A melting pot of politics, murder, societal struggles and culture is on offer with these stage shows

The cast in a scene from ‘The Unlikely Secret Agent’. Picture: Supplied

The cast in a scene from ‘The Unlikely Secret Agent’. Picture: Supplied

Published May 21, 2024


The cast in a scene from ‘The Unlikely Secret Agent’. Picture: Supplied

“The Unlikely Secret Agent” couldn’t be better timed, especially with the build-up to the 2024 Elections gaining momentum.

This award-winning production is based on the true story of Eleanor Kasrils in the Alan Paton Award-winning book by Ronnie Kasrils.

Set in Durban during Apartheid in 1963, it peels back the layers of the Struggle with Eleanor, a single mother working at a bookstore, who becomes an ANC operative.

When Ronnie Kasrils, her lover, is pursued by the authorities for being a terrorist, Eleanor finds herself in the eye of the unfolding storm.

Arrested and interrogated by the Security Police, Eleanor’s loyalty to the cause comes to the fore as she protects her comrades while strategically planning her escape.

Directed by Paul du Toit, this compelling play is a testament to the hard-fought battles for freedom. It homes in on resilience and strength of conviction.

The play features the talented Erika Breytenbach-Marais, as Eleanor, with De Klerk Oelofse, Wessel Pretorius, Sanda Shandu and Ntlanhla Kutu in formidable roles as the supporting cast.

Du Toit commented in a press statement: “Her bravery was quiet, her suffering without self-pity. In the face of senseless violence, she was gentle and witty.

“The play not only commemorates South Africa’s struggle for democracy but also sheds light on gender-based violence and police brutality.

“I am thrilled that the dramatic story of a young woman’s courageous battle with the South African security police in the 1960’s, is coming to the stage...

“You will question yourself: Could you have stood up against apartheid as this slender young woman did?”

The play is rated PG14 as it contains strong language, racial prejudice and gender-based violence.

Where: Barney Simon, Market Theatre.

When: Showing until June 2, at 7pm. Times differ on the weekend.

Cost: Ticket prices vary between R120 and R200 and can be purchased through Webtickets.

Deathly Murder - Killed by a Killer”

This campy ode to femme fatales, film noir and transatlantic accents, finds our hero, Dorian Draycott ruthlessly uncovering the secrets of a mysterious murder.

It is set in a lavish Hollywood mansion, where four ruthlessly ambitious individuals are the suspects in the murder of Dorian Draycott.

The cast of the murder mystery, ‘Deathly Murder - Killed by a Killer’. Picture: Supplied

Who poisoned Dorian? He seeks to figure that out from beyond the grave.

Theatregoers can look forward to a scandalous whodunit directed by Martin Grendele. Written by T.O.P. Comedy Ensemble, this production stars Hira Lodhi, Sasah Karlin, Hlumi Moloi, James Netherlands and Grendele.

Where: Theatre on the Square.

When: Showing until May 25, at 7.30pm.

Cost: Ticket prices start from R150 and can be purchased through Computicket.

The Return of Elvis Du Pisane”

“The Return of Elvis du Pisanie” was first performed by Paul Slabolepszy in July 1992 and won several awards.

The production centres on a 46-year-old East Rand salesman, who, after being retrenched, decides life is no longer worth living.

While penning a suicide note to his wife before gassing himself, he switches on the radio and hears an Elvis Presley song that transports him to 30 years before.

As such, he recalls life events from his childhood and adulthood and how these impacted the trajectory of his life path.

And so he finds himself musing over what went wrong and whether it was possible to change own’s destiny.

Ashley Dowds takes over the reins from Slabolepszy in this iteration.

In a recent interview, he said:“When I first started thinking about this production, it was quite, and still is, a daunting prospect to enter and inhabit that role of Edie.

“There’s some very specific style of storytelling. That’s the other thing about the show. You can’t really quantify it.

“People are going to be kept busy right until the end wondering who this person is and what is actually happening. This is a play that is incredibly well-structured and it has so many facets that turn.”

Please note, the show carries an age restriction of 13.

Where: Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre.

When: Runs until May 26, at 7.30pm.

Cost: Ticket prices vary between R150 and R200 and can be purchased through Webtickets.

Mother Tongue Indaba

Soweto Theatre in partnership with presents ILIFA Mother tongue Indaba a panel discussion on the plight of indigenous languages.

Renowned experts Dr Victor Ramathisele and Professor Somadoda Fikeni will lead the discussion, delving into the current state of indigenous languages in South Africa.

Where: Blue Theatre at Soweto Theatre.

When: May 25 at 9am.

Cost: Ticket prices vary between R80 and R100 and can be purchased through Webtickets.