LIZZ Meiring will once again be on the stage at The Suidoosterfees, this time in a one-woman performance of a play written specially for her 20 years ago. Cheaper than Roses tells the tale of a coloured woman who managed to have her racial classification changed to white during the apartheid years.
Now in 1996, she wonders whether it was all worth it as when she was classified white, she also had to say farewell to her family, to her youth – and whole life.
“This is not a political play,” Meiring says emphatically. “What it is about is how almost everyone in this country feels displaced, how all of us battle to find our place.” This will be Meiring’s ninth one-woman performance – and only the third piece that she had not also written herself.
Ismail Mahomed wrote Cheaper than Roses 20 years ago. Why is it being performed only now?
Meiring responds: “Life happened. Logistics prevented Cheaper than Roses being performed 20 years ago. I had a contract to appear in 52 ads, and then we made the film Lipstiek Dipstiek.” At the same time Mahomed received a bursary and went overseas.
Zane Meas directs, and Coenie de Villiers composed the music. It is a co-production with the National Arts Festival. – Arts writer
l Cheaper than Roses will be performed on Thursday at 7pm, Saturday at 4pm and at 6.30pm in the Artscape Arena. Tickets are R100. Call Artscape at 021 421 7695. See www.suidoosterfees.com