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

TO HOUSE (article first published : 2006-11-5)

Theatre that carries a strong message about the choices people make can be seen in the Playhouse Drama later this month when the Playhouse Company presents a new production directed by Caroline Smart of Durban playwright Ashwin Singh's challenging play, To House.

Clearly defined characters and crisp dialogue combine in this originally conceived theatre piece to create fast-moving and exciting interplay between two men - Jason and Sibusiso - who live in the same sectional title complex, physically underlining the play's title, "to house" as in "to accommodate, to secure, to protect."

While Jason's fortunes are on the decline, Sibusiso's are on the increase and some of his projects are those which Jason believes should rightfully be his. However, Jason's wife has just left him, leaving him bitter at women and the world around him, and his dodgy immediate past doesn't make him a good candidate for executive employment.

Sibusiso, a law graduate, is sophisticated and articulate with a burning desire to reach the top of the corporate ladder. Thomie Holtzhausen and Arifani Moyo appear as the protagonists, Jason and Sibusiso. The cast also includes Pranesh Maharaj as law lecturer Sanjay, Shika Budhoo as Sibusiso's marketing officer girlfriend Kajal and Santhiran Moonsamy as Deena, Kajal's successful entrepreneur uncle.

"The Drama Theatre has always been a favourite venue of mine, both as a performer and a member of the audience," says stage director Caroline Smart. "Ashwin Singh's writing ranges from the acerbic to the humorous or the emotionally poignant. I believe that this is an important play in the history of the Playhouse as Ashwin's script has already reached awareness on a worldwide scale: To House is included in the recent anthology, New South African Plays, edited by Charles Fourie with a foreword by Gcina Mhlophe."

"We have taken the play's stage scenario a step further since its initial season at the Catalina in 2004. We now have two apartments side by side rather than changing sets each time the scene moves from one protagonistís home to the other. The Playhouse Company's Irek Karamon has come up with a very workable and attractive set, and I look forward to seeing chief lighting designer Richard Parker's design as the staging offers a particular challenge for lighting."

To House runs from November 24 to December 3. Pre-booked tickets R35 and R40. Tickets bought an hour before performances will cost R40 and R50. Booking is on 031 369 9596 or 031 369 9540, at Computicket outlets, or online at www.computicket.co.za




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