Student festival at the Hex

2015-05-21 06:00
Nompilo Jili and Bongeka Ngubane in a scene from ‘And the Girls in their  Sunday Dresses’, one of the plays in the Different Directions Festival at UKZN Pietermaritzburg this week.
PHOTO: supplied

Nompilo Jili and Bongeka Ngubane in a scene from ‘And the Girls in their Sunday Dresses’, one of the plays in the Different Directions Festival at UKZN Pietermaritzburg this week. PHOTO: supplied

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THE drama and performance studies department at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, PMB campus, is hosting Different Directions, a festival of short plays and extracts from plays directed by postgraduates.

The festival runs until Saturday and shows take place from 6pm in the Hexagon Studio­ Theatre.

Plays on offer:

• And the Girls in Their Sunday Dresses - written by Zakes Mda, the play tells the story of a retired prostitute and a fiery domestic worker who develop an unlikely friendship as they wait in a queue to buy cheap rice. They share stories and heartbreaks, resolving to stop waiting and seize life. The play is directed by Nokwazi Mkhatshwa.

• The House of Cards - written­ by Charles Mee, The House of Cards is a reflection on the presence of beauty as well as the terrifying atrocities of our world. A young man, scared by the effects of war, describes his experiences through detailed images of blossoms, boat rides and torture. The cruelty of war has left him drifting through no man’s land as he struggles to keep his sanity. The play is directed by Brandon Bosch.

• Nongogo - written by Athol Fugard, the play is set in the fifties, when apartheid was being formalised. Nongogo tells the tale of displaced township individuals whose futile longing to belong and be loved provides the impetus for the drama. Each character represents a different dysfunction, from psychological to physical, as they interact in Queenie’s Shebeen. The play is directed by Lungi Mncube.

• A Little Box of Oblivion - written by Stephen Bean, the play tells the tale of a woman who leaves a box beside Cool, asking her not to knock, tilt, shake or open it, and rushes off.

Cool just wants to read her paper, when people start to arrive and speculate about the possible evil contents of the box. What could possibly go wrong when the woman comes back. The play is directed by Shivani Hariparsad.

• Asinamali! - written by Mbongeni Ngema, the play tells the tale of five prisoners in a South African jail in the eighties­ who recount the circumstances that led to their imprisonment through dialogue­, song and dance. The cast includes Menzi Mkhwane, Mpilo Nzimande and T.Q. Zondi­ and is directed by Nompilo­ Jili.

• The Suit - written by Can Themba, Mothobi Mutloatse and Barney Simon, the play is a parable about forgiveness set in apartheid South Africa. It follows a husband who gives unusual punishment to his wife - that she treat her lover’s abandoned suit as a guest of honour in their home. The play is directed by Mxolisi Gwala.

• Alarms - written by Michael­ Frayn, Alarms is a high-energy farce and depicts how a simple evening of drinks with friends quickly dissolves into chaos, without any provocation. Four friends simply try to enjoy a bottle of wine together­ when things go horrendously­ wrong as gadgets and technologies begin to unravel the evening. The play is directed by Nicolas Hughes.

Tickets are R40 (R25 concessions) at the door.

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