000 or online at www.computicket.com. Early booking is advised to avoid disappointment.
-Interviews & photos available on request-