A compelling eye-opener

2011-07-12 00:00

A TOPICAL story, that reveals the devastating effect that intolerance and prejudice can have on the individual, is being staged by members of the Gay and ­Lesbian Network’s theatre group, at the 31st South African National Community Theatre Association (Sancta) Play Festival in Secunda, Mpumalanga, until Saturday.

Somewhere In Between tells the story of a teenager, Sphesihle (played by Thobani Duma), who is born to lesbian parents (played by Ntsiki Dlamini and Sbulelo Keswa).

Sphesihle is popular, hardworking, loyal and tolerant of people and their beliefs. And, while he is not gay himself, his best friend Sakile (Doctor Dladla) is, and it’s this friendship which provides the catalyst for the tragedy that overtakes him. A victim of ­violence at the hands of a group of bullying school boys, Sphesihle becomes depressed and distant, and begins to struggle at school.

Somewhere In Between was workshopped by the cast and director, Chris Voysey, who has nothing but praise for the performers, who all live in the ­Pietermaritzburg area, and range in age from 18 to 23 years old.

“This play attempts to unpack some of the issues faced by the gay and lesbian community in South Africa today,” Voysey added. “They [the cast] workshopped scenarios and I scripted them, but they’ve since added in bits of their own. They’ve done some amazing work.”

It’s the second time that the Gay and Lesbian Network has taken part in the festival. The ­director of the organisation, ­Anthony Waldhausen, said they were hoping to repeat last year’s success, which saw the play, Pink Mynah ­Support Group, being nominated for five awards, and winning the best foyer display and an ­adjudicators’ special merit award.

• For more details about the festival, log on to www.sancta. org.za

• The Gay and Lesbian Network is conducting a survey to establish the support for events in Pietermaritzburg, thereby providing a safe social space for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community.

To complete the survey and stand a chance of winning R200, go to www.gaylesbian kzn.org or complete the survey at their office, at 185 Burger Street. Inquiries: Ponie Ngcobo at 033 342 6165.

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