Mandisa scoops best show for ‘crush-hopper’

2011-01-18 00:00

THERE were calls of “Viva Umphithi! Viva!” for Mandisa Haarhof’s wonderful one-woman show, Crush-hopper, at the Catalina Theatre in Durban on Sunday.

And the Pietermaritzburg-based playwright and actress was blown away when, just a few hours later, she learned that she had walked off with the prize for the best show, as voted for by audiences, at this year’s Musho International Theatre Festival of One and Two Person Theatre .

Fellow ‘Maritzburg writer and actor, Arifani Moyo, was also rewarded when his one-man show, From Bush to Country, which opened this year’s festival, was announced as the runner-up for the audience vote for best theatre work.

Haarhof’s play, which was directed by Ntokoza Madlala, is a very personal tale of a young woman looking for love and how her many crushes affect they way she views her own identity and her place in the world.

Moyo’s work, which was directed by William le Cordeur, is a tale of one man’s search for clarity and meaning in the complex story of Zimbabwe.

The final award for the festival, the Sulliman Selection, which is sponsored by the Sulliman family, went to Mary Steward for her wonderful comedy, Men’s Room, in which she shares all she knows about boys and men.

The Musho Festival is hosted annually by the Performing Arts Network of South Africa (PANSA) and offers theatregoers the chance to see everything from mime to physical theatre, drama and comedy. This year, in addition to the six productions on the main programme, the event also hosted six short productions from community theatre groups, including Umphithi Theatre Arts from Pietermaritzburg, in its Musho With A Twist segment.

All six groups, which have been involved in the Twist Theatre Development Project, supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, were paired with award-winning writers and directors to produce a new theatrical work.

Umphiti Theatre Arts worked with writer, Anton Krueger, and director Zeph Nzama on their play, The Poisoned Mango.

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