Neil Coppen’s acclaimed production of Animal Farm is to be staged at the Hexagon Theatre on the University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg campus from July 27 to 29. The show won Naledi Awards for best ensemble production and best production of a play or musical for young audiences, supported by ASSITEJ South Africa.
Written by George Orwell, and first published in 1945, Coppen’s Animal Farm has been seen by more than 5000 learners in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal since its initial run in 2014.
While the themes, characters and ideas behind Orwell’s text remain unchanged, his production tells the story with a uniquely South African slant to ensure it has relevance and topicality for contemporary audiences. The play features an all-female cast: Momo Matsunyane, Mpume Mthombeni, Khutjo Bakunzi – Green, Mandisa Nduna, Zesuliwe Hadebe and Tshego Khutsoane.
Speaking about the play, Coppen said: “It encourages critical thinking around the reoccurring patterns of power and corruption within political systems and structures. As the country celebrates twenty one years of democracy – I couldn’t imagine a more important time to be having these discussions.”
He added: “It’s a gift for any writer to work with Orwell’s timeless text and find creative ways to transfer it to a local farm setting without altering the source material in the process.”
Performances of Animal Farm are at 9 am and 12 noon from July 27 to 29. Tickets are R70 (school block bookings: one teacher free per every 30 learners). Bookings are through Doreen Stanley at the Think Theatre booking office. Contact: Doreen@thinktheatre.co.za, 084 556 0668 or fax 086 402 9592.
Animal Farm will also be staged at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg from August 25 to September 6. Tickets at Computicket.