Welcome to Another Issue of Umhlanga Life
In this issue we have some new Music and Theatre Shows
There is a fantastic line up of top class professional performers: Steve Fataar, Tara Fataar, Sandy Bigara, Shannon Hope, Aury Livingstone, and Drumshack Jon. Tickets are available at the door or call 031 266 0836 to book.
Children’s Theatre Festival
ki!f:KID’S INHERIT! FESTIVAL
A Festival of Original Plays for Children
Courtyard Theatre, DUT: 23 – 29 Sept
Durban University of Technology’s Professor Debbie Lutge has instigated a brand new festival of original plays to celebrate Heritage Month. The Children’s Theatre Festival, which has already become known as Kids Inherit! Festival (ki!f) is the week-long programme which runs at the Courtyard Theatre from 23 - 29 September, and showcases the works of local educational theatre veterans Gisele Turner and Wendy Nell (from well-loved Madcaps Creative Education Company) and features the first year students of the Drama Department.
Students have the opportunity to make and manipulate a variety of puppets as part of the skills development component to the festival as well as working with lecturers Prof Debbie Lutge, Thomas Mpoeleng and guest director Gisele Turner whose play, Lucky Strike, was runner up in the prestigious Trinity College of London International Play Writing Competition 2010.
“New plays don’t always have the opportunity to be mounted due to financial restraints,” says Debbie Lutge. “This Festival gives life to a local play which reflects aspects of our unique social and cultural environment and also gives our students a valuable opportunity to learn new skills and work with a local playwright.”
The plays featured at ki!f include Green Hat directed by Debbie Lutge. This popular piece is an environmental awareness comedy created by Gisele Turner and Wendy Nell with Aldo Brincat in 2000; it toured over 100 local schools and had a successful run at Grahamstown Festival. “Wendy and I also adapted and dramatised unusual folk stories mostly from the African continent,” says Turner, “As we believe that live theatre has a lasting impression on learners and is an ideal way of creating cultural awareness. The Bride and the Monster is a puppet presentation, working with rod puppets handcrafted by Wendy Nell.”
Rain, an ancient San story which examines the relationship between humans and celestial beings is also on the festival programme as is Silver Stream, an original myth interwoven with African folk lore, all with water as their central theme. These plays are directed by Thomas Mpoeleng, former Junior Lecturer and himself a graduate from DUT’s Drama Studies Department. He co-directed the musical, “Have We Been Heard?” with Durban acclaimed director Bheki Mkhwane.
Gisele Turner directs The Bride and the Monster and Lucky Strike. “This is such a wonderful opportunity to work with tertiary level students and to share my love of theatre for children which is a very rewarding way to earn a living,” says Turner.
ki!f will run over a weekend to allow family audiences to enjoy the selection of plays and then has a run for schools; it is geared to learners from Junior and Senior Primary Schools. The Festival is presented in association with the Performing Arts Network of South Africa: PANSA and booking is through Lebogang Sibisi 031 3732194. Tickets are R10 throughout for everybody.
DUT Drama and Production Studies Department PRESENTS
Children’s Theatre Festival
KIDS INHERIT! FESTIVAL: ki!f
23 – 29 Sept
WEEKEND FAMILY TIMES
Friday 23 Sept 6 pm: SILVER STREAM (45 mins)
Saturday 24 Sept: 11am GREEN HAT (55 mins) 2pm: RAIN (45 minutes)
Sunday 25 Sept: 3pm double bill: LUCKY STRIKE / BRIDE & MONSTER
Monday 26 Sept 9-10 am: GREEN HAT
Tuesday 27 Sept 9-10 am: SILVER STREAM
Wednesday 28 Sept 9-10: LUCKY STRIKE & BRIDE & MONSTER
Thursday 29 Sept 9-10 am: RAIN
by Gisele Turner - Directed by Gisele Turner
LUCKY STRIKE is a township tale centred on a scruffy little dog that becomes part of a child-headed household. Through simple dialogue and action it probes the issues prevalent in the lives of children who face truly challenging situations every day; it also offers hope and humour and love as a balm to these difficulties. (6 to 12 years old)
by Gisele Turner with input from original cast Wendy Nell, Sazi Dlamini and Mpume Mthobeni Directed by Thomas Mpoeleng
RAIN is based on an ancient San story and is an African Myth dealing with the relationship between the celestial and terrestrial. It is a story of good and evil, deception, betrayal, selfish desire and corrupted innocence. Full of song and dance this production brings the ancient story to life. (9 to 12 years)
by Aldo Brincat, Wendy Nell & Gisele Turner. Directed by Debbie Lutge
GREEN HAT is a whacky physical environmental comedy with a lot of horse play and slapstick but with a really important message regarding litter and pollution. The siblings Laddo, Schlimp and Mango are clowns, each with their own style; they do not respect each other or their space and quarrel hilariously all the time. Until the mysterious Green Hat arrives…. teaching them some key lessons in life. (6 – 12 years)
Original story by Gisele Turner and Wendy Nell with dramatic adaptations of traditional stories by the writers. Directed by Thomas Mpoeleng
SILVER STREAM is an original mythology written to highlight the importance of water and water conservation; it also has three water-themed folk stories interwoven through it. It speaks about courage and determination and how a person who is ostracised can become a heroine and save her people. It has rich narratives and is full of variety and humour. (9-12 years)
THE BRIDE AND THE MONSTER
Traditional story adapted by Gisele Turner and Wendy Nell. Directed By Gisele Turner
THE BRIDE AND THE MONSTER is a folk story told using beautiful hand-crafted rod puppets; it concerns a wily and manipulative monster who pretends to be a human being and infiltrates a village, marrying a chief’s son. But in the end the real bride claims her husband and all is well. Full of song and dance; the Bride and Monster is visually beautiful and although is it a simple tale it carries key messages regarding appearances, manipulation, misuse of power and the triumph of true love. (9-12 years)
So much to do in Durban this month.