Lead actors Mbulelo Grootboom and Wessel Pretorius from the upcoming production, Kiss of the Spider Woman. Picture: Oscar O’Ryan
Lead actors Mbulelo Grootboom and Wessel Pretorius from the upcoming production, Kiss of the Spider Woman. Picture: Oscar O’Ryan

Kiss of the Spider Woman

By Keshia Africa Time of article published May 9, 2021

Share this article:

The captivating story of Kiss of the Spider Woman has been given new life in the form of a play at the Baxter Theatre Centre.

The beautifully staged film and acclaimed book will find its home on a stage that has been home to many talented actors.

In this on stage adaptation, director Sylvaine Strike, hopes to translate the vulnerability of the main characters, to the audience.

The plot of the play follows these cell mates with seemingly opposite backgrounds along a journey of discovery in identity and sexuality.

The storyline shines a light on themes of romantic drama and political outcry.

Having gone experienced the past year as a performer in the pandemic, Strike reflects that: “Performers are not separate from the industry, we were forced to reinvent ourselves to survive.

“Many of us started teaching and creating content online but that never fed our appetite for performing live.”

Director of Kiss of the Spider Woman, Sylvaine Strike, is excited for the public to view the play. Picture: Oscar O’Ryan

Strike said that there was a colossal job loss where nearly 95% of artists were doing what they could to get by.

She believes that artists create the best work in their chosen environment and having that luxury stripped away, took its toll.

“We might not be seen as an essential service but the work that we do is essential to the soul,” she said.

“Performers feel invisible when they’re not performing and all they want to do now is make themselves visible again,” said Strike.

Strike described this play as a story of human connection, that allows you to understand and have compassion for the next person.

She explained how the two cell mates serving their sentence walk in not knowing what the experience might be like, but leave the prison altered, with an admiration for their fellow man.

“It is our duty to get to know a person as well as we can, while we still can.

“If there’s anything this pandemic has taught us, it’s that, and this play echoes it,” Strike said.

Although the play was written more than 40 years ago, it touches on issues of gender representation and prejudice of people who are different – both themes that are still relevant today.

This goes to show that the body of work penned by Manuel Puig so many years ago, has not aged.

A storyline like Kiss of The Spider Woman displays the power of the impact we can all make in society.

It displays an entertainment factor while still giving the audience something to walk away with.

Having experience as both a performer and director, Sylvaine displays an innate ability to understand the vulnerability of actors cast in a play like this.

When asked what the audience can expect from this show, she said, “two extraordinary actors, that are highly entertaining and very funny”.

Kiss of the Spider Woman runs at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio from June 5 to 19.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, seating is limited and all performances are limited to 50% venue capacity.

Ticket prices range from R170 (Mondays to Wednesdays) to R200 (Thursdays to Saturdays).

Booking through Webtickets on 086 111 0005, online at www.webtickets.co.za, or at Pick n Pay stores.

Share this article: