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A MATTER OF TIME (article first published : 2006-06-21)

Janet van Eeden is a freelance journalist and script writer and occasional poet based in Pietermaritzburg. She writes regular features for The Witness and The Weekend Witness, although she continues to publish in most national print media, especially Screen Africa, as well as in a few British magazines, including Scriptwriter UK.

She has written ten screenplays and one of them, No Going Back, is in development with a British production team. Her latest screenplay, White Lion, is currently being filmed in Gauteng. A rough cut of this film has just been to Cannes 2006 where it attracted much attention.

Written in 1999, Janet van Eeden’s A Matter of Time was short-listed out of 1100 entries into the BBC World’s Write Around the World Radio Play Competition. It was then optioned as a film by two different film companies and finally went into development with a UK producer. When the film script turned into something completely different, Janet van Eeden asked for the rights of A Matter of Time to revert to her.

A stage play version directed by Ian Roberts, one of South Africa’s best loved actors, and produced by the Hexagon Theatre and Van Eeden Harrison Productions will represent the first time the play will be produced.

The story deals with two women from the city who break down in a small town. They stay the night with two brothers whose unhealthy relationship explodes during a drunken game of Truth and Consequences. The consequences revealed by the truth are more than anyone can handle: a body, a saw and bin bags on the pavement. The secrets of the past are beginning to smell. And the bin men are late... and the sun is getting hot... and the dogs are beginning to gather. It is only a matter of time…

The set is designed by Peter Mitchell, well-known director of the Hexagon Theatre with original music composed by veteran Blues guitarist, Larry Amos. The music score also includes the work of Radio Kalahari Orkes fronted by Ian Roberts.

The large cast is headed by well-known Durban actor Thomie Holtzhausen whose one man show, Dawie’s Big Night In, was very successful at Grahamstown two years ago. Earlier this year, he appeared in the Actors Co-Operative’s highly praised production of King Lear.

Also in the cast are Louise Buchler, last seen in Grahamstown in Van Eeden’s The Savage Sisters, and James Aitchison who has appeared in numerous student productions at the NAFl. The cast also features Nathan Mitchell and Janet van Eeden as well as newcomers Dante Kemp and Amandla Maphalala.

A Matter of Time premieres at the 2006 National Arts Festival with funding from the National Arts Council. The production will be staged at Masonic One in Grahamstown.




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