Simon season showcases diverse SA plays

1 Jun 2015 - 13:30
"Touched by Barney Simon" 2015
Touched by Barney Simon 2015

Coinciding with Africa Month at UCT and in partnership with the Baxter Theatre Centre, the Department of Drama is commemorating the life and work of prolific South African theatre-maker Barney Simon in a season of plays, Touched by Barney Simon: A Retrospective, at the Little and Arena Theatres.

Twenty years after his death, the Barney Simon anthology still speaks to contemporary South Africa, reminding viewers the country's rich but painful history.

His immense contribution to the canon of theatre in the country, as both a playwright and director, is celebrated in the festival of five iconic, back-to-back productions: Cincinnati (directed by Jacqui Singer),Black Dog/Inj'emnyama (directed by Clare Stopford), Woza Albert! (directed by Mdu Kweyama), Have you seen Zandile? (directed by Ntombi Makhutshi) and Begeerte (directed by Amy Jephta) at the Little and Arena Theatres until 23 May.

These star the department's senior acting students.

To follow, the Baxter Theatre will present the sixth iconic production, Simon's Born in the RSA, this July after it is staged at the National Festival of the Arts in Grahamstown.

To mark this commemorative season, the drama department is hosting a symposium on Simon's life and work from 10h00 to 13h00 on 16 May at Hiddingh Hall and will feature a talk by Mannie Manim and a panel of guest speakers.

Simon's Black Dog/Inj'emnyama runs at the Arena Theatre and the double bill of Percy Mtwa's Woza Albert! and Have You Seen Zandile? by Gcina Mhlophe runs at the Little Theatre from 14-16 May, with performances at 20h00 nightly along with Saturday matinees at 14h00. Simon's Cincinnati (at the Arena) and Begeerte (at the Little Theatre) run at the same times from 21-23 May. Tickets cost R70 for each of the productions and can be booked by emailing Nabeelah Khan, who can also be contacted for reservations for the symposium.