Young playwrights get their chance

2013-06-13 00:00

TWO Michaelhouse schoolboys have taken their first steps into the theatrical world, directing plays for a double bill at the Schlesinger Theatre this month.

Matric pupil Kyle Pyne-James (18), from Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, has written and directed an original new script, Grey Days, while James Smith (16), a Grade 10 pupil from Durban, adapted Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs for the stage.

Kyle, a first team cricket captain at Michaelhouse, has always felt the need to express his creative side through writing.

“In class, I love writing essays and short stories, so when the Spud Award came up I felt that it was the chance for me to share my opinions on life by putting a play on the stage,” he said.

In Grey Days — starring James Hallier, Matthew Davies and Kessia Theron — two characters, an optimist and a pessimist, debate life and how it should be lived.

“I was very close to my late grandfather. He had such a grasp of life and what it meant to live and love … [and] he wanted to get the message across that life is too short to not be lived properly. That’s what I’ve tried to express in the play and to remind people that we should never take anything for granted,” said Kyle.

Commenting on winning the Spud Trophy, donated to the school by former Michaelhouse pupil and author of the Spud novels John van de Ruit, Kyle said: “To win the award was a real honour.”

James, meanwhile, said he was determined to bring Reservoir Dogs to the stage after seeing the iconic 1992 American crime film that depicts events before and after a botched diamond heist.

Given the limitations of the stage, James told his actors they needed to be a hundred times bigger than the characters appeared in the film.

“I want the audience to see the energy they give off … and instead of camera close-ups, I told the actors to walk to the front of the stage to really engage with the audience. Drama is my life and I want to study dramatic arts when I finish school,” he said.

The double bill of Reservoir Dogs and Grey Days is at the Schlesinger Theatre, Michaelhouse, at 7.30 pm today and tomorrow. To book, phone Angela Jonsson from 8 am to 1 pm at 033 234 1314 or e-mail

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