Heavy hitters, from left, Bhekani Shabalala Mduduzi Nombela Xolani ‘XD Black’ Dlamini in Bigly Yuge, on at The Playhouse Loft next month. Picture: Val Adamson
Heavy hitters, from left, Bhekani Shabalala Mduduzi Nombela Xolani ‘XD Black’ Dlamini in Bigly Yuge, on at The Playhouse Loft next month. Picture: Val Adamson

Living on the plus-size in Bigly Yuge

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Nov 13, 2021

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It’s about girth – but full of mirth.

The Playhouse Company presents Bigly Yuge, a jolly mash-up of life in the large lane combining comedy, drama, song and dance, told in isiZulu, which comes to the Playhouse Loft Theatre on December 3 and December 4.

Ask any plus-size person what life is like on the heavier end of the scale. They’ll tell you some good, some bad, some funny stories. Now these highs and lows are brought to the stage in Bigly Yuge directed by Tony Kgoroge.

From dieting to exercise; from people pointing fingers and passing unkind remarks; to the strain on relationships; and the inability to even find a relationship – all the downsides to being a large person are explored in this heart-warming production.

It is an entertaining comedy loosely adapted from a script by the late Clinton Marius, featuring Baby Cele, Bongani Mbatha, Mduduzi Nombela, Xolani “XD Black” Dlamini and Bhekani Shabalala.

Three friends who regularly meet up find the conversation inevitably turns to everyday dramas they face as “fatties”. One is facing an ultimatum from his partner: shape up, or ship out. Another cannot even hold down a relationship because of how he looks; and the third chap thinks he’ll find love by working through as many women as possible.

All three have serious introspection to do, and realise they have to make drastic changes in their lives if they wish to be the people their partners would like them to be. But they also have to learn to love themselves before anyone else will love them.

Kgoroge is best known to television audiences for his roles in Gaz’lami; Zero Tolerance; Hotel Rwanda; Black Diamond and Invictus. Until recently, he was in Imbewu (Ngcolosi) on e.tv. His theatre credits include Die Jogge; Three Penny Opera; Mooi Street Moves; Woza Albert and Joseph.

Stars align for Bigly Yuge, from left, Xolani ‘XD Black’ Dlamini, Bhekani Shabalala, Bongani Mbatha, back, Baby Cele and Mduduzi Nombela. VAL ADAMSON

For more than two decades, Baby Cele has been a film, stage and television actress best known for her role in Backstage (e.tv) where she played the part of Katlego Rathebe for eight years. She is also known for her role as Thandeka in the drama Home Affairs on SABC 1. She is currently playing Gabisile in Uzalo on SABC 1.

Bongani Mbatha previously delighted audiences in All Gone, Maluju Zulu, Skungpoomery, Sophiatown, ZemQadini and his award-winning performance in Sweetie Darling (also by Clinton Marius), as well as his performance in a string of TV ads and on SABC's Uzalo (Lawyer), Imbewu (Mpilo Sithole), Durban Gen (Bhengu), and many Mzansi Magic dramas: eHostela, Qhakaza, Forbidden Love and Sawubona we Lova.

Mduduzi Nombela is a familiar face on Uzalo as Bomu Cetshwayo, and has featured in many Mzansi Magic Films. He has also appeared on stage in Mashu The Musical, 10 Days in a Shebeen, House of Shaka, Bergville Stories and Lion King. Currently he is in Imbewu (e.tv) as Phunyuka; he played the character of Nyakanyaka in How Long.

Xolani “XD Black” Dlamini is a well known personality on TV, film, radio and stage. Popular appearances include Two Brothers; Between Friends; Uzalo; Shaka Zulu; Durban Gen and a string of highly-successful stand-up comedy gigs.

Bhekani Shabalala has appeared in many theatre productions, including Macbeth; Sleepwalking Land; Sitting Around The Fire; Horse Shoe; Boom Gate; Zem Qadini and Just For You. He also appeared on the drama series Ukhakhayi as Chief Biyela; Bay of Plenty; Imbewu; Hostela, and other Mzansi Magic Films.

Expect loads of laughs… and a few tears…

The Playhouse is fastidious about Covid protocols. Face masks have to be worn at all times and for the duration of all performances. There is ample social distancing in all theatre auditoria with alternate rows remaining empty and seat allocations carefully spaced out. To minimise gathering of people, free tea and coffee stations are located throughout the Playhouse.

Tickets at Webtickets.

The Independent on Saturday

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