Unmissable South African satire in Animal Farm at the Playhouse

animal farm

ANIMAL Farm remains one of the most powerful stories I’ve ever written and Neil Coppen’s adaptation of George Orwell’s work is just as thought-provoking – and if you miss the performances at the Playhouse Theatre in Durban at 10 am and 7 m on August 6 and 3 pm on August 7, you will have missed something very special.

The show is presented by Nobulali Productions, in association with The Playhouse Company. In 2014 multiple award-winning writer, designer and director Neil Coppen adapted and created a new theatrical version of George Orwell’s timeless classic novel Animal Farm, first published in 1945.

This toured nationally, scooping two prestigious Naledi Awards in 2015 in the categories, Best Production for Young Audiences and Best Ensemble.

The production’s casting includes Mpume Mthombeni/Tshego Khutsoane (Napoleon), MoMo Matsunyane (Snowball), Mandisa Nduna (Nduna), Zesuliwe Hadebe (Clover) and Khutjo Bakunzi-Green (Boxer).

Coppen says that while the themes, characters and ideas behind Orwell’s text remain unchanged, this production tells the story with a uniquely South African slant to it. “This I believe will ensure it has relevance and topicality for contemporary audiences,” he added.

Heading up the creative team is frequent collaborator Tina Le Roux who has lit the show and choreographer Daniel Buckland – who recently returned from performing abroad with Cirque du Soleil – and is the son of movement maestro Andrew Buckland.

“It was an intensive yet very inspiring creative process,” says Coppen, “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. Perhaps the scariest part is that Orwell’s allegory perfectly mirrors South Africa’s current political climate, so while adapting it, I didn’t have to take too many liberties to make it relevant for South African audiences.”

The text is currently a high school set-work, and producer Lali Dangazele believes that this work “encourages the audience to think critically about the reoccurring patterns of power and corruption within political systems and structures”.

Public booking is via the Playhouse Box Office on 031-369 9540/031 369 9596 (office hours). Or book through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, or online at http://www.computicket.com

Nobulali Productions is a company that was established out of a need to make Shakespeare and other set works prescribed by the Department of Education as well as Independent Examinations Board easy to understand. Arts Education 100 Schools Campaign is the company’s invaluable investment toward creative arts and response to the National Development 2030 ideals. For more information visit http://www.shakexperience.com.


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