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Monday, November 3, 2014


Four stimulating and widely acclaimed theatre productions will feature in the Playhouse Company's special November season to celebrate 20 Years of Democracy in South Africa.

Playhouse CEO and artistic director, Linda Bukhosini says the anniversary marks a significant milestone in the country's history and deserved to be celebrated by all freedom-loving South Africans who cherish the ideal of a non-racial and non-sexist democracy.

The productions featured during the November season have been hand-picked after extensive consultations, with special emphasis placed on high artistic quality, widespread acclaim in the performing arts industry and relevance to the theme of the country's new democracy.

"I see the arts playing a critical role in nurturing our democratic process," says Bukhosini. "We achieve this by profiling issues, provoking debates, championing causes and seeking solutions. We want to be part of the success of our new dispensation, hence our decision to showcase productions during this season that are compelling, stimulating and relevant."

Theatre-goers can look forward to an exciting range of art forms and genres to choose from.

The 20 Years of Democracy season opens with Aubrey Sekhabi's Silent Voice between November 6 and 9 at the Playhouse. The play arrives in Durban straight from its success at the 2014 Edinburgh Assembly Fringe Festival. Nominated for four Naledi Awards, Silent Voice has been performed to great acclaim at the South African State Theatre, the Market Theatre, the Baxter as well as in Edinburgh where it came in for some rave reviews. Featuring Presley Chweneyagae (of Tsotsi fame), ZenzoNgqobe, Boitumelo Shisana and Don Mosenye, Silent Voice is a high-octane armed heist thriller that helps explore the mindset of criminals and the psychology of crime in modern-day South Africa.

The Year of the Bicycle, which will be  staged at the Loft Theatre from November 13 to 16,  is a provocative comic-drama that tells the story of the friendship of two young South Africans from different communities whose lives are disrupted by an unspoken cultural divide. It's an extraordinarily captivating play that explores many of the emotional challenges facing the diversity of South Africa today, and should prove a hit with Durban audiences. The play previews November 13, followed by two evening and two matinee performances.

A production that is truly inspiring and empowering for people living with disabilities is In Blood which will be staged at the Playhouse Company's Drama Theatre from November 21 to 23. This vibrant and heart-warming musical stars the amazingly-talented singer, actor and song writer, Thandi Gcwensa who plays the lead role of Duduzile, a blind village girl whose grit, determination and perseverance towards success, love and prosperity is an inspiration to all around her.

In Blood is being staged by the African Sinakho Arts organisation, in association with the Playhouse Company, and has a cast of 80 performers, some able-bodied and others with various disabilities.

A school's performance takes place on November 21 between 14h00 and 16h00; opening night is on November 22; and the final performance is on November 23 at 14h00,. The pre-show on November 20 at the Playhouse Drama is free of charge.

*Bhakti is a joyous and seamless inter-cultural fusion of dance, the spoken word, film and music which will be staged at the Playhouse Drama from November 28 to 30. This electrifying and colourful  meeting of the various cultures in South Africa’s rainbow nation was first created by choreographer Lliane Loots in 2010 and went on to win one of the coveted Ovation Awards at the National Arts Festival a year later. It's an intriguing collaboration that will have special resonance with local audiences from different communities.

Choreographed by Loots, it features 21 of KZN's finest professional dancers from the Flatfoot Dance Company and the Playhouse Dance Residency who will be joined by veteran Kathak dancer, Manesh Maharaj, musician Madala Kunene (maskandi guitarist), master djembe drummer, Mandla Matsha, tabla player VishenKemraj and poet RaheemKemet.

Booking for all productions is at Computicket.