IF you missed Sweetie Darling during its run at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, you can catch this play -written and directed by multiple award-winning Clinton Marius and starring popular Durban actor Bongani Mbatha- at the Wits 969 Festival at Wits University in Johannesburg on July 13 and 15 and at the Loft Theatre at the Playhouse in Durban from July 19 to 24.
Created as a solo showcase for the engaging performance skills of admired Durban actor Bongani Mbatha, this award-winning play focuses on a young man going all out to prove himself to the lady whose heart he hopes to win…
While he sets up a picnic in the park for his sweetheart, Jacob recounts the ups and downs of his journey to happiness. As he finds himself and love, he also discovers his path to spiritual growth.
Switching from role to role with mercurial virtuosity, Mbatha also introduces his audience to a host of other characters, including Jacob’s feisty teenage sister, his matriarchal grandmother, a choir master, a parish priest, a rival in love – and of course, the object of his romantic yearnings, the hard-to-please Nosipho.
Appraising the production’s debut performance in January 2016 at Durban’s Musho! Festival (where it won the coveted Suliman Family Trust award for the best production on the festival, as well as a judges’ award), Gisele Turner wrote in her review for Going Places: “Performed with heart and soul, this tragicomic love story held the audience enthralled. The combination of Marius’s gift for telling an engaging story and Mbatha’s gift for sincere characterisation make Sweetie Darling a winner filled with ‘ah’ moments that have real emotional content.”
And Keith Millar said on Artsmart: “Bongani Mbatha is a charming and affable actor. He has lovely comedy timing and paces his performance very well. His portrayal of all the periphery characters is accurate, funny and perceptive. Clinton Marius’sscript is very funny. His understanding of the characteristics and nature of a culture other than his own his remarkable. Marius’s deft hand was also apparent as the director of the production. Not to be missed.”
NEED TO KNOW
Wits 969 Festival showtimes
- Wednesday, July 13 at 7.30 pm in the Amsterdam Amphitheatre.
- Friday, July 15 at 7 pm at Downstairs
- Ticket prices are R75 online and R80 at the box office. Pensioner, Wits staff and student discount R60 online and R65 at the box office (on presentation of ID document or valid student card. Tickets are available at http://www.webtickets.co.za and you can chose to book online or through any Pick n Pay store. Even better, you can load your ticket on your Pick n Pay Smart Shopper card. Tickets can also be purchased at Wits Theatre’s Box Office: 011 717 1381.
Loft Theatre showtimes
- July 19 to 24 at 2.30 pm and 7.30 pm. Tickets R50 and R85 at Computicket and the Playhouse box office.