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Theatre productions set to commemorate Youth Month

KAK! pays tribute to Maishe Maponya. Picture: Hoek Swaratlhe

KAK! pays tribute to Maishe Maponya. Picture: Hoek Swaratlhe

Published Jun 7, 2022

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This month marks the 46th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising, a historical event which took place on 16 June 1976, where thousands of students were gunned down by the apartheid police.

The Youth of 1976 took to the streets of Soweto, united in one voice, to oppose the introduction of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in local schools.

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The protests ended with multitudes of young people killed by the apartheid police. Nearly five decades later, we continue to salute and honour these students who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of South Africa from the apartheid regime.

From dance showcases to musicals and thrilling stage productions, theatre houses across the country are jam-packed with exciting shows to commemorate the Youth Month.

While the shows are entertaining, they are also informative and aims to tackle burning issues, including racism, gender-based violence, poverty, inequality and other challenges that the youth of 2022 are faced with.

Imbilini...my friend!

“Imbilini…my friend!” is a brand new South African play, written and performed by Bulelani Mabutyana, along with Siphenathi Mayekiso.

Directed by the award-winning Mdu Kweyama, “Imbilini…my friend” makes its debut at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio, from 9 to 25 June 2022.

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Powerful, potent and funny, the physical theatre two-hander explores trust, empathy and that of being the other.

A deep and profound friendship is put to the test between two young men who must grapple with issues of poverty, alcoholism, prejudice, society’s beliefs about albinism and the harshness of urban life, all of which pose challenges to the bond between the two.

Imbilini...my friend!.Picture: Supplied

Vloeibare Moed

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Artscape is staging a series of shows, including “Cape Town’s Most Wanted”, “Vloeibare Moed”, and “Dancing Against All Odds”.

“Vloeibare Moed” is a theatre production set to take place from June 8 – 18 at the Artscape Arena. This production is inspired by the events that took place after the gruesome death of student Uyinene Mrwetyana.

The show tackles difficult conversations around gender-based violence and centres on four first-year university friends who find their lives in turmoil after one of them becomes the main suspect in a crime committed at the university campus.

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With the frightening statistics of gender-based violence in South Africa, production company Hartzenberg Films feels they need to continue the conversation about this social ill.

The cast of ‘Vloeibare Moed’. Picture: Supplied

Dancing Against All Odds

New World Dance Theatre reflects humanity, life and ongoing commitment to be change agents through the arts and to continue with the legacy of Charlotte Maxeke: always give of yourself.

This show is a celebration of our youth and dance and investing in a future that belongs to them.

“Dancing Against All Odds“ will showcase at the Artscape on 29 June, 30 June and 1 July.

Dancing Against All Odds. Picture: Supplied

Shirley Valentine

Willy Russell's iconic Shirley Valentine is back by popular demand at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre from June 22 until July 3.

Some of you will remember her, Willy Russell's heroine of the '80s. She played on the West End and Broadway, won numerous accolades, and was celebrated in the film.

Her name was Shirley Valentine before she became Shirley Bradshaw, a middle-aged woman who lost her role as mother to two grown children and wife to a husband in a somewhat stale marriage.

When a friend offers her a trip to Greece, a long-forgotten exuberance begins to bubble up in her. Shirley's journey is a celebration of many a contemporary woman, balancing motherhood, marriage and self-actualisation.

Shirley Bradshaw is the ‘original gangster’ of self-care and self-love, a beacon of empowerment. Long before we had hashtags, we had Shirley.

Ticket Prices range from R150 – R220 and are available through Computicket or at the theatre box office.

Natasha Sutherland as Shirley Valentine. Picture: Ryno Steyn

The Drowning Eye

The Market Theatre Laboratory and KwaSha Theatre Company are presenting Frantz Fanon’s “The Drowning Eye”, directed by Tamara Guhrs, at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda, starting June 23 until July 3.

With dramaturgy by Stacy Hardy and in academic collaboration with the University of Chicago, this work is presented at a time when Fanon’s writing has new relevance for a generation of young South Africans questioning the limits and possibilities of revolution today.

This production is supported by the French Institute of South Africa and Mazars.

The cast of ‘The Drowning Eye’. Picture: Supplied

Also at the National Arts Festival, the Lab second-year students present “KAK!”, a contemporary interpretation and celebration of the work of iconic playwright, poet and human rights activist, Maishe Maponya, who passed away in September 2021.

“KAK!” is a hard-hitting satirical play, drawing from Maishe Maponya’s last work, which is an anthology of poems – Truth be told: Da’s Kak in die Land.

The play is devised by award-winning writer and director Josias Dos Moleele in collaboration with the cast and award-winning choreographer Mdu Nhlapo.

This daring piece addresses uncomfortable topics such as corruption, poor service delivery, gender inequality, racism and more.

The cast of KAK! Picture: Supplied

Ticket prices and more information on the productions, please visit the different theatre websites.

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