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SQUAWK AND RUBBISH (article first published : 2004-11-30)

The Playhouse Loft will host two highly entertaining family plays - Squawk and A Boy Called Rubbish - by Durban’s innovative, masterful, madcap duo Ellis Pearson and Bheki Mkhwane. The double bill has been re-visited to celebrate the country’s Decade of Democracy.

Squawk (“Amazwi Omoya” : the words of the wind) was originally created by Ellis and Bheki to celebrate the birth of democracy in South Africa. It has recently toured the USA and Canada to celebrate the tenth birthday of that self same democracy. This wacky adventure is set is a community of birds. Using the imagination of the audience – a broken umbrella, a stick, a bit of cloth the actors conjure from the air an ostrich, two conniving crows, a vein peacock a drunken duck, a chicken and a hadeda. The leaders of the bird community decide to hold a peace song competition to foster community spirit and co-operation. Alas! It is not as easy as they may have wished! Each boy has its own ideas and come hell or high water (and they both do!) there is no agreement. Until…… !

A Boy Called Rubbish was born ten years ago when South Africa was changing. It is about the vast majority living in abject poverty – a landscape filled with poor people living on the edge of society. Ma Dudula, a woman who has had to raise too many children in poverty and is now homeless. A man who lives on a rubbish dump and another man whose pride in life is in the single cow he owns. The story also looks at rubbish in a broad sense as anything that society may feel is of little value and needs to be thrown away. A useless boy? Or literally the huge amounts of garbage that people dump in our environment? In the end, Rubbish becomes a hero in his community and gains a sense of self-worth.

The double bill runs from December 2 to 18 in the Playhouse Loft.

Performances of Squawk take place on December 2, 3 and 4 (11h00) and again on December 15, 17 and 18 (11h00) with extra performances at 14h00 on December 15 and 18.

Performances of A Boy Called Rubbish take place on December 8, 9, 10 and 11 (11h00).

Booking is at Computicket.




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