Kicking off its New Stages Season, The Playhouse Company presents a work based on the real-life story of cultural icon, Can Themba.
Crepuscule (which means ‘twilight’), written by Themba, has been adapted for the stage by Khayelihle Dom Gumede for the New Stages Season. It is a story about human connection and the search for freedom and humanity in a world that sought to deny it.
Playhouse Company CEO and artistic director, Linda Bukhosini, said: “New Stages is about celebrating authentic South African works that are entertaining, creative, original and thought provoking.
“Crepuscule is one of those works which tick all these boxes. What’s more, this is a work by a celebrated author and playwright. This year marks 50 years since Can Themba’s passing and having one of his works on our stage is an honour at this time. This is also an award-winning play, from Gauteng’s Market Theatre and we want KZN not to miss this opportunity to see it first-hand.”
Crepuscule, which will be staged in the Playhouse Loft Theatre from 3 to 7 May, has enjoyed smash hit seasons at the Market Theatre and at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.
The play is directed by Khayelihle Dom Gumede, who won best director for his vivid interpretation of the story at last year’s Naledi Awards, one of six nominations the play received.
The cast includes Nat Ramabulana plays Can Themba, with Kate Liquorish as his romantic partner. Lerato Mvelase plays Baby/Kleinboy, Nhlanhla Mahlangu is Stan, Matthew Lotter plays Malcolm, and Thami Ngoma plays Ous Lethabo/Mama Dora/Sis Pretty.
The story is believed to be an interpretation of Themba’s real life love affair with a white woman by the name of Jean Hart during the 1950s. Set in the often revered and romanticised world of Sophiatown, the play asks a range of pertinent and contemporary socio-political questions.
Themba and Hart’s illicit relationship across the apartheid ‘colour bar’ serves as a means to unpack just how much of our identity is formed by our environment and how much is shaped by our choices as individuals.
Schools performances are on at 11am on 3, 4 and 5 May. Tickets are R30 per pupil at 031 369 9407. Public performances take place at 7.30pm on 5 May, 2pm and 7.30pm on 6 May, and at 2pm on 7 May. Tickets are R80 at Computicket.