national Arts Festival Banner

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


(Mandisa Haarhof)

The Catalina Theatre celebrates World Youth Day this June 16 by staging a “giggle-inducing theatrical snack sure to be devoured by both the young and young of heart”.

The acclaimed stage play, Crush Hopper returns Catalina after winning the much sought-after Audience Favourite Award at this year's annual Musho festival. The sixth Musho Theatre Festival was hosted by the Performing Arts Network of South Africa (PANSA) in KZN in January, 2011. The festival provides a platform for one and two person theatre and this one-woman show stood out from the crowd.

Conceived, written and created by Mandisa Haarhof in collaboration with her director Ntokozo Madlala, Crush Hopper is a beautiful true tale of a young woman searching for love and identity in the midst of trying circumstances. Through crushing and crushes, she finds a way to cope with her displacement and an escape from her numbing reality.

Mandisa Rouleen Haarhof grew up in Somerset- East - a small ‘boere dorpie’ in the outskirts of Port Elizabeth. She lived there during the exciting times of the advent of South African democracy and as a young girl her greatest desire was to be ‘white’ and marry a white boy with a farm. She was raised by her Afrikaans speaking grandfather, later moved to live with her aunt in a Xhosa-speaking community and now lives in KwaZulu-Natal where she is finishing her Masters degree. This complex experience of multilingualism and multi-culturalism is reflected in the way in which she tells her story.

Through the subtle weaving of storytelling, poetry, movement, characterisation, music and humour she reveals the conditions under which this fantasy was cultivated and how she came to a confrontation with her reality at a later stage in life. Crush Hopper celebrates youth and womanhood and South Africanism in the most unexpected ways and forges a unique celebration of the rainbow nation through one individual’s story.

Crush Hopper runs from June 16 to 26. Tickets R65 (R40 students and pensioners) booked through Catalina box office on 031 305 6889 or online at