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TO HOUSE (article first published : 2005-02-11)

The Catalina Theatre on Wilson's Wharf will host the world premiere of Durban writer/director Ashwin Singh's powerful play To House from March 1 to 13.

To House is one of the few plays to feature a kaleidoscope of White, Black and Indian characters and features an excellent cast headed by seasoned professionals, Michael Gritten and Teboho “T-Bone” Hlahane, co-staring the multi-talented trio of Koobeshan Naidoo, Jayloshni Naidoo and Afzaal Khan.

To House was a finalist in the 2003 PANSA (Performing Arts Network of SA) Festival of Reading of New Writing (the country’s foremost playwriting contest). Plans are afoot to stage the play in Johanesburg and Cape Town as well as overseas later in the year. Singh said the play had to be staged first in Durban because of its Durban setting and the multi-cultural theatre-going audience in this city.

On the surface, To House is about territorial control, selfishness and power dynamics. On a deeper level it is about South Africa's increasing shift from an essentially race-based conflict to a class-based conflict. Singh believes theatre-goers are yearning for a more substantial presentation of life in post-Apartheid South Africa. To House promises to be the kind of powerful drama, laced with humour, which will provoke and challenge its audiences.

The play revolves around the conflicts and connections between five diverse characters living in a multi-cultural sectional titles development in a typical middle class Durban suburb. Jason and Sanjay are plotting the downfall of Sibusiso, whilst Sibusiso and his live-in girlfriend, Kajol, are in conflict over the need to accommodate her mother due to ill-treatment by her extended family.

The first half of the play carefully sketches the relationship between these characters. The arrival in the second half of Kajol's machiavellian uncle, Deena, gives the play the momentum to expose the truth behind the characters’ courses of action in a series of powerful confrontations and surprises.

Tickets R60 (R50 students and OAPs). During the run from March 1 to 13, there are special buy-one-get-one-free shows on March 2, 6, 8 and 13. There will be a low price preview at R25 on March 1.




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