Critically acclaimed play grapples with what it means to be a lesbian in the township

chapter2sect9.Tshlofelo_Ross_Khanyisa_Nanasae-Sibikwa

A scene from Chapter 2, Section 9.

Following its successful runs at the National Arts Festival,  Grahamstown and at the Wits 969 Festival the critically acclaimed Ovation Award-winning Chapter 2 Section 9 has been described as “brilliant” and a production that “every South African who cares about the freedoms enshrined in Chapter 2, Section 9, should see.” (Mike Loewe, The Critter).

With two more runs scheduled at the Pop Arts Centre in Maboneng, Johannesburg on August 11, 12, 13 and 14, and as part of Vavasati, International Women’s Festival on August 17, 18 and 19 at the Arena, State Theatre in Pretoria, audiences will have the opportunity to catch one of these performances.

Devised and edited by Phyllis Klotz, and based on research by Collen Mfazwe and Janneke Strijdonk-Xulu, Chapter 2 Section 9 talks to the heart of one of the most insidious hate-crimes in South Africa.

Referencing the section of the constitution that guarantees the right to gender equality and sexual orientation, Chapter 2 Section 9 draws it material from interviews with over forty lesbian women, their families, perpetrators and police officers.

Interweaving masterful storytelling, music and spoken word, Ayanda Sibisi, Ayanda Falli, Tsholofelo Ross and Khanyisa Nanase, bring these deeply personal, sometimes traumatic stories, to life. They infuse them with a warmth and energy that not only captures the audience’s attention, but also gives them a poignant entry point into the lives, experiences, fears and depths of prejudice black lesbians face every day in South African townships.

Says theatre critic, Robyn Sassen: “The dreadful anecdotes of gang rape and murder that black lesbians have suffered in the name of their being different from society are stories with horrible endings that have tragically become predictable in the trajectory, which has been told over and over again.

“Only the victims’ names and faces differ. And yet, the tales in this play are told with a burning bluntness and a frankness that is utterly electric, and at no point in this 90 minute show can you pull your attention from this work.”

Chapter 2 Section 9 features a set by Sarah Roberts, lighting by Stan Knight and an original score by musician Isaac Molelekoa.

Booking for Pop Art can be made online or at the door, the theatre is at 286 Fox Street, Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg.

Booking for the Vavasati International Women’s Festival , State Theatre can be made at Computicket.

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