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Tuesday, August 21, 2018


(Menzi Mkhwane, Ralph Lawson, Rory Booth & Ashwin Singh. Pic by Val Adamson)

Into The Grey, the latest stage work by acclaimed Durban-based playwright Ashwin Singh, will be staged for just three nights at The Playhouse Loft between September 13 and 15, 2018. Presented by The Singh Siblings in association with The Playhouse Company, an Agency of the Department of Arts and Culture, the new work is a notable addition to Singh’s award-winning plays that have made an indelible impact on the South African cultural landscape over the past 15 years.

Combining humour and pathos, Singh’s numerous works delve into myriad issues in contemporary Durban. His production wing, The Singh Siblings, has partnered with KZN’s leading arts institution, The Playhouse Company to stage several impactful productions at the Playhouse Drama and Loft Theatres since 2006.

Directed by Ralph Lawson and starring Rory Booth, Menzi Mkhwane and Singh himself, Into The Grey is a state of the nation play focusing on the decades-long association between two activists, Dr Logan Pillay and Advocate Sandile Ndlovu. It commences in the late 80s and traces these characters’ evolution until present day. Both men struggle with professional challenges and personal demons as each tries to find his best self and fight for South Africa’s soul. Lawson has designed an innovative set and atmospheric lighting to explore the confrontations between various characters which occur in different institutions: a community centre; a university; a public hospital; and the Chatsworth streets. The play exposes the fact that South Africa is standing at the edge of a precipice but also offers hope that we can still work together to find a better understanding and engage in genuine nation building. It is a wonderful mix of action and ideas.

The Singh Siblings has also staged full-scale productions as well as dramatic readings in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown, India and the UK. Singh’s plays have been published in two anthologies (Durban Dialogues, Indian Voice and Durban Dialogues, Then and Now) by London-based Aurora Metro Books and these books are being studied at universities in South Africa, India, Canada and Europe.

The anthology in which Into the Grey features was launched in May at the prestigious Nehru Centre in London. The event was a huge success with the receptive audience thoroughly engaged with Singh and his team in an evening of serious theatre and literature. Dr Felicity Hand of the English Department at the Autonomous University of Barcelona will be teaching Into the Grey on their Master of Arts programme next year. Hand will be flying to Durban for the opening night of the production. This is another coup for Singh in a growing list of international accolades.

Singh expressed his sheer delight at the opportunity to work with Lawson, Mkhwane and Booth again. “You cannot find a more committed and talented group of artists. I am blessed to have someone of such rare and intense vision and skill as Ralph as my director. Menzi and Rory are award-winning actors with great dramatic flair and emotional depth,” said Singh.

Into the Grey runs in The Playhouse Loft between September 13 and 15, 2018. Tickets R80 with concessions for students and pensioners. The show runs each evening at 19h30 from Thursday to Saturday and the matinee on Saturday is at 15h00. Booking is via Computicket, telephonically on 0861 915 8000, online at, or by calling the Playhouse Box Office on 031 369 9540/ 369 9596 (office hours).