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Wednesday, August 6, 2014


(Simo Buthelezi, who co-wrote the production and appears in it)

Pascal, an exciting and interactive mathematics-based theatre production that combines maths and fun, will be touring KZN schools as from August 2014.

Pascal is part of an educational outreach program of Phephinka Theatre Productions, a theatre company that creates educational and issue-based theatre. The production is co-written by Muzi Mhlanga and Simo Buthelezi and directed by Muzi Mhlanga with stage management and scenic design by Bongani ‘Pillay’ Ngwenya.

The production features Simo Buthelezi, Tu Mvubu and Thami Zungu and provides a highly successful formula for a play about Maths.

Mhlanga has scripted and appeared in numerous mainstream and corporate/industrial theatre productions (Happiness through the Mist, Roots, PetroSA….). Ngwenya appeared in the hit musical Taxi Jam. Zungu portrayed Jesus in Jerry Pooe’s musical Messiah and also starred in Long Journey-the Musical. Buthelezi is a member of the isiZulu version of Stable Theatre’s children theatre production Rhythm Blues written and directed by Caroline Smart. Mvubu is a seasoned actress and ex-school teacher who has been involved in numerous educational theatre projects and productions like Women in Africa and the film I wish I was in Jail.

Pascal is a hero in this hilarious production, which is calculated to appeal to all learners. His story is a reminder of the power of true determination and courage, and the patience needed to navigate unimaginable obstacles.

Is it hard, very hard to be a little boy… between the school homework , social networks, very strict maths teacher, lazy friends, and lack of self-esteem. Pascal finds it hard to keep his tranquillity but his mother is always there to land a helping hand. She loves Pascal but knows how to be strict with her son.

Pascal is too busy multi-tasking among social networks, music videos, and TV games. When his mother finally gets him down to do his homework, he falls asleep over his maths book. While asleep, he’s visited by the legend of the mathematical world, Pythagoras, who shows him how maths is part of the world. Throughout the dream, the often-worrying subject is transformed into an amusing and inspiring school subject. We see Pascal character develop from a shy, lazy, negative, complaining and troubled boy, to a very funny, brilliant and engaging maths teacher.

This amusing production is integrally linked to the Department of Education’s Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) specific aims and skills. Links to CAPS on this project will also give the learners the opportunity to develop a spirit of curiosity and a love of mathematics as well as an appreciation for the beauty and elegance of mathematics. The play will also create critical awareness of how mathematical relationships are used in social, environmental, cultural and economic relations as well as the correct use of the language of mathematics; number vocabulary, number concept and calculation and application skills, listening, communication and problem solving skills.

Pascal runs for 60 minutes and is 60% IsiZulu and 40% English. The play is aimed at school learners in grades 7 to 10 and has been well received wherever it has been performed.

"This production skilfully combines three learning areas; Mathematics, Arts and Culture and Life Orientation. Not only will the learners be turned on by Maths, but they'll embrace it and get excited about it,” says Mhlanga.

Thanduxolo Zulu, Stable Theatre’s Centre Manager, also endorses the play: “This is a show not to be missed by learners and teachers as well.”

Pascal is available to visit schools in KZN by arrangement. Tickets R30 per learner. To book a performance for your school, or for further information, call Nomcebo Dlamini on 072 804 1059 or e-mail