Sibling rivalry with a hilarious twist

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TO NDR Blunt 1 Gallo Images RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 12: Reneilwe Letsholonyane of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership match between Platinum Stars and Kaizer Chiefs at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on March 12, 2014 in Rustenburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

TIMES are hard when it comes to having a career in entertainment and it’s often a do-or-die situation. One young production company of students have opted to go it alone with no major funding, but they’re set to stage a second production at Durban’s Seabrooke’s Theatre. Bottle of Problems is Blunt Production’s second show at the theatre.

Bottle of Problems is a dark comedy that tells the story of two stepsisters forced to live together after an unexpected incident. The two, now completely grown up (with completely different personalities) have to deal with living together, thus sparking a twisted, hilarious story that takes the audience on an emotional roller-coaster ride.

Writer/producer Mikhale Singh shared more details about the play. “The show was inspired by a conversation between Shannyn Zorab (lead actress), Preven Reddy (director) and myself about how big a role sibling rivalry can play in a person’s life, the after-effects of constantly having to strive to get what you want. These are key issues that we have to deal with daily.

“In our industry, you constantly have to overachieve to succeed, and we knew other people could also identify with these issues. We were intrigued by the idea of not really knowing who you’re living with until you see them at their worst.

“We wanted to explore what happens when you give in to a second of madness, carry on with the impossible until you can’t go back, and see how entertaining the after-effects can be,” he explained.

Blunt Productions was formed in 2012 when Singh and Reddy were at Durban High School. Since then they have added Saná Siddiqi and Thea Brauns to the management team.

“We have 14 other people in employ as stage managers, technicians, producers, choreographers and performers.

“Right now, we are only made up of students from The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance (Afda), Durban. We are all pursuing BA degrees in film directing and screenwriting, TV producing, TV technical and performance. We are looking to expand and collaborate with other companies, but for now we want to ground ourselves and prove to the Durban entertainment industry that we are here to stay.”

On what they have to offer the local entertainment industry, Singh said they had their youth as an advantage. “With recent trends in film and television of character-based narratives, especially those around young twentysomethings, there is a definite niche in theatre and indeed, in Durban.

“We want to focus on shows designed for the youth market, but carry universal themes that anyone can relate to. We also want to give our community high-quality, entertaining productions that are relevant to them. We are developing an adaption of The Grinch for December,” he added.

Directed by Reddy and written by Singh, Bottle of Problems features set design and costume design by Saná Siddiqi and lighting design by Julian Evans. Thea Brauns serves as co-producer and assistant director, with Brett van Dort as stage manager.

• The show is on at Seabrooke’s Theatre, Durban, from August 8-10 at 7pm. Tickets R40 at door.


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