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Pinocchio – It’s a Real Panto!

Kanyi Nokwe (Pinocchio) 2The minute that invitation to the annual year-end pantomime hits your Inbox, your heart gives a little thump of joy … and not just because it signifies that the holidays are around the corner!

This is Janice Honeyman’s 30th pantomime, which is an achievement in itself. The fact that she continues to get it right, drawing in audiences, surprising and delighting the crowds every year, is a testament to her sheer talent and skill. She has a gift of knowing the perfect recipe to thrill her audiences, and Pinocchio, her offering this year is certainly no different. There’s just the right balance of innuendo, political lampooning and catchy tunes (both new and old) to hold the attention of all ages throughout the show. This combines with some truly eye-popping, phenomenal sets and an energetic cast who are all clearly fully immersed in the magical world they’re responsible for creating.

I’m positive that part of Janice’s ongoing ability to succeed at exciting her panto audiences year in and year out, is her own inclusive participation in the process. She’s not merely a writer and director who sits back and watches things happen statically as she’s penned it. When I interviewed some of the cast members during the rehearsal process, the common thread they all spoke about was Janice’s method of character development: allowing each actor to make the role their own and not merely something she’d put down on paper.

Returning to the age-old panto tradition of females taking on male lead roles, Pinocchio, the little wooden puppet who yearns to be a ‘real boy’, is played by Kanyi Nokwe who gives a stellar performance. Her endearing wonderment at the world around her/him is delightful, as is her excellent portrayal of a puppet, unable to move as fluidly as her human counterparts.

Pinocchio'17 (225)The much-loved Tobie Cronje returns to the panto stage as the bumbling Geppetto, who’s always longed for a son. He’s pursued by the hilarious Dame Arletti Spaghetti, played with uproarious aplomb by Grant Towers, in bright, brash, full-on technicolour! She happens to conveniently have a son available, the lazy Lampwick played with appropriate ‘too cool for school’ laid back, nonchalance by Ben Kgosimore. For some reason though, he’s not quite what Gepetto’s looking for in an offspring!

Mark Tatham (Cricket) & Ilse Klink (Bella, Blues Fairy)Mark Tatham bounces around the stage with boundless (actually, seemingly endless) vim and verve as a rather whimsical Jiminy Cricket, instructed by Bella Bouboulina, The Blues Fairy (you read that right – she’s a ‘Blues’ fairy with Southern flair) to be Pinocchio’s conscience. Ilse Klink, seasoned professional of SA stage and screen gives the role her own sprinkling of sparkling pizazz: she’s classy, funny, playful and just the right amount of bossy when she needs to be!

Andre Schwartz (Fox) & Chi Mhende (Cat)And panto always needs its villains doesn’t it? This year, we have André Schwartz as Il Fortunato the Fox who, although not quite as evil as his previous panto counterparts, is quite happy to ham it up as a foxy Phantom of the Opera – it’s inspired and the audience adored it! He’s accompanied by the brilliant Chi Mhende as Pussy Galore. Her claws are permanently out, and she’s wicked enough for the both of them!

The lighting and special effects are spectacular, all complemented by a tight, dynamic ensemble, complete with fresh-faced youngsters from Born to Perform (Stageworx School of Performing Arts).

Pinocchio'17 (21)Being panto, one does tend to slightly lose sight of the theme of the original story being told as it usually gets diluted in the inevitable tweaking of the plot. The actual background of Pinocchio is particularly pertinent to this time of year. It’s all about family values, listening to your conscience and doing the right thing despite all the pressure that’s thrown at you from all sides – and in this day and age it does seem that this happens literally from the day you’re born, as happens to Pinocchio, who candidly proclaims “I’m only one day old!” He still needs to muddle through the ups and downs of the challenges he’s faced with, as one does in life, learning who he can and can’t trust along the way, and having a whole bunch of entertaining and hair-raising adventures while doing so. And we, the audience, are lucky enough to join him on the journey.

Pinocchio, The Ultimate Pantomime Adventure is currently on the Mandela Stage of the Joburg Theatre until December 30th 2017.

To purchase tickets, visit www.joburgtheatre.com or call 0861 670 670.  Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Joburg Theatre box office or by booking and paying via the Nedbank app and at selected Pick n Pay stores.

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PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT

HOP ON THE BUS TO FABULOUS!

