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Play puts SA’s current woes on Joburg Theatre stage Print E-mail
10 April 2017
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After watching The Caucasian Chalk Circle at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein on Friday night, one walked out of The Fringe with a sense of deja vu.

The show is so real in how it tackles issues confronting South Africa at the moment – from the burning land question and child neglect to woman abuse, government corruption and the widening gap between the rich and poor.

Opening as it did in the week of political turmoil that saw nationwide protests and the country’s downgrade to junk status, the star-studded cast of The Caucasian Chalk Circle – including accomplished actors Aubrey Poo and Izak Davel both of Isidingo fame, Neka da Costa, Jacques Wolmarans, Simpho Mathenjwa, stage and TV actress Nyeleti Ndubane, Mimi Mahlasela of 7 de Laan and film producer and actress Koketso Motlhabane – infuses great South African humour without losing the intended message.

The original play by German modernist playwright Bertolt Bretch was performed in 1948 as a parable about a peasant girl who rescues a baby and becomes a better mother than its wealthy natural parents.

Fast-forward to 2017 and its relevance to the current situation in South Africa could not be so poignant. Directed by Lebohang Motaung, the play starts in a fictional town of Grusinia, where a government expert (Poo) is sent to sort out a land dispute between two groups of farmers.

One group is keen to move as long as the government keeps its promise to provide the farmers with houses and other essential services. The other group is reluctant, fearing it could lose everything because governments cannot be trusted.

Poo and his cast do the play’s themes justice as they infuse socioeconomic issues that South Africans can relate to daily. They tackle heavy topics with typical Mzansi humour by weaving the various accents and keeping them close to contemporary South.

This play is worth watching, especially in light of the current developments in the country. It continues at The Fringe until April 23. Tickets are priced at between R100 and R180. To book go to www.joburgtheatre.com or call 086 1670 670.

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Last Updated on 11 April 2017