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VERGISSMEINNICHT (article first published : 2003-06-5)

Vergissmeinnicht, a new South African stage drama by Durban actor-writer Clinton Marius, will premiere at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown this month under the direction of well-known theatre and media personality Caroline Smart (editor of artSMart), before returning to KZN for a season.

A hard-hitting story of sibling rivalry, Vergissmeinnicht (Forget-Me-Not) is set on a South African farm and stars Durban actor and director Thomie Holtzhausen as the older brother, playing opposite Clinton Marius himself as the younger sibling.

The controversial play focuses on the troubled relationship between the two brothers as they squabble about inheritance while their embittered world crumbles around them, chronicling the dangerous depths to which they are capable of sinking.

Enticing veteran stage and radio star Smart back into the director’s chair for this production marks a significant coup for its producers, Copy Dog.

“I am delighted that theatre guru Caroline Smart has agreed to direct this two-hander,” says Clinton. “I have fond teenage memories of her radio performances, and it is a real pleasure having her wave her magic wand over this production.”

In creating a highly detailed picture of the events that unfold onstage, Caroline Smart does indeed bring to bear her very considerable wealth of performance expertise, combined with years of practicing as a widely read arts reviewer.

“I was struck by fine shades of Fugard in the script when I read it,” she says. “Since working on the play, I feel confident in predicting interesting developments in the careers of both my actors. They may not be household names as yet, but if their performances in this production are anything to go by, they are going to make a powerful impact on a wide spectrum of South African audiences, beyond the boundaries KwaZulu-Natal.”

As Afrikaners themselves, the two promise to bring a powerful authenticity to this production. The compelling plot is played out against a background of supposition and homophobia.

Vergissmeinicht will be performed at the Glennie Festival Centre in Grahamstown on June 27 at 17h30; June 28 at 10h00; June 29 at 19h30; June 30 at 22h00; July 3 at 15h00; and July 4 at 10h00.

Tickets R50. Booking now open at Computicket outlets nationwide, Computicket call centre on 011-340 6000 or 083 915 8000, and also on the National Arts Festival’s website at http://www.nafest.co.za




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