PQD DIVA's Credit Lance Peterson

Divas Candida Mosomo, Londiwe Dhlomo & Tembeka Mnguni – Photo Credit: Lance Peterson

From the minute the curtain goes up and the cast of Priscilla Queen of the Desert launches into their enthusiastic, energetic opening number: It’s Raining Men – complete with 3 sparkly, shimmering Diva’s suspended above their heads – you know you’re in for a helluva ride! And that’s exactly what you get when you take your seat for this proudly South African production that takes you on the journey of a lifetime across the Australian outback.

In case you don’t know, this is the touching story of three drag queens who travel across Australia on a rather decrepit bus, which they fondly name Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. On their journey they discover the true meaning of friendship, love and unfortunately also meet up with the animosity that accompanies those who have no understanding of anyone or anything ‘different’. It’s a timeless tale of how strong bonds are formed, how hatred and derision continue to exist despite the advances that we think are being made, and how ultimately we all have the need to be accepted for who we are, regardless of our differences.

Daniel Buys is perfect in the role of Tick (Mitzi); delightfully up-beat, while seamlessly able to shift into a more restrained, reflective mood when his role requires it. And it’s certainly needed as he secretly has more than one reason to be schlepping around the

DAVID DENNIS, DANIEL BUYS and PHILLIP SCHNETLER Priscilla Photo NARDUS ENGELBRECHT 156

David Dennis, Daniel Buys, Phillip Schnetler – Photo Credit: Nardus Engelbrecht

outback in a broken-down bus! He ropes in flighty Adam (Felicia) to join him on his mission, and Felicia has a goal of her very own. Apart from just wanting to have a good time, she’s always wanted to belt out a Kylie number on top of Ayers rock, because who doesn’t love the thought of ‘a cock in a frock on a rock’! Phillip Schnetler camps up the role with spot-on, screaming hilarity (and a touch of Jack from Will & Grace)! The trio is complete with dignified, slightly aging transsexual Bernadette who feels she’s possibly past her prime, but willing to go out with a bang (so to speak!). David Dennis plays the role with gracious grandeur, back-biting as wickedly as any self-respecting old queen would! And I just have to add here, out of these three, I just can’t decide who has the best pair of legs … they’re all to die for!!

Tshepo Ncokoane in Priscilla. Credit NARDUS ENGELBRECHT 16

Tshepo Ncokoane – Photo credit: Nardus Engelbrecht

Mentions must go to the all too fabulous, stupendously over-the-top Miss-Understanding, Tshepo Ncokoane; Candice van Litsenborgh who hams it up as the most hilarious mullet ever, complete with humungous boobs bouncing all over the stage (almost); Chantal Herman as a cheeky mail-order bride who’s sick and tired of being overlooked; and last but most definitely not least, veteran actor, James Borthwick who plays the simple, but simply adorable, big-hearted mechanic, who might just have more to him than meets the eye.

Ultimately though, producers Hazel Feldman and Tony Feldman of Showtime Management have put together a cracker of a team who have have masterfully overseen all the minutiae of this show, ensuring that they collaborate perfectly to make it the glitter and glitz extravaganza that it is. Director Anton Luitingh keeps things crisp, smart and snappy and technical director Alistair Kilbee oversees the constant ebb and flow of the pizazz that abounds throughout. Resident choreographer, Duane Alexander ensures (I have no clue how) that the 28-strong cast gets every step in synch, in heels nogal!  Brian Schimmel, one of SA’s top music directors leads the 9-piece orchestra through numerous well-loved numbers (I Say a Little Prayer, Don’t Leave Me This Way, True Colours, I Will Survive … and many more) that will have audiences singing at the top of their lungs, not only during the show, but when they leave too!

And as for the costumes … the headdresses, the shoes … they’ll simply take your breath away! There’s so much colour, so much to look at … it’s a feast for the eyes and an extreme celebration of the imagination!

HR I WILL SURVIVE, Priscilla. Credit- Nardus Engelbrecht

Photo credit: Nardus Engelbrecht

Best of all though is the utter enjoyment that shines from the face of each and every cast member. This is a show that begs for an audience, and has audiences begging for more

Priscilla Queen of the Desert is a must-see. It’s fabulous fun, thoroughly entertaining, and if you don’t walk out of that theatre with a huge smile on your face, then you lied and didn’t actually see the show!

It’s on at the Teatro, Montecasino until 18 June, 2017.

