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Friday, September 6, 2019


(Zanele Mhlongo & Londiwe Ngwazi)

What I witnessed was beautiful - a small, raw story told with honesty. (Review by Bryan Hiles)

I had the privilege of attending a new work by Peter Court and Creative Madness, not simply as an audience member, but as a critical eye.

I was met, on this cold, wet Durban evening, by the Playhouse Grand Foyer (how lovely to see this wonderful space used) strewn with boxes, pieces of cardboard, an overturned trestle table and the fragments of a fancy-pants corporate banner frame. These formed the setting, the props, the projection screen of the story that was to unfold before me.

I was disappointed at the lack of audience. I know it was raining and cold. I know, too, that the Playhouse is situated in Durban town, but these excuses are tired.

What I witnessed was beautiful - a small, raw story told with honesty. Peter Court’s imagination and craftsmanship regarding puppetry, soft sculpture, origami and pop-up books is used to excellent effect. The boxes, bits of cardboard, frame and table; along with many other recyclables, become a landscape, a shack (exterior and interior), a spaza shop, a taxi. It’s all there, plain as day.

The premise is simple - a woman wants a better life for herself and her daughter. She is a domestic worker. They live in a location. We know it well. The challenges and difficulties that face those who live in informal settlements are understood too, but to what extent?
Here we are met with over-crowding, theft, teenage pregnancies, drug abuse, gang violence and revenge, and ultimately, the moth of hope that flutters up from inside Pandora’s shanty-box.

Performers Zanele Mhlongo and Londiwe Ngwazi guide us through the trials of Lillian and her daughter, Gugu. At times a little apprehensive, thus breaking the flow of the piece, but not taking away from the impact it holds.

This is not a show that will leave you chuckling away to the nearest pub where you can forget it as quickly as your first drink. This is a show that will hopefully keep you thinking about your fellow human beings, realising that they, too, have hopes, fears, troubles, joys. And lives.

Don’t be that person who says, “There’s nothing on” or, “Nothing ever happens”. It is there. I encourage you to get off your couch, put the remote away, and explore the stories that are around us always!

 The show runs until September 15 at the Playhouse in the Grand Foyer. Duration one hour with performances at 19h00 and matinees on September 7 and 14 at 14h00. (No under 10's).

Tickets R100 booked through Webtickets -…/featu…/kwa-themba-pupperty/1492951512 – Bryan Hiles