Following sell out shows and standing ovations at the Suidooster Arts Festival and US Woordfees, ‘Cheaper than Roses’ has come to the Baxter Theatre for a run until May 3. The heart-warming story written by Ismail Mahomed is directed by Zane Meas.
Lizz Meiring stars in this play that is set in 1996 and tells the story of Betty Fourie, a coloured woman who had herself reclassified as white during the Apartheid years. The reclassification issue still remains a subject shrouded in mystery and is merely a tale of how all South Africans struggle to find their place in our multi-faceted society.
This unusual solo piece was written twenty years ago by National Arts Festival director Mahomed for Meiring. Due to work commitments on the part of Meiring and Mahomed, it could not be performed at that time.
“Life happened. Logistics prevented ‘Cheaper than Roses’ being performed at that time. I had a contract to appear in 52 episodes of a TV series and then we made the film ‘Lipstiek Dipstiek’,” says Meiring. At the same time Mahomed received a bursary and went overseas. But Meiring says both she and Mahomed believe it is for the best that they had waited and that the play is being staged only now. Mahomed’s play was published in the USA during that time, and received a host of accolades.
“This is not a political play,” Meiring adds emphatically. “What it is about is how almost everyone in this country feels displaced, how all of us battle to find our place.”
This will be Meiring’s ninth one-woman performance – and only the third piece that she had not also written herself.
‘Cheaper than Roses’ contains special music created by Coenie de Villiers, with set and lighting design by Kosie Smit.
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