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Sunday, September 27, 2015


(Chante du Plessis as Vasco da Gama being henpecked by his wife Anna Maria played by Sfundo Sosibo. Pic by Themi Venturas)

De Compleat Histry of Dbn (without the boring bits!) is a high energy theatrical romp through the history of Durban. It is being staged by UKZN Drama and Performance Studies Students under the direction of Themi Venturas and runs for a short season at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre next week.

This tongue-in-cheek potted history of the city is based on the storytelling and comic techniques of the Reduced Shakespeare Company inspired by the style of The Compleat Wrks of Wlm Shkspr (Abridged). Whilst the historical (or, should we say, hysterical) facts are all correct, the story behind the story" is wildly imaginative.

The set includes a cartoon timeline designed by Iain "Ewok" Robinson, and a series of very interesting photographs of early Durban projected onto a big central screen.

The production sets out to celebrate the unique history (without the boring bits) of the town “discovered” on Christmas Day by Vasco de Gama who, apparently, was on a voyage to get away from his nagging wife and a persistent taxman. The potted history seeks to tell the stories behind the historical facts, peppered with occasional ditties, parodies and traditional songs from the city’s earliest history until today.

The production has been staged in various incarnations before to critical acclaim. This version features a cast of 15 UKZN Drama & Performance Studies students.

The play is dedicated to the late Tiki Nxumalo who passed away this year and was part of the original cast when the production was first staged at the Catalina Theatre.

Schoolgoing drama students will enjoy seeing this production's interesting performance style and will inspire much conversation for history scholars. A school's performance has been scheduled for October 2 at 11h00. Bookings via Claudette Wagner on 031 260 3134 or

De Compleat Histry of Dbn (without the boring bits!) runs from September 30 to October 3 nightly at 19h00 with matinees on October 3 and 4 at 14h00. Tickets R60 (R30 students, scholars and pensioners on presentation of relevant ID). Early booking is advised through Computicket outlets, telephonically on 0861 915 8000, or online at