Press

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Intercultural Exchange Events

During The 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival for Children and Young People, I led a workshop/discussion on “Intercultural exploration: Conversation about artistic, aesthetic and socio-political differences and similarities”. It took place at Masque Theatre, 22nd May, 2017.

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1 jour 1 pièce / 1 day 1 play / 1 dia 1 obra

ASSITEJ France has the pleasure to invite you to take part in its instant playwriting game, “1 day, 1 play”, organised to celebrate the World Day of Theater for Children (WDT), on March 20th.

Last year, with the support of ASSITEJ networkWrite Local, Play Global, 45 playwrights from 14 countries took part of it.

As for the last editions, we chose the simplest rules, to ensure anyone interested in playwriting and TYA can participate.

All you have to do is to select a date, from March 1st to 15th, and to register here. On the D-day, you will be sent the subject, and surprise helpers for your story. You then will have 24 hours to write and send your short play (500 to 700 words), in your own personal style and language.

Plays will be translated into French, and released on 1 day 1 play’s website, as in 2014 and 2015, at the occasion of the WDT.

To see my contributions, click here.

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Children’s Monologues

The Children’s Monologues dramatise the testimonies of young children growing up in Rammulotsi, a small rural township in the Free State province of South Africa. Invited to describe a day that made their soul happy or sad, The Children’s Monologues retell the true stories of young people expressing personal experiences in their own words. Five years ago the original Monologues brought together an all-star cast for a night of unique and unmissable theatre.

children

The 2015 anniversary gala will feature brand new writing and contributors, never to be seen again. Oscar winning Director Danny Boyle returns to the Royal Court Theatre with Associate Director Gbolahan Obisesan. Cast: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Alfie Allen, Zawe Ashton, Cressida Bonas, Nazanin Boniadi, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kit Harington, Josh Hartnett, Daniel Kaluuya, Nicole Kidman, Rose Leslie, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, James McAvoy, Wunmi Mosaku and David Thewlis

Contributing writers include: James Graham, Tanika Gupta MBE, Sir David Hare, Amy Jephta, Neil LaBute, Napo Masheane, Eliot Moleba, Mongiwekhaya, Jack Thorne, Laura Wade, Richard Warlow, Roy Williams OBE

DRAMATIC NEED

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The Orphan of Gaza

After a rocket attack, a little boy is told that his parents have gone to a better place. Armed with a makeshift aircraft, helmet, GPS and a cockpit full of courage, he and his pet plot a journey to search for them.

The Orphan of Gaza - CT
Theatre Arts Admin Collective, from 30th June until 4th July 2015.

The play was performed at PopArt and Hillbrow Theatre in Johanneburg, Theatre Arts Admin Collective in Cape Town, and National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

A staged reading was also performed in the UK at The Studio, Dolman Theatre Newport directed by Chris Harris.

orphanofgaza

Review:

“It is a story of death and destruction in a war zone, but it is also one of hope and courage that is curiously suited to young people, and one is drawn into the characters trauma empathetically, but without any maudlin sentiment or manipulation.”

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The Orphan of Gaza

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Pondoland

The coming of age story: a father questions his son’s fluid sexuality. To groom the boy into a real man, he sends him to an initiation school against his will. What comes back is far more than he bargained for.

Cast: Simo Majola, Majesty Mnyandu, Omogolo Matshane, Lebogang

Directed by Eliot Moleba

Pondoland
Ikhankatha (played by Simo Majola)

This production was created by Eliot Moleba as part of ASSITEJ SA’s Inspiring A Generation programme. The original concept was conceived and devised in collaboration with NSA students. In collaboration with a professional cast, the work is now presented as part of The Festival Of Fame 2014.

Review:

“It was a portrait of what I went through. It was all about me, the truth”

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Pondoland
‘The boy’ and Vusi, his lover, make a promise to each other.

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The Man In The Green Jacket

The play is set in Marikana and focuses on a migrant relationship between a father and his son. It takes us inside a hostel room where we “examine how the loss of his mother, his father’s wife who had been the moral fibre of their family, has forced the two males to confront the generational gap between them”. Through this confrontation, we explore what it means to be a working class man and a father, in today’s South Africa.

Oupa seems his mum

Review:

“It is an important play to see, regardless of what genre you prefer”

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Oupa takes a shot

“The Man In The Green Jacket is bold. It doesn’t apologise for being hard-hitting and is effortless in it’s humour and charm (a bit like Eliot to be honest). It speaks volumes about the state of not only South Africa but the world. The issues of badly distributed power and wealth are ones that we see everywhere: Spain, Ukraine, Brazil, London…Everywhere. The power to speak politically from one corner of the world and touch many others in a very private and personal way is quite rare to find in a story and this play does this.”

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Examples of work

The Man In The Green Jacket was performed at the Joburg Theatre in Johannesburg, National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, and Jermyn Street Theatre, London, where it was directed by Roy Alexander Weise.

Man in Green

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Sizwe Banzi is Alive

For every missing person there is a family living with the mystery of his disappearance. Sizwe Banzi is Alive is a new South African play that recounts a story which is one case of the many unsolved mysteries of our wounded past, people and country. Through a presentational style, Masiza Mbali and Simpho Mathenjwa, brings to life a few multiple characters who will take the audience through a heartfelt story of a young man’s search for his grandfather, name and past.

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Masiza Mbali (left) and Simpho Mathenjwa (right)

This past week, Joburg was thrilled by an innovative performance of Sizwe Banzi is Alive. The theatrical work, directed by Eliot Moleba boasts a cast of two immensely talented actors: Masiza Mbali and Simpho Mathenjwa. Through a startling lack of props and a bare stage, the cast effectively captures its audience as they bring to life the beautiful and equally heartbreaking tale of so many families of this country.

South Africa is a diverse nation struggling every day to heal the wounds of the past. It’s powerful and promising present has been starkly cut out from a painful past but how is the present defined? It’s defined by those living in it and most importantly, by their identity. Sizwe Banzi is Alive explores this concept as well as the problems and emotions arising from the struggle to find that identity. The journey undertaken in this play is not the journey of one man but rather it highlights the personal struggles of many South Africans today.

Watching this show is not a one hour experience. The story lingers with the viewer long after the show has closed. The play maintains a brilliant balance of drama, suspense and a touch of humour; truly an eye-opening experience and a pleasure to watch!

The pantsula dance
Masiza Mbali (left) and Simpho Mathenjwa (right)

Review:

“Sizwe Banzi is Alive is a play steering dangerously towards becoming a South African classic, just like the play that inspired it”

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Masiza Mbali

“Sizwe Bansi is Alive was the perfect mix of comedy, drama and suspense, enough to make you forget you were in a little theatre in a formidable complex”

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JHB

Sizwe Banzi is Alive was performed at the Joburg Theatre in Johannesburg and Theatre Arts Admin Collective in Cape Town.

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