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RASHOMON (article first published : 2006-05-13)

One dead body. Two witnesses. Three accounts and four versions.

The students of the Department of Drama Studies at DUT (Durban University of Technology, formerly DIT) are to stage Fay and Michael Kaninís poignant Rashomon directed by Debbie Lutge at the Courtyard Theatre.

Japan, a thousand years ago: A samurai is dead. His wife has been raped. A bandit is arrested and proudly confesses to the deed. But the wife's story is different, and that of the murdered samurai - speaking from the realm of the dead - is different again. Who has been lying, and why?

Fay and Michael Kaninís haunting perspectives on truth and the restoration of faith in humanity follows hot on the heels of the departmentís production of Peter Shafferís Black Comedy in March. This time, the directing honours fall to Department Head, Debbie Lutge, with musical direction by Madlen Tzankova; musical arrangement by Dana Hadjiev and choreography by Mdu Mtshali.

Adapted from the celebrated film by Japanese master Akira Kurosawa, who in turn adapted his script from two short stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Rashomon presents four conflicting but compelling accounts of the demise of a samurai and the rape of his wife. The witnesses include the bandit accused of the crime, the samurai's wife, a woodcutter who was passing by ... and the murdered man himself.

The Fay and Michael Kanin Collection spans the years 1941 to 1984. They have written prolifically for film and television and also some stage plays and musicals. Michael and Fay Kanin were married in 1940 and worked together throughout their married life. Rashomon was first staged in 1959 in New York to critical acclaim.

Rashomon runs from May 20 to 27 (excluding Sunday) at 19h00 in the DUTís Courtyard Theatre in Mansfield Road. Tickets R30 (R15 students and pensioners with cards). Bookings on 031 204 2532 or 031 204 2194 or at the door.




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