An open letter to Quentin Simpson, CEO of the State Theatre:

Dear Mr Simpson

This is a desperate appeal to you, in your capacity as chief executive officer of the State Theatre, to please cancel the appalling show Drama Queen with immediate effect.

This amateur piece of so-called theatre is supposed to pay homage to one of SA’s cultural icons.

Instead, it merely disrespects Lebo Mathosa and the joyful memories she so willingly gave us.

That you even allowed this show to take place in your theatre, a theatre that is considered the leading venue of its kind in the country, where some of the best works of art have been staged, is disrespectful to SA theatre.

When Sello Maake ka Ncube (hereafter referred to as Archie Moroka) felt the need to do this show, he should have considered his local Scout Hall.

That Archie Moroka thought he could write and direct a three-and-half-hour verbiage of unresearched work performed by four singers and one so-called singer is disrespectful to Mathosa and SA theatre.

To witness that silly, talentless Khanyisile Mbau (hereafter referred to as Theunis Crous’ Ex-Girlfriend) open the show with some skanky dance moves and bad clothes was horrific to say the least and is disrespectful to Mathosa.

What was Archie Moroka think- ing when he offered the part to Theunis Crous’ Ex-Girlfriend?

Does he even know who Mathosa was and is?

Mathosa was a highly talented dancer and musician who burst on to the music scene during the birth of our democracy.

She was just 13 years old and was about to change everything.

She and Thembi Seete were fearless in their wild, feminine ways. They unabashedly shook their booties – to the shock and horror of the elders and the delight of the youth.

She was one of the leaders of the kwaito revolution and her relation- ship with Trompies, Oskido, Spikiri, DJ Christos and the rest of Kalawa Jazmee turned her into the superstar she deserved to be.

Unlike the five cast members of Archie Moroka’s Drama Queen, (in particular Theunis Crous’ Ex-Girlfriend) Mathosa had the It factor, that star quality that shone on and off the stage. You could not ignore the dazzling light emanating from her talented soul.

Watching Drama Queen, there was nothing even close to Mathosa’s shine or her constant search for artistic perfection. It was just a lot of bad, joyless booty shaking and mediocre attempts at singing, particularly from Theunis Crous’ Ex-Girlfriend.

Then there was the narrator, Rami Chuene. She tripped over her dialogue and, to make matters worse, delivered it with such pseudo-tragedy it was cringeworthy.

Clearly she has done no research on Mathosa because, if she had, she would know Mathosa was a flirty, naughty creature who liked to laugh a lot and had tremendous, excitable energy. Again, disrespectful to Mathosa’s memory.

And then there is the content of the script. Very, very disrespectful to her memory. Archie Moroka admitted on Metro FM that the bulk of his research for the turgid show was done via newspaper clippings.

Yet, Seete, Junior and Theo as well as DJ Christos and the rest of Kalawa Jazmee crew were just a phone call away. They would have readily spoken about Mathosa, especially to such a great thespian as Archie Moroka.

That is just lazy scriptwriting which makes it – yep, you guessed it – disrespectful to Mathosa’s memory.

So to sum it up, in an attempt to eulogise Mathosa, one of the great icons of our young democracy, Archie Moroka, Theunis Crous’ Ex-Girlfriend and the rest of the mediocre cast have instead spat on her grave.

The State Theatre should never have allowed this show to go on in the first place.

Once again, I am imploring you to cancel Drama Queen with imm- ediate effect. If not, you may just become the laughing stock of the theatre and the music worlds. (If you’re not already.)

Hell knows, Archie Moroka and Theunis Crous’ Ex-Girlfriend already are.

Yours sincerely,

Therese Owen

National Music Writer