The Singh Siblings (an artistic collaboration between Ashwin Singh and Shantal Singh), in association with Daphne Kuhn will be presenting award-winning playwright, Ashwin Singh’s comedy-drama Beyond the Big Bangs at the Auto and General Theatre on the Square in Sandton, Johannesburg from March 1 to 12.
The play, which is also directed by Ashwin Singh, features Shona Johnson (Durban Theatre Award-winner for B!*ch Stole My Doek), Chantal Snyman and Annalisa Gxabu.
It premiered to acclaim at the Playhouse Company’s South African Women’s Arts Festival in August 2014 and continues Ashwin Singh’s legacy as an innovative creator of authentic, multi-cultural South African work and features in his 2013 anthology Durban Dialogues, Indian Voice, published by British publishers, Aurora Metro Books.
Beyond the Big Bangs is a unique play about three women – one Black African, one Indian and one mixed-race, all of whom either live or work in Durban-North. We discover their connections and the challenges of their complex lives through a rare combination of funny and poignant monologues and dialogue.
Sandra is a domestic worker, who is caught in the middle of an ongoing racial conflict between her employers and their neighbours; Gita has been labelled a “gambling granny” and now seeks to break this stereotype whilst finding both pleasure in the casino and deeper connections in her neighbourhood; and Lindiwe is preparing for her disciplinary hearing, standing accused of slapping an insulting pupil just months after being stabbed by another pupil at her previous school.
It is very rare in South African theatre to have three black women from diverse communities, namely Zulu, Indian and mixed-race, as the principal characters in a major dramatic production.
Despite dealing with many controversial issues, Beyond the Big Bangs is filled with humour and pathos and is sure to entertain audiences in the vein of Singh’s other major works, namely To House, Spice ‘n Stuff, Marital Blitz, Shooting and PopCom.
The three actresses cast in the production have all acquired powerful reputations in theatre having cut their teeth in a wide variety of dramatic and comedy productions.
Johnson is a teacher of dramatic arts and has featured in both adult and children’s theatre productions, including The Wheel, Animal Tails 1 & 2, Reality Bytes and Consenting Silence. She was directed by Singh in PopCom.
Snyman is a critically acclaimed playwright, director and actress. She is also chairperson of Arley’s Workshop, an NPO that creates innovative, issue based theatre. Her best known work is the seminal drama, Frank. She has worked with Singh on writing workshops and as a fellow former board member of the Catalina UnLtd Theatre Company.
Gxabu is one of the most talented young actresses in KZN. She has studied drama and film in South Africa and the UK. Her best known theatre performances include her role in Edmund Mhlongo’s Sugar Daddies which featured at the Playhouse and enjoyed a successful schools’ tour, and her collaborative effort A-dress Re’dress with Heather Gielink, which was selected for the 2012 Community Arts Mentorship Programme (CAMP) by the Playhouse Company. Gxabu was mentored by Singh at CAMP 2012.
Singh’s works have regularly been selected by the Playhouse Company and Catalina UnLtd for their artistic programmes. He is a chief mentor of the Playhouse Company’s development programmes and has presented several governance workshops for Catalina UnLtd.
His works have toured throughout South Africa and to India. Daphne Kuhn previously hosted his acclaimed dramedy, Spice ‘n Stuff in 2011.
Singh said that he was “delighted and honoured” to be back at the Auto and General Theatre on the Square and praised Kuhn for her commitment to produce cutting edge, multi-cultural South African works.
Show times: Tuesday to Friday at 8 pm and Saturday at 6 pm and 8.30 pm. Phone 011 8838606 or 0825535901 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.