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Sunday, August 23, 2009


(Pic: Chantal Snyman, Jonathan Tifflin and Gail Snyman)

New South African play about family relationships and the power of secrets.

Frank is a new South African play about family relationships and the power of secrets to impact and sometimes destroy lives, which opens at the Catalina Theatre on August 27.

Just what is Frank’s secret? Dorothy knows it, but she hopes that nobody else ever discovers it. Lloyd discovered it years ago and it drove him over the sea and far away from friends and family. Delia is blissfully unaware of how Frank’s secret is about to dramatically alter the course of her life. Set in Durban at the beginning of 2009, South Africa is in the grip of the controversial Zuma trial by media, election fever and a recession. A family wedding brings the Ogle’s together and the proverbial chickens come home to roost. Each member of the family has a secret and an agenda. Through their interaction and flashbacks, a pattern of family secrecy and betrayal is exposed.

Frank debuted at the 2009 Musho Arts Festival under the title Conversations with your Ex (review by Shika Budhoo at

It was written by Chantal, Gail and Megan Snyman. Chantal and Gail performed and Megan directed the production for the festival. The original title came out of a discussion between Gail and her good friend Liza Aziz, a well-known documentary film maker. The play was well-received at the festival and this inspired Chantal and Gail to write a second act which has taken the play in a new direction, making a new title appropriate.

While Frank is a modern South African drama full of humour and pathos, it is also a universal story about how we are affected by the choices and actions of that intimate circle we happily or begrudgingly call family. Finally, it reveals that the truth will always out, no matter how deeply it is buried…

Frank runs at the Catalina Theatre (age restriction of 16) from August 27 to September 6. The cast includes Chantal Snyman, Gail Snyman and Jonathan Tifflin. Tickets R90 (R45 pensioners, students and matinees) available through the box office on 031 305 6889 between 09h00 and 16h00 from Mondays to Fridays from 09h00 to 13h00 (Saturdays between 09h00 and 13h00). The box office is closed on Sundays but tickets available online at

Charities or organisations wanting to fundraise are encouraged to contact Chantal or Gail. A special offer for corporates includes a dinner and harbour cruise with the cast. Those interested should contact Thandeka at the Catalina on 031 305 6889, Chantal on 073 653 0067, Gail on 083 643 1923 or Jonathan on 082 223 3504.

The Catalina Theatre is still functioning thanks to support from Rainbow Chicken, National Arts Council and Ethekwini Municipality.