Home-grown theatre

2011-03-22 00:00

THE Pietermaritzburg play which won the audience award at the Musho International Festival of One and Two-Hander Theatre in January is one of five new works being staged at the annual Hexagon Theatre Mini-Fest, which will take place on Friday and Saturday.

Crush-Hopper, which can be seen at 6 pm on Friday, is a one-woman show, written and created by Mandisa Haarhof, in collaboration with director Ntokozo Madlala. When it was performed at Musho in January, it received a much deserved standing ovation.

The play is a beautiful, true story of a young woman searching for love and identity in the midst of trying circumstances. Through crushing and crushes, she finds a way to cope with her displacement and an escape from her numbing reality.

Haarhof grew up in Somerset-East, a small “boere dorpie” near Port Elizabeth, during the advent of South African democracy, and as a young girl her greatest desire was to be “white” and marry a white boy with a farm.

She was raised by her Afrikaans- speaking grandfather, later moved to live with her aunt in a Xhosa-speaking community and now lives in KwaZulu-Natal where she is finishing her masters degree. This complex experience of multi-lingualism and multiculturalism is reflected in the way in which she tells her story, which celebrates youth and womanhood and South Africanism in the most unexpected ways. Crush-Hopper is absolutely unmissable.

Also being staged at the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal are Cage Fighter, PaperBoy, From Bush To Country and Tokoloshe Come Again.

Peter Mitchell, who runs the The Hexagon Theatre, said the university was delighted to be hosting the festival for the fifth time. “This year’s plays are all from KZN, and we are proud to announce that the top plays from the Musho Festival will be participating, especially as they are homegrown pieces by graduates of our university,” he added.

• Tickets are R40 and can be bought at the door. Inquiries: 033 260 5537 or e-mail ­hexagon@ukzn.ac.za



An Englishman, a giant, four Orientals, 19 Dutchmen and a jail cell: follow one teenage boy’s perilous journey through one of the most unbelievable nights of his life that includes a party gone wrong, a car chase, a beachfront shoot out, mistaken identity and a few crazy fights.

This is a good clean fun, zany, crazy, one-handed physical comedy that will leave you in stitches and wanting more.

The play is written and performed by Ryan Mayne, a graduate of the University of KwaZuly-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, and directed by Pieter Bosch Botha. See it at 7.45 pm this Friday.



Bobby Jones is a multi-faceted human being. By profession he is a newspaper delivery boy, but he considers himself to be an aspiring detective, which often lands him and his misguided newspapers in trouble.

When his infamous right arm sends the late Mrs Moodley’s ashes flying into the air, the accident becomes a catalyst for a series of unfortunate, yet very amusing, events, which include Bobby breaking into houses and using his James Bond detective tactics to uncover some facts that were best kept under the rug.

Written and performed by Durban-born Grant Jacobs and directed by Liam Magner, Paper Boy can be seen at 4 pm on Saturday.


From Bush to Country , the runner-up for the audience favourite award at this year’s Musho Festival , is a hilarious, hard-hitting and heartfelt tale about one man’s surreal, epic journey through the mad history of Zimbabwe.

It tells the story of a secular Zimbabwean historian in the middle of a crisis of faith, who meets his ancestral spirit guide for the first time and together they time-travel through the country’s past, seeing the legacies of migration, civilisation, revolution and violence that lead back to the uncertain present.

Along the way he finds his own meaning of life in a renewed love and hope for humanity.

Playing each of his diverse characters, Arifani Moyo gives an energetic, intense and intimate performance. Directed by William le Cordeur. See it at 5.45 pm on Saturday.



Liam Magner and Clinton Small present the multi-award winning Tokoloshe Come Again , a show which has travelled the country for the last two years.

An hour of off-the-wall impersonations and loads of improvised moments, the play tells the story of Moses, the little orphan boy, on his journey of discovery. The two actors portray an entire cast of characters, from mad, old witchdoctors to drunk village elders. There is even a talking chameleon.

See it at 7.30 pm on Saturday.

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