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PUBLIC SHADES PERFORMANCE (article first published : 2004-05-11)

Last week saw a dramatic change-around in the Playhouse Drama Theatre as machinery that had lain dormant for 12 years was kicked into action. A dedicated technical team led by Henry Paul and aided by an adhoc crew swung the first six rows of seats onto the stage to transform The Drama into its “theatre-in-the-round” format.

The last time the Drama was used in this configuration was for The Playhouse Company’s The Dream in 1992 – and, before that, Superbike, Richard III and Equus.

The theatre has been altered for Shades of Marguerite Poland produced by Troubadour Productions in association with The Playhouse Company. Patrick Collyer and Caroline Smart have created a dramatic exploration of Marguerite Poland’s novel dealing with certain issues causing problems for learners who are studying the high school setwork.

“The show is working extremely well,” says producer Peter Gardner of Troubadour Productions. “We have had tremendous support from the Playhouse Company and Richard Parker has created a beautiful lighting design. For all concerned, working in the round is a real challenge as it demands a performance that can be viewed from all sides without compromise.”

The cast of Shades of Marguerite Poland includes Edwin Khumalo, Stacey Taylor, Thomie Holtzhausen, Clinton Marius, Jabulani Msomi and Caroline Smart, who is also the director.

“When working on Marguerite Poland’s extensive novel, Patrick and I created the script specifically to allow audience members to feel part of the process,” says Caroline Smart. “Young people nowadays are exposed to immediate drama through reality TV shows, internet chat rooms and sms communication. I am delighted that everyone involved has gone the extra mile so that the learners will be able to enjoy this production in one of the finest venues in the country.”

There will be one public performance of Shades of Marguerite Poland on May 14 at 19h00. Tickets R30. The show runs for approximately one hour.

Schools still wishing to book for performances running until May 21 at 09h00 and 12h00 (R20 per learner) should contact Nikki Webb on 082 416 6066 or Peter Gardner on 083 225 7934.




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