(Ralph Lawson & Rory Booth. Pic by Val Adamson)
The Singh Siblings (an artistic collaboration between Ashwin Singh and Shantal Singh) will present award-winning playwright Ashwin Singh’s one-man play Reoca Light at the Playhouse in April 2017.
The play celebrates the indomitability of the human spirit and pays tribute to unsung heroes in contemporary South Africa as well as those from our recent and distant past. Performed by multiple award-winning actor Rory Booth, the play is co-directed by Singh and renowned director and theatre-maker Ralph Lawson.
Reoca Light was the runner-up in the one and two-hander category of the 2012 PANSA Play Reading Festival (South Africa’s foremost playwriting contest). It also features in Singh’s acclaimed anthology of plays, Durban Dialogues, Indian Voice, published in 2013 by UK publications company Aurora Metro Books. This book is currently being studied and/or referenced at South African universities as well as universities in India, Canada and the UK.
Singh says that Reoca Light is about a young man, Sunil Mohan, who is presiding over the closure of his parent’s convenience store after a series of robberies. He is approached by a local journalist for the story behind the story about the store which became known as the “light of Reoca”. Mohan recounts how his parents started trading from a little hut before purchasing the store and how they were inspired by his great, great grandfather, who dreamed of starting a convenience store while working on the sugar cane plantations in the 1870s. Mohan also relives his exciting experiences with the three men who most influenced his life – his father; his mentor, Uncle Johnny; and his parents’ employee, Themba.
Combining storytelling, cutting edge character drama, a variety of comedy styles, and bold visuals, Reoca Light is a unique theatrical experience. It is filled with humour and pathos and is sure to entertain audiences in the vein of Singh’s other major works, namely To House, Spice ‘n Stuff, Marital Blitz, Shooting and Beyond the Big Bangs.
Singh says he is “delighted and honoured” to be working with Booth and Lawson. He has previously directed Booth in the sketch comedy show PopCom and performed alongside him in his Grey Street dramedy Spice ‘n Stuff. Singh said that he and Lawson had established a close professional relationship over the past five years working together as mentors on the Playhouse Company’s development programmes.
Booth is one of South Africa’s most accomplished and versatile actors, equally comfortable performing in comedy, drama and musicals. He is also an acclaimed recording artist, having received regular airplay on local radio stations and to top it off, he is a fully qualified Indian classical dancer. Lawson has established an international reputation as an innovative, versatile and meticulous director of drama, comedy and opera. He regularly directs the big end-of-year Playhouse Company musical and his seminal work about Alan Paton, A Voice I Cannot Silence, won several Naledi theatre awards in 2016. He describes Reoca Light as “both a dynamic piece of entertainment and an important cultural document”.
Reoca Light runs in The Playhouse Loft from April 5 to 8, 2017, at 19h30 before embarking on a national and international tour. Tickets R100 (concessions for students and pensioners) booked via Computicket on 0861 915 8000 or online at www.computicket.com. Alternatively, call the Playhouse Box Office on 031-369 9540 / 369 9596 (office hours).