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Saturday, September 24, 2011


(Pic supplied by Theater Groep Siberia: Ntando Mncube (centre) drums up support at the Rotterdam City Theatre)

Four Durban-based actors have been selected to perform in the Netherlands over the coming months with the Dutch Theater Group Siberia, as part of an exchange programme driven by the locally based NPO Twist Theatre Development Projects.

Actors Jabulani Mfeka and Ntando Mncube have been cast in the production Kamp Noord, written by the Dutch writer Oskar van Woensel. Van Woensel has a long connection with theatre in South Africa. He wrote the script for Third World Bunfight's production of the award-winning shock opera Medea, directed by Brett Bailey in 2007. He also created a heartrendingly desperate piece entitled Soweto So What as part of the Twist writers project at the National Arts Festival in 2010 based on Zakes Mda's novel, Black Diamond. The piece is currently being considered as a short film.

Kamp Noord is a dark and moving dance drama that explores notions of loneliness and belonging. After opening in Rotterdam it will tour the Netherlands and Belgium.

In a production that opens later in the year, newcomer Philisiwe Sithole and Eager Artist's actress Sphindile Miyeni have both been cast to appear in Erik-ward Geerling's production Odysee, a modern day take on Homer's Odyssey. The actresses were cast for their fantastic vocal abilities, and will take turns appearing as the femme fatale of the piece, who seduces Odysseus away from his faithful wife Penelope.

For most of the actors, this is the first time that they have travelled beyond South Africa's borders. It allows them the opportunity to experience the professional stage in other countries, and to bring these experiences back and share the lessons learnt with local theatre groups. The exchange product is funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands through the Twist Theatre Development Project.