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Monday, April 8, 2013


(Mfanafuthi Mbokazi & Sandile Mazibuko)

Forming part of this year’s fourth Community Arts Festival (CAF) presented by The Playhouse Company is Umlabalaba which forms part of a Triple Bill featuring Talking Spirit and Zion.

Industry professionals signed by The Playhouse Company to work with this year’s community artists include Edmund Mhlongo (mentor and director); Ralph Lawson (directing and acting); Caroline Smart (voice production); Peter Gardner (agents and auditions), Juan Burgers (music and singing); Ashwin Singh (script writing, 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).

Named after a board game, Umlabalaba is a two-hander scripted and directed by Mfanafuthi Mbokazi, who appears opposite Sandile Mazibuko. Devised as an analogy for government, this piece takes a caring look at the common man. Some 16 years after achieving democracy, many black people are still without employment. Two friends have been without work since completing matric. One day, while playing Umlabalaba, they decide to join a local drama group in an attempt to turn their lives around despite the fact that the odds are stacked against them.

The absorbing programme of three works can be seen in the Playhouse Loft from April 11 to 13 with performances at 11h00, 14h00 and 18h00. Admission is free.

The second programme, which runs from April 17 to 20, will feature Sugar Daddies which looks head-on at the social issue widely prevalent today of older, often married, men with financial means having very young girlfriends. The production will also tour to schools in KZN.