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FESTIVAL DOUBLE BILLS (article first published : 2000-08-9; last edited : 2008-07-31)

There are three drama double bills at this yearís South African Womenís Arts Festival presented by the Playhouse Company and Transnet running from August 9 to 12. The double bills, written by Shireen James, Sarahleigh Castelyn, Caroline Duck, Gail Snyman, Lydia vom Hagen, Sherona Panday and Congo Hadebe cover a range of genres and subject matter and have been split into Programme A, B and C.

PROGRAMME A: Shireen Jamesí Time of the Signs and Sarahleigh Castelyn and Caroline Duckís Boxers and Bikinis in the Playhouse Sanlam Loft on August 10 at 19h30 and August 12 at 11h30.

A controversial and fearless writer (When Suicides Meet, Alice Threw the Looking Glass, Viagra Falls and Inebriate with Air), Shireen Jamesís original script, directed by Angela Hawkes and featuring Catherine Mace explores the origins of morality.

Boxers and Bikinis is a funky and contemporary play about five twenty-something friends from different racial and economic backgrounds. It is written by Sarahleigh Castelyn and Caroline Duck (director) and features Santhiran Moonsamy, Tyron Akal, Sarahleigh Castelyn, Jade Orsmond, and Stephen Smith.

PROGRAMME B: Head On and a new work by Gail Snyman Diva in the Playhouse Sanlam Loft on August 11 and 12 at 19h30.

Head On is a one-woman show performed by Lydia vom Hagen about the life of Marie Antoinette, wife of King Louis XVI of France. The music, lyrics and original script were created by Lydia who was a founder member of the a capella group Cutt Glas. Head On is performed in English and Afrikaans. Direction is by Sandra Prinsloo, choreographed by Luanna Nasser, musical direction by Didi Kriel and final script by NataniŽl.

Gail Snymanís new thought-provoking one-woman play Diva will premiere at the festival. Performed by Gail Snyman herself and directed by Chantal Snyman, it promises another interesting offering from this performer whose storytelling comes straight from the heart. Her previous work With Tears in My Navy Blue Eyes toured nationally as well as in Britain, USA and Australia to rave reviews.

PROGRAMME C: Masquerade of Mannequins by Sherona Panday and Women of Africa by Congo Hadebe in the Studio Theatre on August 12 at 11h30 and 18h30.

Women of Africa is written by Congo Hadebe, well-known for his appearances in Sarafina. It is directed by Bheki Mqadi and Mhlathi Khuzwayo from Poor Theatre Productions Company. In this play, seven women share their tragic stories, telling how they left their homes and ended up as a car-washing team working in Albert Park. Featuring Tu Mvuba, Mpume Xaba, Londiwe Xaba, Gugu Dlamini, Thandazile Soni, Sthembile Zwane and Thandi Ntuli.

Masquerade of Mannequins was first performed at the Hexagon Theatre in 1999 as part of Sheronaís honours exam in drama. The play features Juanita Balkisson and Rheetha Rangoobeer and portrays one womanís 15-year struggle to come to terms with being Indian and female in a constantly evolving society. An adult audience is advised.

Tickets for each of the three double bills are R15.




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