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Saturday, June 29, 2019


(Right: Shika Budhoo as the five different characters she portrays)

A Shika by any other name ... (Review by Verne Rowin Munsamy)

Rhumbelow Theatre nestled in the heart of Umbilo is doing a remarkable job keeping live performance going in Durban when it seems to the arduous task getting bums on seats. I was fortunate enough to attend two shows there this week. Friday night saw the opening of Shika Land, written and performed by Shika Budhoo.

We live in a world where the internet allows us access to information at the touch of a button. So imagine the curiosity that builds when we discover people living all over the world with the same name as you. This virtual world, reimagined on stage, presents us with five Shikas reliving their stories in this one space.

This one-woman show is masterfully penned in the way it reveals this emotional roller coaster. The characters are all clearly defined through accents, a skill which Budhoo seems distinguished at. We learn of the heartache felt by a 39 year-old Trinidadian Shika at the loss of her husband and the strife of raising three kids alone; we anguish in the fears felt by a young Indian bride as she is about to meet her husband for the first time and revel in the irony of a British Shika who is have an affair with a soon-to-be-married man. The French Shika provided a humorous take on a young Shika trying to dump her boyfriend after he insulted her.

She also slips in and out of several other characters to nudge the story along. This show looks at how the characters have all given distinct meaning to the name Shika, the original quest of the show, which was to find out the meaning of a name.

I enjoyed the pop of colour-in costumes which add to the limited set. I would have speeded up the transitions a little, acapella singing while she changed costumes, but I also do understand the time it takes to get into a sari. Budhoo has earned a well-deserved break after occupying the Rhumbelow Theatre with two shows this week. - Verne Rowin Munsamy