Identity and search for happiness

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iol tonight 15 nov 11 NDR Journeying home pic2

Dabbling in personal matters of self and identity is Journeying Home, which will be staged at the Square Space Theatre from tomorrow.

Written and directed by Verne Rowin Munsamy, of the University of KwaZulu-Natal Drama School, Journeying Home has been described as a heartfelt diary-like theatrical encounter with six South Africans who are all “journeying home” South via different routes – geographical, emotional and spiritual.

Munsamy explained his motivation for writing the play.

“Journeying Home is a personal project that I’m partly doing as an opportunity for students to take that first step into professional theatre.

“A while ago I was asked to write a script for a BBC radio drama, so I thought, why not use this on stage? Journeying Home is a drama about four university friends who become close… and some drift apart. It gives us a slice of their life.”

Munsamy said the play honed in on this group of people who were processing what they had gone through in life, and also trying to better their lives.

iol tonight 15 nov 11 NDR Journeying home pic

But more than a social observation, Journeying Home touches on a number of issues, including same-sex relationships and family matters.

“On the gender issue, we have a lesbian couple who are trying to figure out their relationship. There are some family relationships and friendships that are worked through,” said Munsamy.

“We meet these six characters at a point in their lives where some of their paths are beginning to inter-sect, while others are faced with a fork in the road. Sometimes we realise that our best efforts at steering our journeys and our lives are insufficient, and that we are veering towards an uncontrollable future – and all that is left is to buckle up and enjoy the journey home. This play tackles these inner and outer journeys.”

The cast is made up of honours students Lauren Jones, Tumelo Khoza, Devaksha Moodley, Tamika Sewnarain, Christopher Tobo and Julia Wilson.

Journeying Home is the second professional production written and directed by Munsamy, with the first being Reality Bytes – winner of the 2008 Musho Theatre Festival’s Fringe Audience Favourite Award.

He said this play was a tribute to life and the search that we all embarked on at some point in our lives to find happiness. “Sometimes this journey is as simple as buying an outfit, or more complex like finding that special someone to share your life with,” said Munsamy.

“When we pick up the pieces of clothing that we put into our luggage, we remember the memories that were created and the people who helped create them.

“We remember our sometimes misplaced dreams and lost ambition, we remember ways to grasp on to the dreams that have gradually slipped away. All of this when we check in our luggage for our journey home.”

lJourneying Home will be staged at the Square Space Theatre (Howard College Campus – UKZN) from tomorrow until November 27, Wednesday to Saturday each week at 7pm, with a Sunday matinee at 3pm on November 27. Tickets are R50 for adults and R30 for students and pensioners. Call 083 763 6292.

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