Powerful play on new era

Neo Bodumela

CHALLENGES, old and new, are examined when Port Elizabeth theatre veteran Monde Wani takes to the stage with his wife to perform his acclaimed play Ours Was the Dawn at NMMU’s North Campus next week.

The production, which is directed by Wani, tells the story of two characters and their journey in life from when they first met, their expectations of the new South Africa, and the reality thereof.

“It is a touching and humorous story. It deals with the new and old challenges the family go through but also the opportunities that have been presented in the new democratic era,” Wani said.

Ours Was the Dawn is a production that was originally commissioned by the St Benedict and St John’s College in the United States.

The play opened there for the first time in 2008 as part of the Martin Luther commemoration in Minneapolis. From there it was also performed in Germany, in England, at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and Artscape in Cape Town. Wani and his wife, Nomsa, play the roles of James and Nodolly Ndoda – a union of artistic ability that he said is a blessing.

“On stage, we literally forget who we are to each other.

“We forget we are actually husband and wife and we become the characters that we play. You would actually never say we are a married couple.

“When we performed the play in Cape Town, the reviews said that we have incredible chemistry and that is because we forget the lives that we have off stage. I think it’s truly beautiful working with her,” Wani said.

The show will integrate dance, singing and acting for a well-rounded performance.

“The play is not only about the two actors on stage but we will also interact with the audience as well. This play is a combination of storytelling, singing and dancing at its best.

“The audience is drawn into the story that is being told and they will feel part of it. Without giving away the plot, the two characters go through changes during the play and there will be quite a few surprises in store for the audience.”

The show will be held for one night only at 7pm on Thursday at the Goldfields auditorium. Tickets are R80 and can be bought at the door. For more information contact Wani on 083-334-3753.

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