Harold Ellis Clark’s award-winning play, ‘We Live Here’ headed to the Playhouse

Harold Ellis Clark ('We Live Here' Playwright)

Harold Ellis Clark, the writer of ‘We Live Here’ at the Playhouse.

The International Arts Foundation Inc. of New Orleans in the United States, in association with Durban’s Playhouse Company, presenting the acclaimed stage drama, We Live Here, by the award-winning American playwright, Harold Ellis Clark.

The powerfully written work, will be staged in The Playhouse Drama Theatre from 5 to 7 May. It marks an ongoing sister-city cultural exchange between New Orleans and Durban, which aims to bridge communication and understanding between the two cities. Continue reading

‘Maritzburg actors, Mpilo Nzimande and TQ Zondi, set to delight festival-goers at Hilton 2016

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Mpilo Nzimande and TQ Zondi in Termite!

PIETERMARITZBURG actors, TQ Zondi and Mpilo Nzimande, will be having a busy Hilton Arts Festival. The two men are performing in three shows – Feedback, Master Harold and the Boys and Tales of the Termite! – during the festival which runs at Hilton College from September 16 to September 18. Continue reading

Nzimande and Zondi back at Hilton!

Mpilo Nzimande (back) as the cow and TQ Zondi (front) as the goat in Tales of the Termite.

Mpilo Nzimande (back) as the cow and TQ Zondi (front) as the goat in Tales from the Termite.

FRESH from winning an Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown for Woza Albert!, the Hexagon Theatre is presenting both The Island and their newest comedy piece, Tales From the Termite, at the Hilton Arts Festival, which runs from September 17 to 20 at Hilton College in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands.   Continue reading

Nongogo shines in Canada

Athol Fugard’s vibrant play Nongogo, directed by the Market Theatre’s award winning Artistic Director, James Ngcobo is in the running for a prestigious award in Canada.

The play has been nominated in the 36th Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards, organised by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts. The winners will be announced on Monday, June 22, with Nongogo nominated in the category of outstanding touring production after wowing audiences in at the Canadian Stage in Toronto earlier this year.

The powerful Fugard play is set in a township shebeen in the turbulent 1950s. The shebeen queen falls for a travelling salesman who works past her protective shell, and past the protection of her burly bouncer, to lure her into sharing long-buried secrets. The Market Theatre production pulsed with the raw power of the setting and tension in the lives of the characters, all dreaming of a better life.

Nongogo played in Toronto under a project run by the National Arts Council of South Africa (NAC) and the Canadian Stage in Toronto. It featured acclaimed actor Desmond Dube, who earned a Naledi Award as the best supporting actor for his performance. Sharing the limelight were Hamilton Dhlamini, Nat Ramabulana, Masasa Mbangeni and Pakamisa Zwedala.

The Dora Mavor Moore Awards were launched in 1978 to recognise outstanding achievements in Toronto theatre. They span 48 categories with the winners chosen by a jury of professionals from the performing arts community.

“It is such an honour for us to receive this nomination, having presented Nongogo at the Canadian Stage. This recognition reminds us that we are on the right track and that the world is open to engaging with our stories, and continues to support and appreciate the work of the Market Theatre. Thank you to Canadian Stage and the NAC for enabling this presentation to happen,’’ said Annabell Lebethe, Market Theatre CEO.

Three UKZN shows heading to the National Arts Festival

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THREE shows from the University of KwaZulu-Natal will be presented at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown this year.
They are: the highly successful and acclaimed productions of Woza Albert! and The Island which have been touring around KwaZulu-Natal and the Great Karoo, where The Island was seen and enjoyed by playwright, Athol Fugard, himself.
The Island is also being presented at the National Schools’ Festival later in July.
The other show from UKZN, Match Girl, has been selected to represent the Pietermaritzburg campus at the annual student drama festival at the National Arts Festival.
Match Girl is a modern South African adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson tale of The Little Match Girl.
The story is told through a fusion of performance art, mask work, shadow play, puppetry and physical theatre.
It highlights how we, as a society, have become inured to suffering and poverty, or simply don’t want to acknowledge it.
The production retains the innocence and sentiment of the original story through the use of highly visual theatrical imagery combining modern technology with artistic simplicity.
It is directed by masters student Jessica Killerby, who was responsible for the beautiful environmental piece Her Cradle, which wowed audiences at the Hexagon and Hilton Arts Festival last year.
The cast includes Nompilo Jili, Monique Schoeman, Bongeka Ngubane, Musa Shozi and Sabelo Cele.
Woza Albert! is one of the plays for which South African theatre is best known internationally.
Its style of storytelling has inspired and influenced theatre companies around the world, and it remains one of the most vibrant examples of satirical anti-apartheid South African theatre.
The play asks what would happen if Christ (Morena) came back to 1980s apartheid South Africa. It is primarily a satire that highlights the absurdities of apartheid and displays the talents of two dextrous actors, in this case TQ Zondi and Mpilo Nzimande, who play a range of ordinary characters on the street.
Directed by Peter Mitchell, the production is a high energy explosion of creativity and humour with a dark edge as Morena’s life is relived in an apartheid context.
Pietermaritzburg audiences will be able to see previews of Match Girl and Woza Albert! at the Hexagon Theatre at 6 pm on June 25 and at 6 pm and 7.15 pm on June 26.
A musical duo called Acoustic Assassins, which is also Grahamstown bound, will entertain in The Dive on June 26 at 8.30 pm.
Tickets are R40 (R25 concession) for each show.
— Weekend Witness eXplore Reporter
Where to see these shows in Grahamstown:
• The Match Girl will be staged in the rehearsal room at 11.30 am on July 2 and 5 pm on July 3. Tickets are R45 (R35 concessions).
• Woza Albert! can be seen at the Masonic Back at 4 pm on July 7, 12 noon on July 8, 4 pm on July 9, 2 pm and 10 pm on July 11 and at 10 am on July 12. Tickets are R50 (concessions R45).
• The Island is at the Masonic Back at 4 pm on July 2, 12 noon and 8 pm on July 3, 10 pm on July 4, 2 pm on July 5 and 6 pm on July 6. Tickets are R50 (R45 concessions).
• Acoustiq Assassins are performing at The Vic at 12 noon on July 8, 1 pm on July 9 and 5 pm on July 10. Tickets R50.
TQ Zondi and Mpilo Nzimande star in Woza Albert!

TQ Zondi and Mpilo Nzimande star in Woza Albert!

Nompilo Jili in Match Girl.

Nompilo Jili in Match Girl.

TQ Zondi and Mpilo Nzimande star in The Island.

TQ Zondi and Mpilo Nzimande star in The Island.