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Tuesday, July 28, 2015


(Nqobile Mthembu & Mfundiseni Mdwalane)

The Working Man, an original and compelling new stage three-hander, plays at the Catalina Theatre from July 30 to August 9.

A multi-faceted production using elements of storytelling, live music and physical theatre, The Working Man depicts the life story of Sipho, a young man who dreams of becoming a dancer but is pressured to work in the mines by both the community in which he lives and by his father -  because that’s what a “real man” does.

Each episode in his story is constructed in a minimalist fashion using nothing more than two black blocks, the actors’ physicality, and monologues to illustrate the different fragments of Sipho’s life.

A Wordplay Company production, the play is written by Sboniso Msimango and directed by Brandon Moulder and performed by Nqobile Mthembu, Sboniso Msimango and Mfundiseni Ndwalane.

In constructing and presenting The Working Man, the show’s creative team state that “as a collective, we lend ourselves more to minimalistic styles of theatre performances and setting. We believe that with the body as a site of performance - the voice and most importantly, the narrative - should lead and indicate the actions. We are merely vessels and the narrative belongs to the people.”

Nqobile Mthembu, actress and musician, graduated BaHons (cum laude) in Drama and Performance Studies, and currently is studying for her Masters at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She took one of the leading roles in Full Circle (2013) directed by Madeline Davis and also appeared in Dead End by Zakes Mda. She made her professional debut 2014 in Mine Boy the musical in which she played Eliza.

Sboniso Msimango, writer, dancer and actor, has been gracing Durban’s small stages for a few years. Amongst other productions he was seen in Dead End by Zakes Mda, and Tsepang in 2013. He made his professional debut in Ekse, You Aint Seen Nothing Yet directed by Sashin Naidoo. His writing is influenced by contemporary South African social issues.

Mfundiseni Ndwalane, actor, dancer and musician, too has appeared on Durban’s stages in recent seasons. He performed in Ekse, You Aint Seen Nothing Yet and has choreographed The Working Man.

The Working Man runs at the Catalina from July 30 to August 9. Performances are at 19h00 (Thursday to Saturday) and at 14h00 on Sunday. Tickets R80 (R50 students) available at Computicket outlets, on 0861 915 8000 or online at, or at the door.