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Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Pic: Pranesh Maharaj (front) with Lovie Ramas Rai, China Ngejane, Dawn Stardler, Anesh Dusrath, Zaid Bhoola and Rahul Brijnath

Polart Productions moves onto the professional theatre scene.

Polart Productions was initiated five years ago as an initiative to assist disadvantaged artists take their work forward. Theatre practitioners Pranesh Maharaj and Anesh Dusrath decided to formalise the company and have it registered following the growing interest in the work done so far and that which is currently in progress.

Since Cassandra @ No.77 was showcased at the Bat Cafe, as development work, people were keen to see the full version and Agnes Naidoo proposed to promote the show. She purchased three performances which were staged at the ABH in Chatsworth in September. Other private enterprises have also come on board to support this production; which yet again, prompted formalising Polart Productions and BASA (Business and Arts South Africa) have shown a keen interest in the new company’s manner of operation.

Cassandra @ No.77 is a brand new production written by Pranesh Maharaj and comprises a novice cast who are doing extremely well. Polart has to date assisted in the following productions: Hassen Dawood Quawal audio recording, Clayfield Sutsung Bhajan recording, TaMasha aur Masthi Comedy Skits, Standing Up and Devil in Disguise.

“The future of the company is looking bright as we have also secured assistance from cameramen and POV directors to kick off our first short film,” explains Pranesh Maharaj. “New stage works are also earmarked for the near future. Polart intends diversifying it’s participation in every aspect of the performing arts and encompass and nurture talent that would otherwise go undiscovered. Durban in particular is rich with great, original ideas and stories still to be told.”

Cassandra @ No.77 focuses on a young woman named Cassandra who lives at Number 77. Her “boyfriend” Selvan moved there with her and she wants to convince him that they need to move again. She plans this talk with Selvan, based on the fact that there are “crazies” in that area. We get a chance to look at these crazies and decide for ourselves whether or not Cassandra has a case. We meet the different characters in that area that ‘displease’ her to the extent that she wants to get out of there. The audience is left to decide which of the zany characters is the craziest.

Cassandra @ No.77 is a comedy that offers a different and possibly lighter look at society’s ailments. The trusted cast include Dawn Stardler (Cassandra), Anesh Dusrath (Sticks Naidoo), China Ngejane (Sipho Gumede), Lovie Ramas Rai (Uncle Daya), Rahul Brijnath (Selvan) and Zaid Bhoola (Junaid Hussein).