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Saturday, May 20, 2023


The Playhouse Company, an Agency of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, is proud to present its latest season of ground-breaking stage productions in this iconic annual festival, which can be seen in eThekwini between May 1 and 27.

The Playhouse is currently staging Iketango, a powerful new piece focusing on the topic of Gender Based Violence. The play addresses the devastating issue by looking at wound, and how the cycle of violence is perpetuated from one generation to the next. Three friends - Phindile, Busisiwe and Muzi - are reunited after the untimely death of their mutual friend Mbali. Leading up to the funeral, details about the night Mbali died are revealed by his mother-in-law, Matron Khowa. In their attempt to figure out the cause of Mbali’s death, four people are “triggered” by the wounds that have kept them bound in their own lives. Iketango runs in the Drama Theatre until May 19. 

(Right: Sivani Chinappan appears in “High Stakes”)

The Playhouse is delighted to welcome the return of acclaimed playwright, director and academic, Ashwin Singh with a double bill of two of his most compelling works. Comprised of High Stakes and Reoca Light, this runs in The Loft, from May 17 to 20. The former piece portrays a complex, mischievous, and endearing character named Gita Singh. Gita is a businesswoman, a community worker, a widow, a grandmother. And she is also a gambler, indebted to a loan shark, who is coming to collect. High Stakes examines Gita’s life of contradictions on a particular Saturday in Rainbow Casino. She experiences a gauntlet of wins and losses in a variety of ways while dealing with her oppressive family, some over-zealous friends, a ruthless villain, and her own greed. It is consummately performed by award-winning actress and dancer, Sivani Chinappan, and directed by Singh himself. 

(Left: Rory Booth appears in “Reoca Light”)

And making a welcome return to the Playhouse stage, Singh’s companion piece, Reoca Light depicts Sunil Mohan, who is overseeing the closure of his parent’s convenience store after a series of robberies. Approached by a journalist for the back story about the store which became known as the “light of Reoca”. 

Mohan recounts his family’s humble past, and their dreams of starting a convenience store while working on the sugar cane plantations in the 1870s. Mohan also recalls the three men who influenced his life – his father; his mentor, Uncle Johnny; and his parents’ employee, Themba. Performed by Rory Booth, award-winning actor of stage and screen, the production, which has been and continues to be performed abroad to wide acclaim, is again directed by Singh.


(Right: Ralph Lawson appears in “Ubuntu Bill”)

Also in The Loft, from May 24 to 27, be sure to catch Ubuntu Bill. This remarkable one-hander by Michael Broderick (Jakob, The King of Broken Things) stars the consummate master of stage-craft, Ralph Lawson. 

A sure-fire highlight on The Playhouse Company’s New Stages roster this superbly-crafted piece is both humorous and touching, its message one of compassion and kindness. Bill is a simple soul who finds happiness in his own dream world. He has nonetheless learned to navigate his way through life despite his limited mental resources and is keen to share his delight in his world with those who share his challenges. A supply of tissues is recommended for the tender-hearted in the audience. Performances in The Playhouse Loft between May 24 and 27, 2023. .


Cion: Requiem of Ravel's Boléro runs in The Drama on May 26 and 27. This intrigue of dance and music that spins on the weight of mourning was conceived and choreographed by Gregory Maqoma who combines movement with his two inspired source materials: Zakes Mda’s novels Cion and Ways of Dying, with French composer Maurice Ravel’s iconic classical show piece, Boléro.


Poetry Sessions on May 19, 2023, at 17h00 features up and coming KZN poets of diverse cultures, facilitated by Page Ngwenya. An important Community Conversation, focusing on the topic of ‘Rekindling The Arts Economy in eThekwini’ will be held on May 20 @ 12h00, led by the distinguished panellists, Dr Ismail Mohamed, Dr Gcina Mhlophe, Natalie Rungan and Jerry Pooe.

Popular eThekwini performers Mthobisi Mthalane and Lu Dlamini are set to take the spotlight on May 20 for the first of two Sundowners concerts of the season. This will be followed by the final Sundowners and Poetry event on May 25, starring Philane Ngidi, Xolisa Dlamini as well as poets. Both events start at 17h00.

Also set to appear in the month’s roster of free live entertainment, Test Driving the Arts sees Oshunikazi and Ophunyuka Bemphethe performing in the Porte Cochere on May 25 at midday, while upcoming KZN poets showcase their talent in The Cellar at 17h00.

Finally, Celebrating Africa Day, a Gala Concert featuring Sjava will be held in the Playhouse Opera on May 27. The concert forms part of the launch of the hugely popular artist’s new album Isibuko.

Playhouse bookings through Webtickets.