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Saturday, March 24, 2012


(Grant Jacobs and Caitlin Kilburn)

Excellently directed and well-written play performed with sensitivity and humour. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Grant Jacobs is definitely making himself known as a scriptwriter and performer to be reckoned with, following his award-winning PaperBoy! which has travelled South Africa and beyond and now his latest play, Colour Me In, which is running at Catalina Theatre.

Unlike PaperBoy! which featured him as a solo performer, Colour Me In is a two-hander featuring Jacobs alongside Caitlin Kilburn who Durban audiences will surely remember for her fine performance in Man of La Mancha.

Add the impressive skills of Amsterdam-based Dutch director Denise Lukkenaer and lovers of good theatre can be assured of a memorable evening. This is an excellently directed well-written play which is performed with sensitivity and humour.

Initially submitted for the Musho! Festival and therefore the average one-hour festival length, Colour Me In introduces a young couple – the girl is white, the boy is coloured. They are attending a group session (reluctantly, on the boy’s part) where they are discussing the problems that attend their relationship.

As the normal “I want but we do what you want” kind of scenario is played out, the issues boil down to the crux of the matter. While the parents seem to tolerate their relationship, this is purely on the surface and there is a thinly-veiled resistance to the mix of colour. Both characters react differently to this issue and it is to Jacobs’ credit that he handles what could become heavy-handed dialogue with honesty, sensitivity and much humour.

The script is full of well-designed twists and turns acted out with appropriate movement and when the girl reveals her secret, the audience responded with genuine astonishment.

Lukkenaer has made excellent use of the bare minimum of props set on a stage that simply offers two strips of black and white checks. There’s a door frame and a bench and it’s her use of the bench at various angles that shows Lukkenaer’s innovative skills, particularly a moment when we get a “bird’s eye view”, as it were, of the couple sitting at a table.

I did find the opening music disturbing and overpowering and the use of what appeared to be a travelling train sound effect which I took to represent the journey of their relationship was not continued as effectively as it could have been.

Presented by TheatreGroup Heart with lighting by Nosipho Bophela, Colour Me In runs at the Catalina Theatre until April 1 with performances Thursdays to Saturdays at 19h30 (Sundays at 17h00). Tickets R70 (R55 discount for students or pensioners). Bookings on 031 305 6889 or online at – Caroline Smart

The Catalina Theatre continues to operate by the generosity of Rainbow Chicken Farms (Pty) Ltd.