Mbulelo Grootboom, Wessel Pretorius. Picture: Oscar O'Ryan
Mbulelo Grootboom, Wessel Pretorius. Picture: Oscar O'Ryan

‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’ explores issues of identity and sexuality

By Kedibone Modise Time of article published May 20, 2021

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This Youth Month, the Baxter Theatre is set to host a modern classic, Marcel Puig’s extraordinary play, titled “Kiss of the Spider Woman” with multi-award-winning Sylvaine Strike at the helm as the director.

Originally written in Spanish in 1972 by Puig, translated into English by Allan Baker, “Kiss of the Spider Woman”, has captured the attention of audiences for its romantic drama, political outcry and postmodern style portrayed through its two characters, Molina and Valentin.

In 1983, the play was adapted for the stage.

The production sees Mbulelo Grootboom play the character of Valentin while Wessel Pretorius brings to life the character of Molina in this journey of self-awareness, intrigue, romance, revolution, love and betrayal.

The story centres around two cell mates who pass their time in a prison, by remembering and reinventing classics of the silver screen.

Mbulelo Grootboom, Wessel Pretorius. Picture: Oscar O'Ryan

What started off as a simple and straightforward story of two people who appear to be opposites (the romantic and the revolutionary), instead reveals a story of political intrigue and double-crossing.

The show carries an age restriction of 15.

The 1985 film version of the play, starring William Hurt and Raul Julia, received widespread critical acclaim earning Hurt Academy and Bafta awards.

The film also received three Oscar nominations including Best Picture.

Over four decades after its inception, “Kiss of the Spider Woman” explores issues of identity and sexuality.

Commenting on the show, Strikes says “While we now exist in a time where confinement and lockdown are a part of our everyday vocabulary, we also live in a world where it is crucial to re-examine and expand our limited understanding of gender politics.”

She says: “The choice to stage this seminal play in today’s revolutionary climate seems obvious and necessary.”

Mbulelo Grootboom, Wessel Pretorius. Picture: Oscar O'Ryan

Catch “Kiss of the Spider Woman” at The Baxter Golden Arrow Studio from Saturday, June 5 till Saturday, June 19.

Tickets are available at Webtickets from R125.

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