Crime drives KZN star away

2007-12-29 00:00

The country’s crime wave will lay claim to another talented artist when well-known Durban theatre personality Carol Trench sets off for Norway at the beginning of February 2008.

Trench says farewell to local audiences with her Swansong Soiree from January 4 to 6 at the private home of a theatre friend near Howard College.

Trench found her “Norwegian prince” and married him a few months ago. Initially, South Africa was the couple’s first choice to set up home and start a family, but encounters with crime — including a mugging where Trench was pushed to the pavement for her handbag — changed their minds.

“The only reason to go was to feel safe and not constantly look over my shoulder. I feel vulnerable all the time,” she says. She adds she always thought those who left were deserters and believed South Africans were lucky to live here because of the beauty, the cultural richness and the wonderful weather.

“But it is not lucky to live in fear. I am passionate about this country, but I don’t think it gives anything back.”

The bubbly Trench is far from angry or bitter, but she is frustrated. Taxes fund corruption and crime, while salaries for teachers remain low and funding for theatre and arts is almost non-existent, she points out.

She should know. Trench has pulled off a demanding duel career, both teaching and performing. She “fell into” teaching when she was offered a job at Durban Girls’ High School five years ago.

When she took up teaching, she had the security to focus on turning out the quality performances that have earned her both accolades and awards.

She has excelled in musical theatre and earned respect for performances in children’s theatre. She is remembered for her role as Piglet in last year’s Winnie The Pooh, Snow White, which netted her a 2006 Durban Theatre Award, and has been commended for comic roles.

She says she has loved working for Kickstart — the production company created by theatre stalwarts Steven Stead and Greg King — especially as Eliza Doolittle in last year’s production of My Fair Lady and as Aladdin in this year’s festive season pantomime, which runs until December 30.

In My Fair Lady, she produced a vocal performance that even sent shivers down hardened critics’ spines and singing with the KZNPO was a career highlight.

Trench is no stranger to hard work and long hours, and the almost addictive and exhilarating feeling of connecting with an audience on stage.

For her, rehearsals during which talented directors unfold beautiful productions mark the creative phase. The big test is opening night. After that, it is work as usual.

“You do it for the opening night and, in shows like Aladdin, for the lovely people,” she explains.

Trench leaves just after her stint as assistant director on Hamlet at the Playhouse in January.

In Norway she intends to write plays, read books and rest.

“I want to open myself to the universe and whatever comes my way. Norway is extremely culturally rich, so I don’t think I will rest on my laurels for long.” .

Call 082 882 9869 to book for Swansong Soiree. Seating is limited and booking essential. Bring your own drinks.

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