Classic performances

2010-01-26 00:00

GREIG Coetzee’s White Men With Weapons, a South African theatre classic, will be staged at Michaelhouse’s Schlesinger Theatre at 7.30 pm on February 5.

Directed by Garth Anderson and written and performed by Greig ­Coetzee, White Men With Weapons has won over 20 awards and has been critically acclaimed on five continents.

Coetzee’s 13 characters, inspired by his own experiences as a conscript in the old South African Defence Force, take you on a roller-coaster ride, beginning just before Nelson Mandela’s release from jail. They include a corporal from hell, a drug-crazed Rambo and an Anglican chaplain with Tutu-phobia. By turns funny, poignant and harrowing, this one-man piece has a new relevance in a world gone ­war-mad.

White Men With Weapons is ­Coetzee’s first play and earned him a truckload of awards, including South African Playwright of the Year 1997 at the National Vita Awards.

Since then it and his other plays, which include Johnny Boskak is Feeling Funny and The Blue Period of Milton van der Spuy, have been staged in theatres throughout South Africa, Australia, Singapore, Europe and the United Kingdom, and he has been commissioned to write plays for European producers.

The play was one of the main attractions at the 2009 Witness Hilton Arts Festival and was also staged at the Catalina Theatre in Durban in September last year in aid of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the End Conscription Campaign. If you missed those performances and you want to see this thought-provoking play, make sure you book your seat now. Tickets are R40 from Michelle at 033 234 1139 or e-mail ­michun@michaelhouse.org

Another treat coming up at the Balgowan school’s theatre is A Handful of Keys, starring theatre legend Ian von Memerty and pianist extrordinaire Roelof Colyn, on February 24 at 7.30 pm.

This is a rare chance to see Von Memerty, fresh from his stint as a judge on SA’s Got Talent, perform the stage show he created. He and Colyn, a Handful of Keys regular who has just completed a run at the Barnyard Theatre Gateway with Rock On! Beethoven, promise to give patrons two hours of fabulous musical entertainment.

In the show, the two men, sitting at two grand pianos, give a dazzling display of pianistic virtuosity, hilarious impersonation, and music that ranges from the classic masters Bach and Beethoven, through the kings of soul, via the queens of showbiz and pop Elton John, Freddy Mercury and Liberace. Unmissable!

Tickets, at R150, are selling fast and space is limited. To book, phone Michelle at 033 234 1139 or e-mail michun@michaelhouse.org

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