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LOST IN THE STARS (article first published : 2000-06-15)

I shall be surprised if anyone comes away not having been moved to tears at some point by Jacky Vermaasís re-staging of Lost in the Stars playing at Technikon Natalís Courtyard Theatre which runs nightly at 19h30 until Saturday (June 17)

This sincere and well-written musical by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson is based on Alan Patonís classic novel Cry the Beloved Country. The Technikon Natal drama departmentís first production of the show played the Courtyard last year in September and some of the current cast appear in their original roles.

Bryan Hiles (Arthur Jarvis and the Judge), Momelezi Ntshiba (the street-wise John Khumalo), Winnie Majozi (the loyal and devoted Irina) and Hlengiwe Lushaba (the sultry singer Linda) are seen to better advantage second time around, executing their parts with more confidence and insight.

The musical content under the direction of Juan Burgers is also of a stronger nature in this re-staging, with Tarryn Leek proving she has a voice to watch.

Playing the main role of the Reverend Stephen Khumalo is Sibongiseni Mbambo who gives a sensitive, articulate and believable performance. He also has a good singing voice that is worth developing. Playing his son Absolom is Mlungisi Zondi who handles well the role of the easily-swayed youngster who has turned to crime.

Technikon Natalís drama department is fortunate in having experienced broadcaster Nigel Vermaas as a temporary lecturer. He brings his considerable dramatic ability to the part of James Jarvis. However, playing the first serious role that I have seen him in, Thabo Godide didnít quite pull off the character of the crime boss Matthew Khumalo.

There are some good scenes particularly those involving Absolom Khumalo when he is in prison. The first, which is dramatically lit, is when he tell his father he is guilty of killing James Jarvisís son and the other is when his father marries him to the faithful Irina who bears his child.

Book at Computicket on (031) 204-2532. The show runs in Pietermaritzburg at the Hexagon Theatre from June 23 and 24 before it appears in Swaziland at the Mbabane Theatre Club from June 25 to July 1.




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