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Tuesday, April 30, 2013


(Zakithi Mavundla with Londiwe “Cinderella” Cele in front)

Talking Spirits was one of the four productions featured by The Playhouse Company in its fourth Community Arts Festival (CAF) which ran in the Playhouse Loft from April 11 to 20.

As previously, the Festival featured productions from KZN communities which received performance and theatre skills training from professional arts practitioners.

Providing training in voice production (speech), artSMart editor Caroline Smart was one of the industry professionals working with this year’s community artists. Others included Edmund Mhlongo (mentor and director); Ralph Lawson (directing and acting); (voice production); Peter Gardner (agents and auditions), Juan Burgers (music and singing); Ashwin Singh (scriptwriting, contracts and copyright); Peter Court (masks and physical theatre), Dr Emma Durden (administration & artistic management), Megan Levy (stage management), and Nkanyiso Kunene and Sandile Mbili (movement and dance).

“Obviously I can’t give a full review of this production as I was involved in its development,” says Caroline Smart, “but Talking Spirits was a fascinating piece, well-directed by Bongani Baai. His eagerness to improve the quality of his production showed the value of this Playhouse Company project. Our skills were made available to him and he was ever-ready to learn. Londiwe Cele, Nomathemba Kawula, Sanelisiwe Mabine, Zakithi Mavundla, Nozuko Ncayiyane and Londiwe Ngwazi all gave focused and mature performances. The production dealt with the hard-hitting issues of abortion, correctional rape and murder and the inevitable consequences.

The other three productions in the Community Arts Festival were Umlabalaba and Zion (Programme 1); and Sugar Daddies (Programme 2). (See separate articles)