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Sunday, May 17, 2015


The University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg’s Drama and Performance Studies is to present Different Directions, a festival of short plays and extracts from plays directed by exciting new directors who are postgraduates at the institution.

The festival will run from May 20 to 23 at the Hexagon Studio Theatre in Pietermaritzburg. The plays include:

And The Girls in Their Sunday Dresses - by Zakes Mda and directed by Nokwazi Mkhatshwa. A retired prostitute and a fiery domestic worker develop an unlikely friendship as they wait in a queue to buy cheap rice. They share stories and heartbreaks, resolving to stop waiting and seize life.

Asinamali! by Mbongeni Ngema and directed by Nompilo Jili. Five prisoners in a South African jail in the 1980’s recount the circumstances that led to their imprisonment through dialogue, song and dance. The cast includes some impressive professional actors: the talented Menzi Mkhwane, Mpilo Nzimande and TQ Zondi, all known for their shows that are touring the province at the moment.

Nongogo by Athol Fugard and directed by Lungi Mncube. Set in the 1950’s, when apartheid was being brutally formalized, Nongogo tells the tale of displaced township individuals, whose futile longing to belong and be loved provides the impetus for the drama. Each character represents a different dysfunction, from psychological to physical, as they interact in Queenie’s Shebeen.

The House Of Cards by Charles Mee and directed by Brandon Bosch. The House of Cards is a reflection on the presence of beauty as well as the terrifying atrocities of our world. A young man, scared by the effects of war, describes his experiences through detailed imageries of blossoms, boat rides and torture. The cruelty of war has left him drifting through ‘No Man’s Land’ as he struggles to keep his sanity.

 A Little Box of Oblivion by Stephen Bean and directed by Shivani Hariparsad. A lovely spring day is interrupted by a woman who leaves a box beside Cool, asking her not to knock, tilt, shake or open it and rushes off. Cool just wants to read her paper when people start to arrive and speculate about the possible evil contents of the box. What could possibly go wrong when the woman comes back?

The Suit by Can Themba, Mothobi Mutloatse, and Barney Simon. Directed by Mxolisi Gwala. This is a parable about forgiveness set in apartheid South Africa. It follows a husband who demands an unusual punishment to his wife: that she treat her lover’s abandoned suit as a guest of honour in their home.

Alarms by Michael Frayn and directed by Nicolas Hughes. Alarms is a high energy farce and depicts how a simple evening’s drinks with friends quickly dissolves into utter chaos without any provocation. Four friends simply try to enjoy a bottle of wine together when things go horrendously wrong as gadgets and technologies begin to unravel the evening.

Programme – starting time is 18h00 each night: The shows are each between 15 and 30 minutes long

May 20: A Little Box of Oblivion, And The Girls in Their Sunday Dresses, The House of Cards
May 21: Nongogo, The Suit, Alarms.
May 22: A Little Box of Oblivion, Asinamali!, And The Girls in Their Sunday Dresses, The House of Cards
May 23: Nongogo, The Suit, Alarms, Asinamali!

Different Directions runs from May 20 to 23 at the Hexagon Studio Theatre on the UKZN Pietermaritzburg campus. Tickets R40/R25 per evening - only available at the door.