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WINNING PLAYS AT NAF (article first published : 2006-07-7)

The winners of the NLDTF/PANSA Festivals of Contemporary Theatre Readings 2005 will be dazzling audiences in Grahamstown at the National Arts Festival this year; another stellar example of excellent theatre driven by incentives and development programmes put in place by the Performing Arts Network of SA (PANSA).

The entire process has been generously supported by the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF).

Hans Pienaar's Three Dozen Roses, directed by André Stoltz, won last year's Jury Award for best script (one-and two-hander category). It's a duo of nimble riffs that take today's urban morals and mores for a whirl. Conscientious Objection is a debate between a man and his conscience about exploiting his girlfriend. In Madiba Street, a new love flourishes but now a cool street cat with a clipboard is ready to lead the protagonist astray. This work features on the Main Festival.

It will be performed from June 29 to July 2 at The Box in Grahamstown. Jacques Blignaut and Hykie Berg feature and it is directed by Andre Stoltz. An Afrikaans version played at the KKNK in Oudtshoorn and at the Woordfees in Stellenbosch. It was also part of the Musho! Festival in Durban as well as being selected for a playreading in London at the Oval House Theatre earlier this year.

Karen Jeynes won a double whammy: the jury declared her Best Writer for her script, Everybody Else (is f*****g perfect), and she also won the Audience award in 2005 in the comedy category. Jeynes is a freelance director, stage manager, copywriter, event organizer, producer, researcher and writer with a tendency towards comedy. Her award-winning piece combined slick, authentic dialogue with distinctive characters. The plot revolves around a neat foursome: when Traci comes back from London to visit little sister Cathy and meet Cathy's new husband Gavin, things don't quite go as planned. Personalities clash, and when Traci's toy boy Jared arrives on the scene everybody's secrets start pouring out. The cast comprises Grant Swanby, Eve Szapira, Leigh Bremridge and Rory Acton-Burnell, with direction by Lara Bye. Performances are at the Princess Alice Hall from June 29 to July 8.

Peter Krummeck is one of South Africa's most frequently performed playwrights. iVirgin Boy, Jury winner of the Drama category of the NLDTF/PANSA Festivals in 2005, takes as its starting point a paragraph in the Cape Argus about a white boy who was raped while held overnight in the police cells of a gang-land suburb. The rapist proved HIV positive. These harsh and ugly truths provide a vehicle for a journey of sexual discovery that is appallingly relevant. The piece is directed by Krummeck and performed by Bruce Little, Marty Kintu, Jill Levenberg and Aldridge Olivier. It plays at PJ's from June 30 to July 8.

Three of Mike van Graan's plays will also be featured on the fringe at the National Arts Festival: Some Mothers' Sons which won the runner-up and audience awards at last year's NLDTF/PANSA Festival of Contemporary Theatre Readings (Drama) in Johannesburg; Mixed Metaphors - a finalist in the NLDTF/PANSA Festival of Contemporary Theatre Readings (1 and 2 hander category) in Durban last year and Two to Tango - the runner-up in the NLDTF/PANSA Festival of Contemporary Theatre Readings (Comedy) in Cape Town last year.




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