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Tuesday, June 10, 2014


The Drama Department of the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Pietermaritzburg campus presents the third in its season of Postgraduate directed plays at the Hexagon Studio Theatre. Titled Ab/normal and Yesterday Today they will take place at the Hexagon Studio Theatre.

Ab/Normal -  I am not crazy… is a one act play directed and written by Thobeka Bhengu and workshopped with the cast. Using elements of music and physical theatre, the play brings to life the characters’ thoughts and memories.

“There’s a fine line, a grey area between being sane and insane. Everyone has that little crazy in them. It can be a moment in time where you have no control over what you say, what you do and how you think. That moment can be a moment we choose to embrace every now and then, or it can become who we are.”

Ab/Normal is about a young woman Zoe, who finds herself institutionalized at the age of 19. She introduces us to Amanda, her roommate. Amanda’s presence in the room is a little hazy. The two young women are constantly in conflict with their thoughts and with each other. Zoe’s conflict with her thoughts has resulted in her inability to differentiate between what is real and what is not. Together they come up with a plan to escape when their psychologist pays them the next weekly visit. Will they do it?

Yesterday Today written and directed by Qiniso Zamandla Zungu, is a piece of physical theatre that ranges from 1970s to present day South Africa. Using songs and vocal sounds, the cast evoke and portray individuals who have been affected by the Apartheid struggle in multiple ways.

The play opens with a powerful dance sequence, reflecting on the 1976 Soweto Uprising and forced removals. It then takes one through a journey in which the clash between generations over the years is highlighted – the younger generation not paying enough attention to the traditions and values of their culture; an issue that is as relevant now as it was in the ‘70s. It also looks at the 2008 Xenophobic attacks which took place in South Africa and the lives of those who suffered from the incidents. The use of the suitcases as a symbol of their existence in a foreign environment is a theatrical device which is heightened by the use of song, dance and poetry.

The show explores themes of peace, liberty, xenophobia, violence, slavery, tradition and culture. The audience is posed with the question of whether the present day South Africa is what the Freedom Fighters fought for.

The Double Bill runs from June 11 to 13 nightly at 18h00 at the Hexagon Studio Theatre on the UKZN Pietermaritzburg campus. Tickets R30 at the door only.