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Thursday, January 15, 2009


Musho production set in broadcast studio features brilliant performance by Phumzile Masin. (Review by Maurice Kort)

Set in the broadcast studio of the radio station of, the Women Who Wait is billed as a story of love, life and hope in times of hopelessness. The brilliant performance by Phumzile Masin brings the cleverly-written and produced play by Zuki Vutela to life, under the meticulous direction of Vivian Moodley.

Phumzile Masin is all professional brightness as the radio DJ with headphones and microphone introducing the guitar solo, provided by Madala Kunene, before launching into her patter. This includes reading letters from four listeners. The first is from Tessa, from Wentworth. While Madala Kunene plays suitable linking music, Phumsile Masin disappears to change her dress and appearance into Tessa, as a 17 year-old Coloured girl, pregnant and - pretty well … toothless, giving her story.

This sets the pattern of the play, with Phumsile Masin changing costume, hairdo, features, accents and personality, during linking musical interludes by Madala Kunene. The result is superb performances with appreciative applause from the enthralled audience as a protester trying to decide on which placard to use at her protest at Problem Mkhize Road and a prostitute bewailing her sad life as her child has been taken away by her mother resulting in her no longer receiving child support - to maintain her drug habit. She thus has to resort to prostitution. Her enactment of intending to write a letter to the President about her HIV Positive condition while in an extremely inebriated state was superb.

The broadcaster then welcomes Annabelle Pretorius (not seen) and Sithembile Kheswa, the CEO of a construction company, a vivacious, bubbling Phumzile Masin into the studio, in another excellent cameo. Illustrating further issues of hopelessness is the phone call from Marla from Chatsworth describing her problems with her husband, again with a complete change of accent by Phumzile Masin, who, as the broadcaster, also details reasons given by those intending to commit suicide. The crowning performance is her subsequent role as a Church Minister stirring up the audience, who responded enthusiastically, giving hope to all and the journeys to inner peace of the women.

An integral part of the production is the video projection, by Khwezi Ngwenya; Nosipho Ngwendu and Phumzile Mabunda, augmenting the action on stage, on a large screen at the back of the stage. The play deserves further, longer exposure later in the year. – Maurice Kort