Brother and sister collaborators, Ashwin Singh and Shantal Singh, in association with Daphne Kuhn, will be presenting the comedy-drama ‘Beyond The Big Bangs’ at the Auto and General Theatre on the Square in Sandton from Tuesday, March 1 to the 12th.
The new work, also written and directed by award-winning playwright, Ashwin Singh, features highly regarded performers from KZN, namely Shona Johnson, Chantal Snyman and Annalisa Gxabu. The production premiered at the Playhouse Company’s South African Women’s Arts Festival in August 2014 and played to wide acclaim. The play continues Ashwin Singh’s legacy as a creator of authentic, multi-cultural South African works and it features in his 2013 anthology ‘Durban Dialogues, Indian Voice’, published by UK publishers, Aurora Metro Books.
‘Beyond The Big Bangs’ is a play about three women – one black African, one Indian and one of mixed-race, all of whom either live or work in Durban-North. The audience discovers their connections and the challenges of their complex lives through a combination of humorous and poignant monologues and dialogue. Sandra is a domestic worker, who is caught in the middle of an ongoing racial conflict between her employers and their neighbours; Gita has been labelled a “gambling granny” and now seeks to break this stereotype whilst finding both pleasure in the casino and deeper connections in her neighbourhood; and Lindiwe is preparing for her disciplinary hearing, standing accused of slapping an insulting pupil just months after being stabbed by another pupil at her previous school.
The three actresses cast in the production have all acquired notable reputations in theatre, having cut their teeth in a wide variety of dramatic and comedy productions. Johnson is a teacher of dramatic arts and has several Durban Theatre Awards nominations, having featured in both adult and children’s theatre productions, including ‘The Wheel’, ‘Animal Tails 1 & 2’, ‘Reality Bytes’ and ‘Consenting Silence’. She was directed by Singh in ‘PopCom’.
Snyman is a critically acclaimed playwright, director and actress. She is also chairperson of Arley’s Workshop, an NPO that creates issue based theatre. Her best known work is the seminal drama, ‘Frank’. She has worked with Singh on writing workshops and as a fellow former board member of the Catalina UnLtd Theatre Company.
Gxabu is regarded as among the most talented young actresses in KZN. She has studied drama and film in South Africa and the UK. Her best known theatre performances include her role in Edmund Mhlongo’s ‘Sugar Daddies’, which featured at the Playhouse and enjoyed a successful schools’ tour, and her collaborative effort ‘A-dress Re’dress’ with Heather Gielink, which was selected for the 2012 Community Arts Mentorship Programme (CAMP) by the Playhouse Company. Gxabu was mentored by Singh at CAMP 2012.
Singh’s works have regularly been selected by the Playhouse Company and Catalina UnLtd for their artistic programmes. He is a chief mentor of the Playhouse Company’s development programmes and has presented several governance workshops for Catalina UnLtd. His works have toured throughout South Africa and to India. Daphne Kuhn previously hosted his acclaimed dramedy, ‘Spice ‘n Stuff’ in 2011.
Singh said that he was “delighted and honoured” to be back at the Auto and General Theatre on the Square and praised Kuhn for her commitment to produce cutting edge, multi-cultural South African works.
* Bookings can be made by calling the Auto & General Theatre on the Square on 011 883 8606, or at Strictly Tickets on 082 553 5901.
Visit www.strictlytickets.com for all online bookings.