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Wednesday, October 21, 2009


(Pic by Val Adamson: Darren King and Loyiso Macdonald)

Clare Mortimer directs award-winning play by Manuel Puig.

Directed by Clare Mortimer and starring Darren King and Loyiso Macdonald, Kiss of The Spider Woman - the award winning play by the much-decorated Argentine Manuel Puig – comes to the Catalina Theatre from October 29 until 15 November.

Kiss of The Spider Woman has had great success as a straight play, a musical and later and most famously as a multi-award winning screenplay, the film of which earned William Hurt an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 1986 for his portrayal of the tragic and flamboyant Luis Molina. His screen partner for this production was the late, great Raul Julia as leftist political prisoner, Valentin Arregui.

They share a Brazilian prison cell. Molina passes the time by telling Arregui stories based on the plot of one of his favourite films, a wartime romantic Nazi thriller which he embellishes with additional characters. An unlikely friendship develops between the two vastly different men - the dreamer and the political activist find common ground.

Puig's great interest, a theme in all his work, is the development and mutation of relationships beneath the culture in which they exist - in this case, a prison cell. It is a beautiful work of truth and cruelty. The Sunday Times has said: "It comes as near to being about pure undiluted love as any play I have ever seen" And the Daily Telegraph: "The film may be more lavish, but it could never reach the spirit of the work as truthfully as the stage play."

Durban audiences may remember the seminal NAPAC Loft Company staging with an impressive performance by Stephen Gurney as Molina, with Gary D’Alessandro as Arregui in a production directed by Murray McGibbon.

Kiss of The Spider Woman runs at the Catalina Theatre from October 29 until November 15, with a special gala performance on October 27 to honour Rainbow's BASA award, acknowledging their contribution to the arts in KZN. Tickets R65, and bookings can be made at the Catalina, Strictly Tickets, or Going Places. To book call 031 305 6889 or email

Catalina Theatre Tickets are now available online at or at or at /

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