Cape Town theatre picks: February 11 2011

Richard III

After opening at the National Arts Festival last year, Fred Abrahamse production of Shakespeare’s Richard III now comes to Cape Town for a limited season before heading to the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. Conceptualised as a fast-paced political thriller utilizing a small company of three actors aided by inventive and striking designs, with masks created by Izelle Grobler and the puppets by Hillette Stapelberg, actors take numerous roles. David Dennis plays The Duke of Buckingham / The Duchess of York / Queen Margaret / Edward IV and Lady Anne amongst others, Marcel Meyer is Richard lll, and Anelisa Phewa plays The Earl of Richmond / Queen Elizabeth and Lord Hastings.

The murderous and tragic history of King Richard the Third examines the corruption of power and how despotic leaders succumb to megalomania and paranoia. Hopefully, autocrats everywhere are nervously eyeing their populations. Until February 19 at the Arena Theatre, Artscape Theatre Centre, Foreshore. Book at Computicket. Tel: 021 421 7695. Website:

Hitched, the latest play by Paul Tosio and Barbara Whitfield, two of the founding members of the Oxford University Playwriting Society, is a tongue-in-cheek look at the vagaries of marriage and relationships. This South African premiere features popular stage, TV and film actress Michele Maxwell. Celebrity and serial-bride Joan Lawson (Maxwell) tells the audience of the idyllic wedding between a budding TV naturalist, and Iris, a celebrity wedding dress designer.

When a letter from the Bishop informs them that their marriage ceremony had actually been performed by a madman posing as the vicar, turns her life upside down. With a career built on her own ‘perfect celebrity wedding’, and with a gorgeous producer shamelessly pursuing her husband, she tries to hide the truth of their not being married. Until February 26 at the Kalk Bay Theatre, 52 Main Road, Kalk Bay. Book at: Tel: 073 220 5430. Website:

Die Naaimasjien
After touring extensively around the country for the past two years Rachelle Greeff’s acclaimed one-woman play, Die Naaimasjien (The Sewing Machine), returns to the stage for a limited season. Magdaleen, searchingly portrayed by Sandra Prinsloo, is an 81-year-old. On the day she has to let go of her beloved Bernina, she polishes the machine that has helped her fit out her children, and she recounts the story of her life, interwoven with snippets of South African history.

The production is directed by Hennie van Greunen. Die Naaimasjien will have English subtitles. The translation of Greeff’s finely nuanced Afrikaans text has been done by poet and translator Leon de Kock, now professor of English at Stellenbosch University. From February 15 to 19 at the Fugard Theatre, Corner of Caledon and Harrington Street, Cape Town. Book at: Tel: 021 461 4554. Website:

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Brent Meersman
Brent Meersman
Brent Meersman is a political novelist Primary Coloured, Reports Before Daybreak. He has been writing for the Mail & Guardian since 2003 about things that make life more enjoyable – the arts, literature and travel and in his Friday column, Once Bitten food. If comments on the internet are to be believed, he is a self-loathing white racist, an ultra-left counter-revolutionary, a neo-liberal communist capitalist, imperialist anarchist, and most proudly a bourgeois working-class lad. Or you can put the labels aside and read what he writes. Visit his website:
Brent Meersman
Brent Meersman is co-editor of GroundUp, an author of several books who also wrote for the Mail&Guardian from 2013-2016

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