Play that lightens the load

2010-05-13 00:00

TUCKSHOP, a new musical about life in and around Mr Khan’s informal tuckshop on the border of Phoenix and KwaMashu, written by Pranesh Maharaj, will be staged from May 20 to 23 at the Playhouse Drama Theatre­.

The musical takes a funny, but highly emotional, look into the lives of people such as Sanjeev and Mala, who live on the border of Phoenix and KwaMashu.

Sanjeev is out of luck and spends most of his time in Lungi’s shebeen while Mala keeps the family going with an office job. They lost a baby at birth and have struggled to deal with the repercussions, yet life must go on; but will it?

“The questions of extra-marital affairs, Aids, domestic violence, inter-racial relationships and poverty are the order of the day and the music and dance aspects lighten the load in some places while in others they entangle the audience into the character­’s emotions,” explains Maharaj­, who directs the work alongside Riyash Misra.

“Since 1994, a new democracy and free trade sprouted street vending and informal trade in South Africa. Such trade is rampant in most developing­ countries and is a source of employment and income to a large percentage of households.

“Communities have also fostered new relationships with these traders and the opportunity to channel stories­ through them is open.

“The tuckshop is not only a gossip hot spot but, apart from trade, it is an informal counselling station, cynically replacing the therapeutic­ barman with time to listen more than advise. The play as a musical was born out of this concept,” says Maharaj.

Tuckshop, which features original music and choreography, boasts a band — Mike Mazzoni on drums, Zinhle Mthembu on percussion, Lee Ngidi on bass and Richard Ellis as music director and on guitar — and is choreographed by Melanie Kisten.

Performing in the show are Anesh Dusrath, Yasmin Seedat, Lovie Ramas­ Rai, Tashmika Harilall, Salona­ Surjoo, Nthando Macube, Ayanda­ Khanyile, Michelle Kisten, Nomonde­ Matiwane and Darshana Moti.

Show times are 8 pm on May 20, 21 and 22, 4 pm on May 21, 2 pm on May 22 and 6 pm on May 23.

Tickets are available via Computicket or at the Playhouse box office­.

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