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PLAYHOUSE’S SAWAF 2008 UPDATE (article first published : 2008-07-30)

The Playhouse Company has announced an updated programme of its 12th South African Women’s Arts Festival (SAWAF), which runs at The Playhouse in Durban from July 29 until August 16.

This annual showcase of the impact women make on the lives of South Africans enjoys a national profile on the KZN arts calendar. True to form, this year’s festival comprises cutting edge productions of poetry, music, drama and dance, and features the talent of noted women in their fields of performance art.

SAWAF’s 2008 programme opens with Duma Ndlovu’s acclaimed stage drama, The Game running in the Playhouse Drama from July 29 to August 10, featuring a star cast of big-name actresses including Leleti Kumalo, Sindi Dlathu, Mary Twala, Lucia Mthiyane, Phumelephi Mthombeni and Simpiwe Ngema.

The musical production, Women of Dzonga (Women of the South) runs from August 6 to 9 in the Loft theatre. This features a powerhouse line-up of women performers in a mixed medley of show-stoppers from a variety of genres. These include mbaqanga music, domba dance, acapella singing, contemporary dance, kwasa kwasa, and even items from Sophiatown, among other elements. The production portrays the way women celebrate important moments in their lives both in traditional and modern culture, supporting each other in the process.

SAWAF’s 2008 Gala Concert features two of South Africa’s most enduring music legends, Letta Mbulu and Caiphus Semenya with hot-property music star, Durban’s own Swazi Dlamini, providing a triple act with phenomenal box office appeal in this year’s SAWAF Gala Concert.

A much loved audience favourite in this country and abroad, Letta is a South African Music Awards for Lifetime Achievement honoree, whose performances fill her listeners with joy. Caiphus Semenya likewise has built a hugely popular following second to none with music lovers over the years.

Local star Swazi Dlamini adds her own considerable box office pull to this not-to-be-missed, Big League event. The concert’s Celebrity Programme Director is the acclaimed South African poet, Lebo Mashile

Other SAWAF attractions include an Open Mic Poetry session in the Grand Foyer on August 9 at 16h00 with Gcina Mhlophe as the anchor artist (admission free), a youth seminar presented in conjunction with the Office of the Premiere on August 10 from 08h30; and an all-stops-out Battle of the Women DJ’s in the Grand Foyer on August 10 from 17h30. This celebrates young women who have made their names in the local and national music industry as DJ’s. Featured celebrities in this field will include DJ Sindo, DJ Zinhle and DJ Sem.

Desiré Davids’ ground-breaking dance fusion piece, New Classics, makes a welcome return to the Drama from August 14 to 16. This challenging stage work features the choreography of one of South Africa’s leading dance luminaries, and has been created on five leading Durban dancers who have each won acclaim at home and abroad. They are Zinhle Gumede, Louise Fraquet-Golding, Lucile Sproull, Quinton Ribbonaar and Davids herself. The production also features guest appearance by Zulu traditionalists, Omama Boxolo (The Mothers of Peace).

Booking for all SAWAF productions is through Computicket on 083 915 8000 or The Playhouse Box Office on 031-369 9540. For further information, contact the Playhouse Company’s Marketing Department on 031-369 9456 or alternatively by email at marketing@playhousecompany.com




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