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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

ISLAMIC HAMLET (article first published : 2000-03-15)

Durban film-maker Cheryl Johnson was in Kosova recently doing a documentary when by chance she met David Gothard who was working with a group of local actors there. They were doing Hamlet.

“I've seen the video she shot and it is astonishing,” says well-known artist and designer Andrew Verster. “We plan to bring it to the Grahamstown Festival, but all the money has to be raised in the next few days. It should not be impossible as it is such an appealing idea.

“Islam does not have a good press,” explains Andrew. “What an opportunity to show it in a different light. An unexpected one. It is a moment to be seized. To miss it would be to throw away a chance to change the perceptions, and misconceptions, of most people in this country. Imagine the confusion in people’s minds when they try to work out what has happened to them. They have been swept off their feet by a production of Hamlet in a language they didn't understand by a group of Islamic actors.

“Those who have the money to see that it happens must be convinced that this is a chance that might never come again.”

David Gothard is coming to Durban on March 17 for a week. Anyone wishing to interview him or wanting to know more details about this production should contact Cheryl Johnson on 202-5392 or e-mail johnson@dbn.lia.net




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