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Wednesday, January 9, 2013


(Mpilo Nzimande and T.Q. Zondi appear in “Mob Feel” by Ian Hardman. Written and directed by Kline Smith, the production is mentored by Peter Mitchell)

The Performing Arts Network of South Africa (PANSA) in KZN will host the eighth Musho! International Theatre Festival of One and Two Person Theatre, at the Catalina Theatre in Durban from January 16 to 20 featuring virtually 20 productions over six days, all celebrating the art of the one and two-performer plays. 

“Musho’ – isiZulu for an enthusiastic praise response, something similar to “Bravo!” - embraces many forms of theatre: from mime to physical theatre, drama to comedy-theatre. It pays tribute to the smaller works featuring one and two performers. These are intimate productions that showcase the skill of theatre performance and storytelling, as well as covering a wide range of styles, from drama to comedy and physical theatre. 

This year there are productions which are informed by the world in which we live: a production from London, Sometimes I Laugh Like My Sister, which reflects on the death of Kate Peyton, a BBC journalist shot and killed by suspected Islamic radicals in 2005 in Somalia. There are two productions from Zimbabwe: Allegations looking at a true story of hope, fear and frustration; and Half Empty / Half Full - a satire on contemporary Zimbabwe. Twelve looks at the last few days of South Africa – looking for salvation on a map with old street names, written and directed by Dhaveshan Govender; Brothers features identical twins grappling with the social complexities of South Africa and Veil tells a beautiful love story of which society disapproves. 

There are productions which explore the quirky, thoughtful and the whimsical: Le Chop TV by Cobus van Heerden introduces us to Benson Schwenson – a self-confessed egomaniac with a Robin Hood philosophy; Hambre del Alma is a solo mask performance by Tristan Jacobs directed by Andrew Buckland about Durban-born Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. 

The Spinster by Kala David directed by James Cairns shares stories which are mad, rowdy, wild and downright rude; The Epicine Butcher and Other Stories explores the ancient Japanese storytelling art of paper play in a series of stories from the profane to the profound; Elnora and Nirvana is about the relationship between a woman and her inner child using delightful techniques associated with the Handspring Puppet Company.  

“The festival will run from January 16 until 20 and we are planning for a bumper edition!” says Musho! Festival Director, Emma Durden. “We had a record number of over 70 applications for the festival this year, which we were delighted about. After long deliberation, we have selected 12 productions for the main festival – including one children's production, and four fringe productions. The Twist project of developing theatre will have two productions for the Musho with a Twist arm of the festival,” explained Durden. 

Musho! typically provides a platform for new work. Assisting in this process are mentors who work with the New Voices and Twist productions: Neil Coppen, Themba Mkhoma, Gisele Turner, Christa Biyela, Rowin Moonsamy and Peter Mitchell. 

There will be one Puppet Master Class on January 21 from 09h00 to 12h00. Entrance is free but bookingis  essential. Book though the PANSA offices. Mandisa Tshiqi on 031 201 4750 /Fax 031 201 4738 or email:  

After extensive research, PANSA realized that a festival early in the year staging more intimate theatrical productions is considered a useful and exciting start to the year by performers and audiences alike. Musho! benefits the performers as staging their shows and collecting reviews early in the year helps them for future seasons of the production through the year. The audiences love seeing an array of good quality theatre early in the year when calendars are quiet and when the festive flurry is over. 

“The first festivals held in January annually from 2006 were astonishingly inspiring and successful with some fabulous productions and amazing support,” adds Durden. 

The festival is organised by PANSA KZN, the Performing Arts Network of South Africa, with support from The Daily News, Ethekwini Municipality, KZN Department of Arts and Culture, Business and Arts South Africa, Twist, The Kingdom of the Netherlands, Pro-Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).  

The proactive webmasters of Going Places has generously sponsored the prize for best script. LTJ travel has once again sponsored the best performer. These two awards will be adjudicated by a panel of theatre professionals. The Audience favourite award will once again be sponsored by PANSA and the coveted Sulliman Selection award is sponsored by Musho regulars, the Sulliman family.

The Musho Festival runs from January 16 to 20 at the Catalina Theatre on Wilson's Wharf in Durban. For more details about the festival, visit or email For bookings, show times and details contact Catalina Theatre on 031 305 6889 or visit

Tickets for all shows R50 (R30 PANSA paid-members as well as OAPS, students and children under 12). Special all-day ticket on Saturday / Sunday - R100 per day. Twist / Fringe tickets - pay-what-you can. Children’s show R50 (R30 for children)

See the artSMart Events List for dates and times. Details of individual productions to follow shortly on artSMart.