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SPICE ‘N STUFF (article first published : 2007-04-28)

Spice ‘n Stuff is a multi-faceted topical new comedy-drama by busy Durban playwright, Ashwin Singh featuring a stellar cast which comes to the Catalina Theatre in Durban’s Wilson’s Wharf

Spice ‘n Stuff is a celebration of life: here, now, and always.

The production is a tantalising mixture of comedy and drama. It traces the last days of a group of Grey Street traders as they deal with escalating crime, failing businesses, friendships across racial and cultural divides and entwined family relationships.

This is the third play by Ashwin Singh. The central role is a female trader named Rita. It is the pressures of dwindling business that preoccupies Rita but it is the fear of her secret which threatens to unravel her, as she undergoes an emotional journey of self-discovery. The actions of the street and the poignancy of the store becomes increasingly sensitising as it plays out to a dramatic finale.

The poignant story plays tribute to single mothers and the complexity of the role and expectations of women. It looks at traditional values in a contemporary society. “It is a funny play with many light-hearted and affectionate moments … as well as being something of an affectionate tribute to Bollywood. But it is also a very real story featuring many characters who the audience will recognize,” reflects Ashwin Singh.

Spice ‘n Stuff is directed by Caroline Smart who also directed his To House last year for The Playhouse Company. In the role of Rita is Shika Budhoo, recent winner of Best Actress for To House along with Pranesh Maharaj and Sifiso Simamane who also appeared in To House. The rest of the stellar cast is made up of Upasana Beharee (recently seen on E-TV’s Scandal) and well-known radio and stage actors Shireen van der Wath, Rubeshen Perumal and Ashwin Singh himself.

Ashwin Singh is one of the few contemporary writers who finds humanness in the complex issues that Durbanites grapple with. He confronts, embraces and explores issues of gender, class, race, culture, identity, geography and family in a tender, honest and real way. His To House enjoyed a second staging last year and received no less than eight nominations at the recent annual Fools Awards. He has been active as a performer, writer and contributor in a multitude of radio dramas for champion of spoken-word radio theatre, Lotus fm. He has been Inspector Buzz Moodley in Grand Asia Lodge, and Solly the Shark in Kismet Court.

Spice and Stuff runs at Catalina Theatre on Wilson’s Wharf from May 22 to June 3 with shows from Tuesday to Saturday at 20h00 and Sunday at 18h00 with special matinee performances on June 2 and 3. No shows on Mondays or on May 26. For more information or to book call Thandeka on 031 305 6889. Tickets R60 (R30 students and pensioners) available online at www.strictlytickets.co.za or on our website at www.catalinatheatre.co.za or at www.goingplaces.co.za.

There are Buy-one-get-one-free promotions on May 22, 23 and 24. May 24 is the official opening night. Please note, this production is suitable for adult audiences only.




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