‘Chomi’ and ‘Undone’ are the next two plays in Artscape’s annual Spring Drama Season that began on October 2 and runs until the end of November 2014, featuring four diverse plays and two showcases at the Artscape Theatre.
The Spring Drama Season forms part of the Artscape’s New Writing Programme that is devoted to the professional writing and production of new South African plays. The programme receives more than 50 unsolicited scripts per year from playwrights writing in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa. Once a play has been identified as having promise the playwright works with an editor and director to undertake the re-writing, and the play may then be given a Showcase performance or a Performed Reading. If well received, it is considered for a Full Production. The SDS 2014 line up boasts stimulating and varied productions from across the country, providing a platform for new local talent to exhibit their work alongside some of the most esteemed theatre makers in the industry. This year’s programme began with the selection of plays chosen by Roy Sargeant (who founded the Artscape New Writing Programme) including ‘The Garage Sale’, which finished its run on October 11. ‘Chomi’, ‘Undone’, and the showcase ‘Ingubo Emhlophe’ are to follow. The programme was then extended to include ‘Return of the Ancestors’ by Mike van Graan (Associate Playwright at Artscape) and ‘Ndithungile Selani’ (‘Showcase’) that forms part of the newly introduced Artscape isiXhosa Classics, which are theatrical adaptations of isiXhosa novels.
‘Undone’ and ‘Chomi’ will be presented as a double bill, from October 21 to November 1, performing on alternate nights. ‘Undone’ by Wessel Pretorius is a bewitching and sensual story of a boy and his dysfunctional family, in which Pretorius portrays numerous roles. Both poetry and comedy abound in this physical performance interlaced with sensuality, religion and literary references that make the play highly accessible. Awards received include Best Drama production at Woordfees 2012, Best Actor at Aardklop 2012, Fiesta awards 2013: Best New Afrikaans Production, Best Solo Show, Best Actor, & Most Promising Newcomer, Standard Bank Ovation (Gold). Nominations include Best actor KKNK 2013. The play is translated by Hennie van Greunen, directed by Wessel Pretorius and designed by Alfred Rietmann.
‘Chomi’, written by Pfarelo Nemakonde, directed by Motlatji Ditodi and designed by Alfred Rietmann, is set in Johannesburg and follows the lives of four black openly gay 20-something men. Thabang an extroverted accountant, Sicelo a therapist, Percy who plans to renew his wedding vows to his partner and Rudzani, an artist battling to find himself. The play follows their unique personalities, their trials and tribulations and their greatest challenge…being themselves. Tragedy strikes the four friends and this throws them into turmoil forcing them to, through each other, face their inner demons.
* Tickets for all productions cost from R40 to R90 via www.computicket.com.