BOOKINGS: Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, or visit www.computicket.com

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

This musical contains some strong language and adult themes, therefore parental guidance is recommended for children under the age of 12

SA MUSIC ICON STEVE KEKANA LIVE IN CONCERT IN IPHUPHO THE DREAM

With Special Guests Joe Nina, Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse and Ladysmith Black Mambazo

HOSTED BY IKUSASA (Ikusasa Arts Development Projects)

2 shows only : Saturday 29 April at 19h00 and Sunday 30 April at 13h00 on The Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre

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This promises to be an unforgettable 2-hour show of pure nostalgia, with Kekana delivering all his hits from the start of his career back in 1978, to date.

Kekana lost his eye sight at the age of five, but has never let this stand in the way of fulfilling his dream. This concert aims to entertain and inspire those living with disabilities or who face challenges which may be regarded as stumbling blocks towards fulfilling their dreams.  This is the reason for show’s title: Iphupho the Dream.

Steve Kekana 3Kekana has over 20 albums to his credit and is one of the few artists who has managed to cross over varying genres, from Mbhaqanga, to Pop, Gospel and Soul. His decision to not confine himself to a single genre was frowned upon at the outset as it was believed that he would not be able to sustain a fan-base. But he proved his critics wrong and dispelled all myths about cross-genres, as to date he is amongst the most loved and respected local musicians of his time.

In the past, Kekana has also collaborated and featured on various songs with some of South Africa’s greatest musicians such as Joe Nina, PJ Powers, Soul Brothers, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the late Nana Coyote. His unique and high range tone have always made him stand out from the crowd.

Born in 1958 in Zebediela, Limpopo, Kekana lost his sight at the tender age of five, and attended a school for the blind in Pietersburg. During his school years, he nurtured his love for singing, and was a member of amateur groups.

In 1979 and 1980, Kekana won what was then known as the “SABC Black Music Award” for Best Male Vocalist. Further awards followed, with the singer taking the “Top Male Vocalist” award on Radio Zulu, and being the runner-up on the Tswana and Sotho Radio Stations.

Since 2001, he frequently collaborated with fellow vocalist Nana Coyote, and his links Steve Kekana 1with a younger generation were solidified through his association with singer / producer Joe Nina, who produced his most recent album “African Lady”. Kekana, Coyote and Nina regularly appeared on stage together, and recorded under the name “The Trio”.

Kekana holds a B Juris and LLB degrees, and has written on Intellectual Property from the perspective of a songwriter.

ABOUT THE PRODUCER
Simphiwe Majozi, an actor on the SABC 1 telenovela Uzalo, will be hosting and producing this first ever tribute concert to Steve Kekana.

Majozi, who plays the role of a ruthless criminal known to many as Sbu on Uzalo is also a director of Ikusasa Arts Development Projects (“Ikusasa”). The organisation focuses on developing and uncovering new talent, whilst celebrating artistic legends and icons in the music industry. He believes that young and old in the entertainment industry can have a mutually beneficial relationship, learning and growing from each other.

Tickets are R150 and can be purchased at www.joburgtheatre.com, via Webtickets or by calling Joburg Theatre’s Box Office on 0861 670 670.

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG

Pieter Toerien presents the FUNNIEST COMEDY EVER on stage!

The play follows a theatre troupe as they struggle to get through a run of their murder mystery without succumbing to the disasters surrounding them: falling set pieces, sticking doors, missed cues, anything covered under Murphy’s Law!

The Play That Goes Wrong

Photo credit: Christiaan Kotze

Pieter Toerien says: “The PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is the FUNNIEST play I have EVER seen!”

Joanna Lumley after seeing a recent London performance said: “We laughed until the tears ran down our faces! It has to be seen!!!”

WHAT’S ON STAGE said “It’s as though The Mousetrap has been taken over by Monty Python!”

Described by theatre audiences as Fawlty Towers meets Noises Off – this new hit comedy has won every major award on the London stage – 2015 Olivier Award Winner for Best New Comedy/ 2015 BroadwayWorld UK Winner for Best New Play/ 2014 WhatsOnStage Award Winner for Best New Comedy! The South African production is by Alan Committie and features a fabulous comedy cast which includes ROBERT FRIDJHON, RUSSEL SAVADIER, THEO LANDEY, CRAIG JACKSON, ROBERTO POMBO, NICOLE FRANCO, LOUIS VILJOEN and SIVE GUBANGXA.

