Celebrated Can Themba work for The Playhouse

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Crepuscule at the Victoria Theatre, July 08, at the 2016 National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa. Adapted from Can Themba’s short story, Crepuscule, is a fictional interpretation of Themba’s real life love affair with a white woman, Jean Hart, during the 1950’s. Photo: CuePix / Jane Berg.
Crepuscule at the Victoria Theatre, July 08, at the 2016 National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa. Adapted from Can Themba’s short story, Crepuscule, is a fictional interpretation of Themba’s real life love affair with a white woman, Jean Hart, during the 1950’s. Photo: CuePix / Jane Berg.

Kicking off its New Stages Season, The Playhouse Company presents a captivating stage work based on the real-life story of cultural icon, Can Themba.

Crepuscule (which means ‘twilight’) is written by Themba and adapted for the stage by Khayelihle Dom Gumede for the New Stages Season. It is a story about human connection and the search for freedom and humanity in a world that sought to deny it.

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The Playhouse Company CEO and Artistic Director, Linda Bukhosini, said New Stages is about celebrating authentic South African works that are entertaining, creative, original and thought provoking. “Crepuscule is one of those works which tick all these boxes. What’s more, this is a work by a celebrated author and playwright. This year marks 50 years since Can Themba’s passing and having one of his works on our stage is an honour at this time. This is also an award-winning play, from Gauteng’s Market Theatre and we want KZN not to miss this opportunity to see it first-hand.”

The Playhouse, by arrangement with DALRO, presents Crepuscule in the Playhouse Loft Theatre from 3 to 7 May.

Crepuscule at the Victoria Theatre, July 08, at the 2016 National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa. Adapted from Can Themba’s short story, Crepuscule, is a fictional interpretation of Themba’s real life love affair with a white woman, Jean Hart, during the 1950’s. Photo: CuePix / Jane Berg.
Crepuscule at the Victoria Theatre, July 08, at the 2016 National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa. Adapted from Can Themba’s short story, Crepuscule, is a fictional interpretation of Themba’s real life love affair with a white woman, Jean Hart, during the 1950’s. Photo: CuePix / Jane Berg.

Crepuscule had smash hit seasons at the Market Theatre and at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. The play is directed by Khayelihle Dom Gumede, who won Best Director for his vivid interpretation of the story at last year’s Naledi Awards. The production received six Naledi nominations in 2016.

The cast for Crepuscule is stellar! Nat Ramabulana plays Can Themba, with Kate Liquorish as his romantic partner. Lerato Mvelase plays Baby/Kleinboy, Nhlanhla Mahlangu is Stan, Matthew Lotter plays Malcolm, and Thami Ngoma plays Ous Lethabo/Mama Dora/Sis Pretty.

The original Can Themba story is believed to be an interpretation of Themba’s real life love affair with a white woman by the name of Jean Hart during the 1950s. Set in the often revered and romanticised world of Sophiatown, the play asks a range of pertinent and contemporary socio-political questions. Themba and Hart’s illicit relationship across the apartheid ‘colour bar’ serves as a means to unpack just how much of our identity is formed by our environment and how much is shaped by our choices as individuals.

Crepuscule will run in the Playhouse Loft Theatre from 3 to 7 May. Schools performances are on at 11h00 on 3, 4 and 5 May. Schools performances, at R30 per learner, can be booked by calling (031) 369 9407. Public performances take place at 19h30 on 5 May, 14h00 and 19h30 on 6 May, and at 14h00 on 7 May. Tickets for these performances are available via Computicket or Shoprite Checkers at R80 each.

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