Discussing sexuality in South Africa

2010-09-03 00:00

AN open discussion of sexuality in South Africa is at the heart of Sex Actually­ — a range of key performances and workshops from the recent Drama For Life (DLF) Festival at Wits University — which will be staged at the Hexagon Theatre complex at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg on September 15 and 16.

Featuring some of the best theatre and dance practitioners in South Africa­, the festival aims to address the taboos around an open discussion of sexuality in a society that needs effective communication about HIV/Aids.

Coming to Pietermaritzburg this month are Deep Nights, a dance work choreographed by PJ Sabbagha, which features Dada Masilo, whose Swan Lake is part of The Witness Hilton Festival on September 18 and 19; I Am Here by Peter Hayes, which was rated as one of the key works of the 2010 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown by critic Adrienne Sichel; Tarryn E. Lee’s Sex Machine, a visual journey of performance-installation art activated through image­ and; sound and performances by the Playback Theatre in which audiences­ can expect to be taken through their own journey of Sex Actually­ in a sensitive and thought-provoking way.

Also on the programme is Ncamisa!: The Women, a groundbreaking new play which explores growing up as a black lesbian in South Africa; and Hush by the Ubom! theatre company from the Eastern Cape, a bitingly satirical and deeply honest play which takes a raw look at the South African reality.

In addition to the performances, there will be several DLF workshops on forum theatre, installation art, capturing emotion through music and an additional workshop by Jamie McLaren Lachman of Clowns Without Borders.

And at the official opening at 6.30 pm on September 15, there will be performances by the university’s Lover and Another performance poetry­ finalists.

Admission to the festival is free. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Space in the workshops is limited, so those who are interested in attending are advised to book in advance via e-mail at hexagon@ukzn.ac.za or by phoning 033 260 5537.

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