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG celebrates the best of live theatre… and the worst:

The Northriding Polytechnic Drama Society is putting on a 1920s murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong… does! The accident-prone thespians battle against all odds to make it through to their final curtain call, with hilarious consequences!

Given 5 stars from The Daily Mail, called a ‘Gut-busting hit’ by the New York Times and with celebrity endorsements from the likes of Ant and Dec ‘funniest show we’ve seen! If you can get a ticket go.’

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is guaranteed to leave you aching with laughter!

RUNNING TIME: 2 hrs 5 mins (including a 20 min interval)

Recommended Age: 8+

South African audiences will be treated to the award-winning Comedy from 24 March in Jo’Burg and 3 May in Cape Town.

Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre: 24 March – 30 April

Performances: Wed – Fri @ 8pm, Sat @ 5pm & 8pm, Sun @ 3pm

Tickets: R220, R180, R130 & R100

Theatre on the Bay: 3 May – 17 June

Performances: Tue – Fri @ 8pm, Sat @ 4pm & 8pm

Tickets: R220, R180 & R120

 

PLAY CLUB INVITES YOU TO COME AND PLAY!

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SO … WHAT IS PLAY CLUB?

IT’S A GRASSROOTS POP-UP THEATRE INITIATIVE TO BUILD COMMUNITY IN AND AROUND THE ARTS INDUSTRY.

aka: Our Story

Who doesn’t love a good story? It moves us. It challenges us. It drives us. It gives us hope. It inspires us. And theatre-people can tell a GREAT story.

Enter: US!

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Photo from Play Club’s The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, 2012 – Cape Town

Play Club was founded in Cape Town in 2012 by American-born producer and director, Drew Bakker. To say that Drew is passionate about theatre, music and all it encompasses would be an understatement, but even more so, his enthusiasm for sharing his love of the industry with others is infectious. Hence his creation of a community that comes together to interact and inspire, creating vision and inspiration amongst like-minded people both within the theatre industry, and with those who share common interests.

Since Play Club’s beginnings, we’ve gone on to bring together over 1,000 (and counting) top actors from stage and screen, directors, producers, coaches, professors, drama students, reviewers, bloggers, theatre-lovers and general creative people, birthing a varsity group, live podcasting world-wide, CONNECT Stage+Screen Magazine (and its’ current incarnation: PROMPT Magazine), two peer theatre awards, hosting 40 industry play readings (and counting!), most making their South African debuts, an All-Star Charity reading of STEEL MAGNOLIAS as well as three All-Star Readings of THE AUDIENCE, introducing our newest city, Durban, to join Johannesburg and Cape Town, all creating our very own version of Inside The Actor’s Studio. We’ve been interviewed and featured in the Cape Times, BroadwayWorld South Africa, Fine Music Radio, Glitter Toast Blog amongst others.

Our pop-up venues have appeared across the Mother City at Alexander Bar, Sanders South Africa (in a gorgeous living room showroom big enough for the 100+ that attended) and in numerous living rooms across Joburg and Cape Town. We have been in residence at Miao in the heart of the de Waterkant and are currently home at Redhill School in Sandton and ACT Cape Town in the heart of the CBD.

From a monthly Play Club, we saw the birth of bi-weekly Play Club (a mainstage title followed by an indie title) and the bi-weekly Film Club with an all-star international panel. We also brought in the monthly New York piano-bar cabaret, featuring stars from the stage in an informal concert, Parlo(u)r Songs. A highlight was Drew’s Barely Legal Showtunes, showcasing 13 of the best up-and-coming musical theatre actors 25 and under, quickly selling out and adding a second performance to meet the standing-room only demand.

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Cape Town Play Club tends to be rather laid back! 🙂

All of this was with a simple drive: inspire community.

Our story of inclusiveness, hope, opening dialogue and breaking down walls continues now in our fifth year, a home for artists, waiting with a spot just for YOU. Many have likened us to “church”, a recharge with other creative folks and a place to fall back in love with what you fell in love with to begin with.

“Inspiring community” isn’t just a catchy tag-line (if we say so ourselves). It’s the very core of why we do what we do: to inspire people to come together, but also to be a lighthouse of inspiration within that community.
Are you an actor looking to dive into cold-reading great new material and to play?
A drama student wanting to learn how leaders of the industry approach a script for the first time?
A theatre-lover that wants to have a completely new experience, seeing a play from the ground up?

There’s a place waiting for you! Come and play. Leave the driving to us: enjoy the ride.

