Gritty crime drama comes to Durbs

2014-11-06 00:00

PLAYWRIGHT Aubrey Sekhabi is looking forward to staging his hard-hitting crime drama, Silent Voice, in the Playhouse Loft Theatre this week.

The play kicks off the 20 Years of Democracy Festival which is being staged at the Durban venue throughout November.

Having garnered rave reviews in Cape Town and Edinburgh in Scotland, Silent Voice gives voice to our innermost concerns and fears, the biggest of these being crime, which has reached epidemic proportions and affects all strata of South African society.

While authorities search for answers to implement law and order, it is imperative that the public has an insight into the minds of the perpetrators: their motives, their emotions and the psychology of crime, so sustainable solutions can be found.

Sekhabi wrote the first version of his play 22 years ago, but since then it has undergone several different transformations and he told The Witness only a few lines from the original work remain.

It was inspired, he added, by his experience of living in Soshanguve, a township north of Pretoria, and seeing criminality spiralling out of control.

“To me this was an issue worth tackling,” Sekhabi said. “I always want to tackle current issues.”

Silent Voice is a high-octane, armed-heist thriller, which tells the story of a gang which goes on the run after a botched robbery results in a murder.

As the gang’s plans unravel, the audience is taken into the midst of the action.

Underpinning the piece is a meaningful and pertinent commentary about the realities of life in modern-day South Africa.

The work is brought to life by Tsotsi star Presley Chweneyagae, Zenzo Ngqobe, Boitumelo Shisana and Don Mosenye, and has been nominated for four Naledi Awards.

“The response to Silent Voice is always amazing,” Sekhabi said, “and we are working hard to keep it fresh.”

It is the playwright’s second visit to Durban — he was last in the city in the mid-nineties — and he said he was “excited to be bringing his original work to the Playhouse”.

He added: “I can’t wait to share this story with local audiences.”

Silent Voice can be seen in the Loft Theatre from November 6 to 9. Tickets can be booked at Computicket.

— Arts Editor.

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