My Fellow South Africans, a multi-sketch revue by award-winning playwright, Mike van Graan (Pay Back the Curry, Green Man Flashing, When Swallows Cry) will be performed over the next year as a contribution to the discourses that will shape the 2024 national elections.
The revue comprises older, updated and new sketches that comment on contemporary South Africa in ways that make the audience think, and perhaps squirm, even while laughing.
There’s the one-way ticket to Status Junk courtesy of SAA; a tour guide that offers a ride up the only car that has not been hijacked – the cable car (though the cable can be stolen at any time), a production of Romeo and Juliet to address racism between ‘black’ and ‘brown’ communities on the Cape Flats with Romeo from Pinelands and Juliet from Manenberg; Shakespeare doing a TIXERB (BREXIT in reverse) as he seeks to invest and buy a Hamlet in South Africa, and much, much more.
The talented Kim Blanche Adonis performs this solo piece that combines comedy, singing, poetry and drama – at times playing multiple characters in one sketch – through sixty minutes of high energy and focus.
Building on direction of some of the sketches by Rob van Vuuren and Daniel Richards in previous incarnations, Van Graan directs this revue that will include cartoons by Zapiro.
In addition to formal theatres, the show has been adapted for performance in people’s homes as an alternative distribution model for theatre for three primary reasons:
- there simply are not sufficient theatre venues to accommodate all the productions out there, and the longer a play has a life, the more income it generates for its creative team, a very necessary imperative after two years of COVID just about shut down theatre
- it takes theatre to where people are and introduces it to audiences who may not attend theatre for whatever reasons and
- it allows for discussion and engagement around the issues raised by the play afterwards; My Fellow South Africans is a modest contribution to the debate and discourse that will shape the build-up to the elections in 2024
Initial home-shows will take place in the week of 24 April to coincide with our 29th Freedom Day, to consolidate the piece and to build momentum before a three-week run that opens at ARTSCAPE on 3 May 2023, with the final performance on 20 May.
The same creative team plans to tour a completely different show – He Had It Coming – that addresses issues of gender-based violence and related themes, with income generated from My Fellow South Africans helping to subsidise this tour to schools and communities that may not be able to afford the show but would benefit from having access to it.
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