An Indian experience

2010-09-04 00:00

RONNIE Govender’s wonderful work At the Edge and other Cato Manor Stories will be performed by Jailoshini Naidoo at the Playhouse in Durban from September 8 to 12 as part of the Shared History – The Indian Experience Festival.

The festival is a celebration of contemporary and classical music, dance, theatre, visual art, film, food and literature in association with the cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

Directed by Sharupa Dutta, At the Edge and other Cato Manor Stories draws inspiration from Govender’s book of the same name, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Award.

Setting the story in Cato Manor before its destruction by the Group Areas Act, Govender has created a diverse range of characters, from comic to poignant, angry, sycophantic, egotistical and devastated, all drawn from the 40s and 50s Cato Manor tapestry.

What emerges is a combination of drama, comedy, high tension, damaged lives, hidden racial hurts and shamefully blighted lives not lived to their full potential due to circumstances beyond their control.

Naidoo, familiar to many fans as an Eastern Mosaic presenter, has appeared in numerous stage productions, including Jungle Book, This Black Woman, The Coolie Odyssey, Jimbo, Queens of Comedy, Curry on Laughing and Ronnie Govender’s critically acclaimed 1949 in which she played 38 characters.

Music for the production was composed by the late Siva Devar, a child prodigy born in Pietermaritzburg. His most celebrated scores were for the For Love of The Nightingale, Hamlet and At The Edge, and the musicals Jimbo, Ikhaya and Coming Home, and the theme music of the daily soap Isidingo.

Tickets can be booked at Computicket.

• For information on the festival and a programme visit

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