Enter: YOU!

Our celebrity Play Club reading of THE AUDIENCE is happening in Joburg and Cape Town on 30 January 2017, and in Durban on 29 January 2017 …

 What are you waiting for? RSVP and check it out for yourself!

 RECENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

IS IT JUST FOR MEMBERS? Play Club is open to everyone and anyone that loves the arts. It’s a playground for actors, directors, designers, creative folks, book lovers, theatre lovers and everyone in between. If you join us regularly, join us and save R20 a Play Club!

I HAVE A QUESTION. CAN I CALL SOMEONE? Of course! Our contact details are at the bottom of our website.

IS THIS COMING TO (insert city here)? Each city will be essentially reading the same play and the structure of the evening will be the same, but, between the actors and the people that attend, each Play Club is completely different to the one before it. It makes it super special and super unique to where you attend. But to answer the question, it’s a very special one-night-only event!

IS IT A PLAY? IS IT ON STAGE? Part of the magic of doing a show is the first time a cast gets together, sits around a table and tears apart the script you’re about to live for the next season of your career. Your English Lit class reading of OTHELLO this is definitely NOT. For this, you’re a fly-on-the-wall, reading along with some of South Africa’s finest actors and you get to see a brand new play as it would be approached from the “ground up”. If you’re a theatre-goer, it’s a completely different and wonderful experience to see a play deconstructed. And to anyone else, it’s a chance to watch artists get to play. Afterwards, we open the floor to a great talkback about the piece, the process and whatever else comes up.

WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT?! For us, we are driven by community and inspiring dialogue amongst theatre-makers and theatre-goers, as well as creating a platform to inspire the arts community. The play is just a means of bringing us together. Come to network, come to meet other crazy creative folks or just come to experience a play that is unlikely to hit our shores anytime soon. There’s something for everyone!

HOW MUCH IS IT? We’re a not-for-profit community initiative and work off suggested donations to cover our expenses. R50 is the suggested donation for general public, with Play Club Members, SAGA Members ad Students at a suggested R30. We’ll have someone at the door when you arrive. Cash is great. We also have SnapScan.

CAN I UPDATE MY RSVP? Yep! Just re-enter your email details and it’ll pull up your existing reservation that you can update. Please let us know if anything changes, should someone on the waiting list be able to join us.

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The stunning setting for our Joburg reading of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – July 2016

Theatre Review – BLONDE POISON

blonde-poisonFive enormous, glittering stars to Fiona Ramsay who portrays the tortured Stella Goldschlag, reminiscing about her shadowy past in war-torn Berlin.

Stella seems to have lived a rather comfortable post-war life, so what is it that has brought all these dark memories into the light. Apparently a phone call from a long forgotten admirer: a little boy in the snow, who she mockingly remembers, shyly telling her in his cracked voice “I love you Stella.” The awkward child of the past is now a respected journalist, wanting to hear her story of survival.

We think we’ve heard it all, don’t we, those Holocaust stories, strength of spirit, desperation, inspiration found in the deepest, darkest depths of evil and despair. But Stella’s story is one very seldom brought to light. We hear her description of what it was like to live as a ‘U-Boat’  – an illegal, under-the-radar Jewish citizen; her refusal to back down from her arrogant assumption that beauty will excuse her every fault, even that of being a Jew.

Eventually, inevitably, though, Stella’s luck runs out. Being an Aryan-looking blonde can only get you so far, and then those efficient Nazi lists did tend to catch up with you. And she quickly learns that jealousy and betrayal come to all beautiful girls. But when she’s offered an alternative to the death camps, for both her parents and herself, she’s willing to do whatever it takes to save their lives. So she becomes a “greifer”, a “catcher” for the Gestapo. After all, she says, she knows where all the Jews can be found, where they gather, where they live, who better for the job?

But now, in the present, the echoes of the past are catching up with her, she’s plagued by whispers of yesteryear, asking “How can you live with yourself?” as she begs us to consider: “What would you have done?”

Ramsay presents a chilling portrayal of a ruthless, cold-hearted traitor … or does she? In more light-hearted moments one can almost wonder. Perhaps she was less a traitor, and just another casualty of war, doing all she could to survive? The audience must come to terms with the horrific realisation of what moral code was in play at the time, if any. The riveting scene unfolding onstage keeps one so absolutely enthralled that there’s barely time to even comprehend the stark reality of what Stella needed to confront, both in her past and her present.

