How Long? – Opera Theatre until 27 May
Presented by The Playhouse Company, Gibson Kente’s renowned township musical, How Long? runs in the Playhouse Opera until 27 May. Directed by Duma Ndlovu with choreography by Somizi Mhlongo the production features a powerhouse cast headed by Thembi Mtshali, Phindile Gwala, Khaya Dladla and Mondli Makhoba with the live musical backing by the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra and band. Show times for this not-to-be-missed production are: Fridays at 19h00; Saturdays at 14h00 and 19h00; and Sundays at 14h00. Tickets range from R100 to R150. Book at Computicket 0861 915 8000, or online at www.computicket.com. Alternatively call Playhouse Box Office on 031-369 9540 or 369 9596 (office hours). Special school performances from Tuesdays to Thursdays at 10h00 are available at R30 per scholar. Bookings for these performances are through telephone: 031-369 9460/07 or email email@example.com.
Touch My Blood – Grand Foyer, 16 to 20 May
Featuring on this year’s Playhouse New Stages roster, Touch My Blood is part of The Playhouse Company Actors’ Studio incubation programme. Directed by Matjamela Motloung, this stage adaptation of author Fred Khumalo’s autobiography depicts a young man growing up in Hammersdale Township, just outside Durban. Through him we are taken back to the vibrant eighties – when every young man worth his salt had the Afro, the bell bottom trousers and platform shoes that went alongside a time of fear and madness, and the division (both political and radical) that shook that part of Durban. Touch My Blood allows you to heal; it rewinds the tape, allowing you to witness some of what happened in South Africa. You are not only left with anger, but shake your head and laugh.
Ukuzinza – Playhouse Drama Theatre, 24 to 27 May
It is said that when you are born in Africa, Africa is born in you. A continent of great promises, it is the place where we can be ourselves and the place where we can remake ourselves in the image of our dreams, Africa. It is a land full of rich culture, traditions, beliefs and hopes. Africa is our home. This is the premise that underpins Ukuzinza, an in-house Playhouse Company production created as part of the Playhouse Dance Residency programme. Choreographed by Mzo Gasa, it runs in the Playhouse Drama Theatre from 23 to 27 May.
Whistle Stop – Playhouse Loft Theatre, 24 to 27 May
Directed by Frances Slabolepszy, this acclaimed two-hander 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. Conceived as a tribute to the work of the legendary British playwright and actor Steven Berkoff, the piece, written by Patel, sensitively and charmingly explores modern urban relationships. Through a combination of cutting, rapid-fire dialogue and intense physical embodiment, the text explodes off the stage and takes the audience on a comedic rollercoaster ride through past, present, and future possible relationship dilemmas.
Dialogue – Disrupting Patriarchy, Drama Theatre, 25 May at 12h00
In a quest 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 polarized in so many ways. Chaired by UKZN Gender Education Specialist, Dr Bronwynne Anderson, the panel will include: Ubuntu Community Chest Social Worker, Ms Zama Mabaso; UKZN Masters Student, Nkonzo Mkhize, a Research Assistant at the Centre for Visual Methodologies for Social Change; Ms Wendy Augustine, a Trauma Councilor at the Victim Friendly Centre; Ms Pinkie Mtshali, Music Director at Emanuel Cathedral; and Mduduzi Majola of the South African Police Force.
New Stages Fringe – Loft Theatre, 11 & 12 May and 18 & 19 May
The Playhouse Company’s 2018 New Stages Fringe comprises eight Community Theatre Productions. Please note that these productions are PG13 and above. The shows are presented as double bills, on 11 & 12 May, and on 18 & 19 May.
Double Bill 1: Lost Bundle & Umsuka: 11 & 12 May @ 12h00
A drama performed by Intuba Arts Development group, Lost Bundle revolves around the trials a young woman who lives with her disabled mother. 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.
Double Bill 2: The Secret Box & World: 11 & 12 May @ 15h00
The Secret Box, an Unyezi theatre project, depicts two people trapped in the walls of hope, while aiming to confess what they have done in the past. World, an Edgy Drama Mix Production, depicts challenges that youth face growing up in a harsh environment.
Double Bill 3: Ubambo Lwami & I Married My Father: 18 May @ 12h00 & 15h00
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.
Double Bill 4: The Last Chapter & My Journey: 19 May @ 12h00 & 15h00
iThubalabasha Theatre Company’s The Last Chapter is a coming-of-age story about an 18-year old youth facing his father’s spiritual legacy. Performed by the Siyathuthuka group, My Journey depicts a girl who grows up not knowing her identity but knowing her dreams.
Africa aLive: Pop-up Fashion Installation – 25 & 26 May
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. This runs on Saturday 26 May from 17h00 to 17h45 in the Grand Foyer. By way of a sneak preview to the event, Pop Up stalls with Mannequins will be set up in the Main Foyer on Friday 25 May from 16h00.
Arts & Crafts Exhibition - 11 - 25 May
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 10h00 where upcoming local bands get to show their paces: a Sundowners concerts on 25 May at 17h00 for established bands, and another Sundowner’s concert on 26 May at 17h00 for established bands and poets.
For further particulars, booking details and performance times with regard to all New Stages shows, log onto www.playhousecompany.com or call 031-369 9540 (office hours).