Mooi Street Moves plays at SA State Theatre

MOOI STREET MOVES. Image credit Sanmari Marais.
MOOI STREET MOVES. Image credit Sanmari Marais.

Mooi Street Moves is a modern South African classic by famed local playwright Paul Slabolepszy.

The South African State Theatre in association with Ruban Noir (Pty) Ltd by arrangement with DALRO (Pty) Ltd presents Paul Slabolepszy’s Mooi Street Moves.

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Directed by MoMo Matsunyane.
Dramaturgy by Warona Seane.

It’s 1992 in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. “Mooi Street Moves” takes a tragi-comic look at a white country bumpkin Henry Stone and a black urban hustler Stix Letsebe who are trapped dealing with the remnants of apartheid and a dawn of a new nation at the same time. A devastated Henry shows up in Stix’s flat looking for his brother Steve, Stix has no choice but to take him in and prepare him for survival in the rough streets of Johannesburg.

This play will amuse with its comic exploration of cultural and racial tension, and move one with the newly found brotherhood, as the dark alleys and lurking shadows of Hillbrow greet them at every turn.

This play sees MoMo Matsunyane direct her third professional offering Since “Penny” which she wrote and directed for the So Solo festival at Wits and Phillip Dikotla’s “Kulneck” for the PopArt Theatre and both offerings premiered at the National Arts Festival in July. She has also co-directed “Tau” with Thabiso Ramalla for the Market Theatre. MoMo is a graduate of Wits University, an actor, performer, writer and a part of the hugely talented “Thenx” Sketch comedy group.

Warona Seane provides dramaturgy in this first production to see two females collaborate for a professional staging of “Mooi Street Moves”. Warona’s stage acting credits include: “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When The Rainbow Is Enuf” (Fleur Du Cap 2002); “The Alchemist’s Heart” “Nothing but the Truth” and “Nongogo” (Naledi nomination 2006). “Tsela” an adaptation of “Waiting for Godot”, “Ukutshona ko Mendi: Did We Dance” and “Tin Bucket Drum”. Ms. Seane’s directing credits include “Sacred Thorn” “Yes Medem” Nelisiwe Xaba’s solos “Fragments of an Orgy” “Mute Echoes” and “Romeo and Juliet” “For Colored/Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow Is Enuf” by Ntozakhe Shange; “Eclipsed” by Danai Gurira “We Are Here” by Antonio Lyons, “The Mountaintop” by Katori Hall (Naledi Best Director nomination 2013) “Hani” for the Gauteng Opera’s Cula Mzansi and “OoMaSisulu” which is currently playing at NAF 2016.

Ms. Seane taught at Wits School of Arts and the Market Theatre Laboratory, has presented at the “Black Women in the Performing Arts Conference: Volume 1” at The Steve Biko Centre and the 10th Women Playrights International Conference. Warona Seane was the first Artistic Manager at Soweto Theatre between 2013-2015.

Two of South Africa’s amazing actors, Theo Landey (Henry Stone) and Motlatsi Mafatshe (Stix Litsebe), reprise this Slabolepzy’s classical production to life for the South African State Theatre.

Theo Landey classically trained at LAMDA, Theo has appeared in many successful theatrical productions locally and abroad. He made his South African debut in The Judas Kiss as Lord Alfred Douglas in 2000 and since then has acted in many local productions; notably the Tesson Theatre’s King Lear, Romeo & Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing. Theo was part of the original cast of the Market Theatre’s highly acclaimed Death of a Colonialist as well as the Theatre on the Square’s successful production of David Mamet’s Romance, to name a few, The History Boys and Travels with my Aunt for which he won a Naledi for Best Supporting Actor. His television credits include several international TV shows, locally he has been appeared in SABC’s “The Res” and “Generations”, MNET’s Innocent Times and Erfsondes and ETV’s daily soap Scandal!

He has done a few feature films too; locally he was the voice of Percy Fitzpatrick in Jock of the Bushveld 3D as well as the critically acclaimed Long Walk to Freedom. International movies include Man to Man, I Dreamed of Africa and To the Ends of the Earth. Released later this year Theo also stars in Amma Asante’s highly anticipated biopic feature film about Seretse Khama; A United Kingdom. This is his first production for the State Theatre.

Motlatsi Mafatshe is an AFDA graduate in motion picture & live performance. His relatively short and versatile career has seen him become a household name in the SABC 3 soap “Isidingo” and Mzansi Magic’s “Ayeye”, he has featured in a number of local feature film and his most notable performance being in a lead role in Khalo Matabane’s “When we were Black”. He is a singer song writer, music producer and lead of the international famed “Mo and The Dark Knights” which has seen him perform across Southern Africa.

The Star Newspaper regarded him as 1 of top 100 South Africans in 2007 amongst the likes of Tokyo Sexwale and Nelson Mandela.

He has worked with NYS Music production on the (It’s for Life) sitcom as the producer and composer of the theme music, title sequence and the hit single “It’s for life”. In 2012 his band was the opening act for Usher Raymond’s SA Tour at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto sizzling an audience of 20 000.

The play shows Slabolepszy’s writing at its best, at a time when workshopping and improvisation were more popular than literary form and structure in South African theatre.

Dates: Until 25 August 2016
Times: 20:00
Venue: Momentum @ STATE THEATRE.
PRICES: R40 on Tuesdays, Wed – Thurs R80 and Friday and Saturday R100.

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