A stirring historical epic

2012-03-15 00:00

IF YOU have yet to catch Neil Coppen’s superb play, Abnormal Loads, then you simply cannot afford to miss its run at the Playhouse in Durban from tomorrow to March 31.

Coppen was the Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner for Drama in 2011, and the play he produced for the Na­tional Arts Festival in Grahamstown is deeply rooted in the history of KwaZulu-Natal.

Set in a fictional battlefield town in the once war-ravaged valleys of northern KwaZulu-Natal, Abnormal Loads is part ghost story, part love drama, part historical epic and part dark comedy. To create his work, Coppen not only juxtaposes past and present, but during the course of the play, they intersect — and remind us that the past often repeats itself, and human beings find it hard to break free from the deeply ingrained beliefs they have.

Abnormal Loads tells the story of Vincent Bashford (Muthusi Magano), a mixed-race descendent of the town’s founding father, who grows up alongside his conservative colonial grandmother, Moira (Allison Cassels), on a farm outside of town.

After 29 years spent in relative ­isolation, Vincent begins to dream of an ­escape. Spurred on by his new friend, Katrien Joubert (Jenn Dunster), the ­rebellious 16-year-old daughter of the NG Kerk dominee, and Moira’s domestic worker, Prudence (Fortunate Dhlomo), the three youngsters begin to unravel a series of secrets and events that connect them across time, memory and history.

Showtimes are Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30 pm, with 2.30 pm matinées on Saturdays and Sundays. There is no show on March 21, and there will be two morning schools’ performances on March 22 (no evening show).

Tickets are R110 (R80 for pupils and pensioners) from Computicket, and ­early booking is advised.

School bookings must be made through Margie Coppen at 031 266 1459 or 083 251 9412.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.