The Hexagon Theatre on the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal is hosting its 10th annual Minifest! on February 26 and 27. Whether you love comedy or drama, this mini festival will offer theatre pieces to suit all tastes. The shows on offer include brand new theatre creations and award winners from other festivals. Tickets are R60 per show and there are special discounts if you book for more than one.
The programme is as follows:
Friday, February 26 at 6 pm – Beyond Trust: Sipho’s grandfather loves birds. He has a favourite dove that he reads to from the Bible every day. When Sipho’s friend convinces him that hunting birds is what most young boys do for fun, he finds out what it means to be a bird. Performed by Sandile Msomi and Lindokuhle Sithole, under the direction of Sbusiso Ntsalaze. The show is produced by Thandimpilo Productions and won a Special Mention Award at the recent Musho! Festival in Durban. The company is from Edendale in Pietermaritzburg and creates theatre and educational projects for the Greater Edendale area. They are currently being mentored by Twist Projects KZN.
Friday, February 26 at 7.15 pm – Termite! Tall tales for Big People: Can there be anything more delightfully wacky than the combination of the high energy performance style of TQ Zondi and Mpilo Nzimande and Greig Coetzee’s brilliant penmanship? The delicious and astute Termite! combines physical theatre, satire and a dash of lunacy as it blends traditional folk tales with modern South African life. This fast-paced trilogy of stories tells tales of various animals as they take on Minicab Taxis, Colonel Sanders and try to explain why dogs sniff each other’s behinds! This is satire of the most hilarious and cutting variety. Fresh from winning the coveted Audience Favourite Award at the Musho! Festival in Durban and having full houses at last year’s Hilton Arts Festival, Termite performers Zondi and Nzimande have made a name for themselves nationally as Ovation Award winners for Woza Albert!, as well as their moving performances in The Island. The show is directed by Peter Mitchell.
Friday, February 26 at 8.30 pm – Matty & Sis: Written by Theo Fransz, the play tells the story of sisters Matty and Sis who like any other people in relationships have issues and fights. They play games to keep the time in a distance and laugh together to soothe any sadness and guilt. As the play unfolds it is revealed that one of the sisters is dead, she keeps coming back every night to Matty’s bedroom because Matty cannot let go, cannot accept the reality. Matty and Sis touches on themes of how to continue to live when your loved one has passed on and how to journey on to afterlife. the show is directed by Philisiwe Twijnstra and performed by Ayanda Fali and Vicky Nyanda. Design is by Roel Twijnstra.
Writer Theo Fransz trained at the theatre school in Amsterdam. In 1984 he founded MUSZ Theatre Company in Amsterdam for which he directed and wrote many award winning shows. His plays have a very strong structure and deal with universal dramatic themes in a light and sometimes comic way. In the nighties his work became popular in other European countries and was translated in English, German and French
Saturday, February 27 at 4 pm – Timothy Tatters Tea Time Terrible: In an age when most of our social interaction is digital, actually meeting someone can be downright scary. How do you know this person is really Susan O’Brien who loves adventure and partying? Timothy Tatters is a man stuck in such a dilemma but is determined to figure things out. Follow this dark and comedic struggle as one man attempts to find a muse, a soul mate, a missing piece for his…friend. People are not always as pretty as their profile pictures, they are not necessarily who they say they are and you can’t really know for sure until they arrive knocking at your front door. A Do/Devise production devised and performed by Monique Hill and Chris Couperthwaite, both graduates of UKZN Drama.
Saturday, February 27 at 5.39 pm –A Beautiful Wreckage: The creators of the award-winning comedy PaperBoy bring you a trailblazing musical for the new South Africa. A Beautiful Wreckage is the charming story of straight-laced Chase, a focused physics student, and his best friend Damon, a party blogger with a wild streak. Against the backdrop of a tumultuous university life where sex, drugs and wild parties come hard and fast, we’re offered a sensational glimpse into our heroes’ lives, set to breath-taking music that will stir your soul. This musical comedy-drama explores all of the ups and downs, the laughter and the tears that inevitably follow a life lived to the full. Combining the magic of animation with traditional stage craft, compelling characters and an engrossing story, A Beautiful Wreckage is sure to take you on a memorable journey that reminds us that life is a gift and that beauty surrounds us even in our darkest moments. Performed by Grant Jacobs and Liam McDermott.
Saturday, February 27 at 7 pm – The Last Commission: The Last Commission tells the story of the not so new South African experience, in the here and the now; in the nowhere of the world of the play – at once our imagination is cast upon the performers and their stories but also into our own memories of the country we have come to shape anew in our individual capacities. The performance is based on a conference paper to be presented in Hungary, Budapest in March 2015. The research looks at performing collected memories of violence and trauma in South Africa.This piece is devised by performers, Pumelela “Push” Nqelenga and Ayanda Khala-Phiri
Saturday, February 27 at 8.30 pm – Sweetie Darling: Copy Dog Productions proudly presents Sweetie Darling, a new one-man stage comedy starring Bongani Mbatha by multi award-winning playwright-director Clinton Marius (Lollipop Lane, The Fantastical Flea Circus, B!*ch Stole My Doek). Sweetie Darling is a romantic comedy about a young man who goes all out to prove himself. While he sets up a picnic in the park for his sweetheart, he recounts the ups and downs of his journey to happiness. As he finds himself, and love, he also finds his path to spiritual growth. Actor Bongani Mbatha made his professional debut in 2000, performing in the Playhouse Company’s New Stages production, Nomalizo by Bonginkosi Shangase. Subsequent hits include among others, the award-winning Maluju Zulu at the Market Theatre (2003), Ngicela uxolo (2008), Kudela Owawziyo (2009), Sophiatown (2013), All Gone and Skungpoomery (2014)