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Saturday, October 22, 2011


(Pranesh Maharaj)

Durban actor Pranesh Maharaj is well-known for his excellent performances in radio drama and on stage with productions such as To House and Spice 'n Stuff. He has moved into the movie business as a writer/director/producer with his new film, Cassandra @ No.77 which is currently in production.

The story is a comic look at accepting the alternative to the truth rather than the prospect of change. A little world of heroes slap-stick their way through life. Another outsider, Sticks, tells this story from his perspective; hoping to get sympathy from his friend, Boxer. The neighbourhood’s fears are put to rest in the end and life goes on.

This story is told from the eyes of Sticks Naidoo who has been living in the bush for six months, apparently hiding from the police. He takes us on a detailed journey that led to his ‘Nomad’ life:

Cassandra moves in at Number 77, a quiet little suburbia in which the conservative natives are resistant to change. She wants to convince her husband Sevan that they need to move again. She plans this talk with him, based on the fact that there are ‘crazies’ in that area. Finally all hell breaks loose.

Sticks decides on a new business venture, among many, that he would proposition his friends although he is unconventional about questioning protocol. Daya follows Sticks’ cue in an attempt to make some extra cash with his idea of the world ending. He is the old man from down the road who has a significantly American disorder.

Junaid is living the dream – the Bollywood dream. A gift to.....well, a gift He has designs to star in a movie whilst it’s being screened and is easily upset by anything negative about Bollywood. Then there’s Sipho, your everyday gardener (horticulturist) who has a few ulterior motives. His only mission in life is to find work for a couple of days. Sevan, Cassandra’s other half (not necessarily her better half), is very road-conscious; but not very roadworthy.

The cast features Andrea Brijmohan (Cassandra), Anesh Dusrath (Sticks Naidoo), China Ngejane (Sipho Gumede), Lovie Ramas Rai (Uncle Daya), T-Bone Hlahane (Sevan), Zaid Bhoola (Junaid Hussein), Raj Naidoo (Uncle Krish), Kogie Naidoo (Aunty Radha) and Tashmika Harilal (Selvie).

Cassandra @ No.77 is a comedy that gives a different and possibly lighter look at society’s ailments. She is hell bent on moving out; but Cassandra doesn’t decide, finally.... you do.

When it was presented as a stage play, artSMart’s Editor, Caroline Smart, described it as: “...An entertaining new production featuring a cast of interesting and diverse talents portraying a bunch of whacky characters!”

The film is being produced by Pranesh Maharaj / Polart Productions / Sheko Entertainment / Seanic Productions. Sean Rabbiechun is DOP with Venita Dusrath as Executive Producer and Pauline Dalais as Facilitating Producer. The background score is by Sebastian Christian.

For more information contact Pranesh Maharaj on 082 295 1842 or email: