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CHAROUES ARE THE MANJAROES (article first published : 2008-05-17)

Two fun one-hander productions – jointly packaged as the tongue-in-cheek title Charoues are the Manjaroes - offers comic relief for the end of the month at the Catalina Theatre.

“Relief” is the operative word here as the KZN theatre community breathes a collective sigh of relief and offers thanks to Rainbow Chicken for having thrown a last minute lifeline to the beleaguered theatre which was due to close at the end of April. Rainbow Chicken’s support also extends to a meaningful investment in the way forward. Charoues are the Manjaroes is now able to be staged at the theatre due to the generosity and vision of Rainbow Chicken and its CEO, Miles Dally.

Published author and well known playwright Hamish Kyd together with radio drama personality Dhaveshan Govender will present their individual plays in this double bill. While Dhaveshan is fairly new to the Durban theatre scene he is instantly recognisable from the Polka advert and his role in Ronnie Govender’s The Lahnee’s Pleasure. Hamish is a veteran Durban theatre personality, stand-up comedian, radio personality, author and community arts activist who has previously staged work which focuses on issues and identity with specific reference to Durban’s coloured community.

Dhaveshan Govender’s King of Old Trafford is billed as one man’s tale of life and Manchester United and sees him playing a number of characters, all instantly recognisable to anyone has been to a live game or watched sport in a pub. The play is directed by one of Durban’s well-known comedy exponents, Vivian Moodley. Nothing is sacred as fun is poked at rugby, DSTV, Liverpool and much more. No sporting knowledge is required and appeals to both sexes - even Anfield locals and Arsenal supporters will enjoy it. A relief to men dragged to the theatre, a fun evening is in store for all!

Hamish Kyd’s new piece Dunz Senior Secondary features eccentric and ever-popular Professor Gopal who has a unique way of teaching at the school that was founded by the constantly drugged on beetle-nut Aunt Saris who was motivated by Mahatma Ghandi. The school focuses on teaching adults who want to acquire their Matric Certificates and Gopal employs his own methods of getting the word across where the audience becomes the class. The Oxen Dictionary compiled by Aunt Saris is the source of all wisdom from whence Gopal acquires all his topics. These include correct pronunciation of certain English words; the cycle of life; history; sex before marriage and the proper method of reading.

The title Charoues are the Manjaroes is aimed at echoing a similar season of two one-act comedy-plays The Bruinoues are the Mainoues which intended, through comedy, to begin to explore issues of identity and what it means to be a Coloured person in Durban. Charoues are Manjaroes unpacks some instantly-recognisable comedy situations of particular relevance to South African Indians – especially Durbanites. “Manjaroes”, a slang term used mostly by older members of the Durban Indian community, is developed from the Kilimanjaro Bar in the landmark Himalaya Hotel where, if a guy was very clued up, he was dubbed a “Manjaro” (ie King of the Bar)

The double bill of Charoues are the Manjaroes runs at the Catalina Theatre from May 27 to June 15 with shows nightly at 20h00 from Tuesday to Saturday (Sunday at 20h00). There is an age restriction of 16. Tickets R65 (R35 pensioners and students) with BOGIT (Buy One Get One Free) on Tuesdays and Sundays. For more information or to book, contact the Catalina Theatre on 031 305 6889

Hamish Kyd recently launched his debut novel, “Charlie”, a poignant, colourful and uncompromising look at the tenacity and will to survive despite all odds. The story is about a beautiful, intelligent, outspoken young woman growing up in Newlands East in the 80s and her astonishing life-affirming story of hope. This involves surviving a nightmare journey into the underbelly of gang-warfare, drug-lords, blackmail and prostitution. Copies of “Charlie” will be for sale at R90 at the box office of the theatre before and after the shows.

Hamish has adapted Charlie for radio and this will be aired on Lotus FM in the afternoon drama slot from May 19 at 14h50. Dhaveshan Govender appears as Charlene’s ill-fated boyfriend Cliffy.




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