Gail Louw’s Blonde Poison is a multi-faceted, mesmerising piece; one that will leave audiences with much to consider for quite some time after they’ve left the theatre. Director Janna Ramos-Violante has done a sterling job, ensuring that the depths do not plummet too low for too long, nor do the lighter moments allow audiences to lose focus. Ramsay’s movement through the simple, but functional set flows easily, and one is never left guessing as to her intent.

Blonde Poison will run at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square from 10th January – 4th February 2017. There will be 6 performances per week – Tuesdays to Fridays at 8.15pm and two shows on Saturdays at 6pm and 8.15pm. Enquire about dinner show specials and group discounts. Call the theatre on 011 883-8606 or book online: www.computicket.com or tel. the call centre: 0861 915 8000

REVIEW – ACCEPTANCE

Filicide – The deliberate act of a parent killing his or her child.

SMA – Spinal Muscular Atrophy

In April 2014, the media was in a frenzy over the case of a South-African born mother, residing in England who killed her three severely disabled children. We watched as the story unfolded, riveted, horrified, saddened and bewildered. We discussed, we pondered, we wondered … how does a parent, a mother no less, cut short the life of her own child? It’s unthinkable, surely? What frame of mind must she be in? What horrors must she have endured? What depths must she have plundered? What precipice must she eventually have reached?jerry-mofokeng-judge-francois-viljoen-nic-lea-vivier-sam_front-lisa-derryn-overy-jemma

Not once do I remember anyone considering the ridiculous notion that maybe, just maybe, given the choice, those children might have chosen to live. Despite their obvious challenges, the numerous obstacles they’d undoubtedly face throughout their lives, what if they actually possessed the strength of character to surprise us all and overcome all of these? Well it’s a moot point isn’t it, because that choice was stolen from them; their lives snuffed out by the very person who was meant to protect them above all else: their mother.

And this is where theatre becomes the perfect conduit for abstract narrative. Based on the events described above, Eva Mazza has created Acceptance, a piece that demands we listen to the voices of the child victims of filicide.

jerry-mofokeng-the-judge_4Legendary South African actor Jerry Mofokeng plays the judge, trying to get a decent night’s sleep after the ‘manslaughter’ case he’s just closed on a mother who’s killed her three ‘severely disabled children’ which is how they were referred to throughout the proceedings, and never identified by name, hence never individualised. He’s woken by a loud knock at the door and so begins his surreal journey into an alternative trial, where he’s forced to hear the opinions of three personalities who it seems he did not acknowledge in the trial he’s just concluded.

The use of a stalwart actor like Mofokeng together with three young talents works well in this raw and riveting drama. Lea Viver, Francois Viljoen and Lisa Derryn Overy each display the complex individuality of who their characters could have developed into, had they been given the opportunity to do so, without overplaying their roles. In doing so, they all equally excel at the right to life argument, despite the disabilities that may exist. Presenting the judge with a book of facts to accompany their emotional case, they cite genuine sources from the actual original case, and instances of SMA, where children diagnosed with the condition have lived into their 50’s. This is combined with the use of visual projection, which I felt could have been put to far better use and effect.

Although the objective here is to portray the child victims’ perspective, Lisa Derryn Overy lisa-derryn-overy-as-the-motherdoes briefly alternate in the role as the mother. While she re-enacts the reading of a (genuine) letter written to her husband during the actual killing of her children, imagined from opposing viewpoints, I thought it over-dramatic and completely over the top. But immediately realised that I had taken such a huge step back from this woman (as was the intention, when taking the children’s standpoint) that I was looking at her with a far too detached attitude! Of course she was being over-dramatic – she was hysterical, in the midst of such unimaginable horror! So well done to you Lisa, for shocking the audience back into the moment, and the realisation of the deplorable event that took place.

Make no mistake, this production will shock and disturb audiences on various levels. Ultimately though, the intention is to provoke discussion, and more profound reflection of what is generally considered a taboo topic: filicide, and indubitably this is exactly what it does.

Please do take a few minutes to look at the chilling photo gallery downstairs, either before or after the show. It really does add weight to the message that’s being conveyed here.

Acceptance is on at The Fringe at Joburg Theatre until 16 October. Tickets can be booked through Joburg Theatre, by calling 0861 670 670 or through WebTickets.

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ALL PHOTO CREDITS: MARIOLA BELA

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