DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA |  The Performing Arts Network of South Africa (PANSA KZN) will host the eighth Musho! International Theatre Festival of One and Two Person Theatre, at the Catalina Theatre in Durban, South Africa from January 16 to 20, 2013, featuring virtually 20 productions over six days, all celebrating the art of the one and two-performer plays. Two of those productions will come from Zimbabwe.

Musho! (the name is Zulu for an enthusiastic praise response, similar to “Bravo!”) embraces everything from mime to physical theater, drama to comedy. It pays tribute to the smaller works featuring one and two performers. These are intimate productions that showcase the skill of theater performance and storytelling, as well as covering a wide range of styles, from drama to comedy and physical theater.

This year Musho! productions touch on politics and society. A production from London, Sometimes I Laugh Like My Sister, reflects on the death of Kate Peyton, a BBC journalist shot and killed by suspected Islamic radicals in 2005 in Somalia.

The most fascinating are the two touring productions from Zimbabwe: Allegations is a true story of hope, fear and frustration in contemporary Zimbabwe. What does “national healing” really mean to a white farmer and a black rural dweller? Is it possible to just let sleeping dogs lie? Allegations examines Zimbabwe’s brutal past and present. It was sold out at when it toured to the Edinburgh Festival. It is produced by Almasi Collaborative Arts (Zimbabwe); written by Mandisi Gobodi, directed by Patience Tawengwa and performed by Dan Hargrove and Everson Ndlovu. It will be staged on Saturday 19 January at 6pm.

 Half Empty / Half Full is a satire on contemporary Zimbabwe politics. Two political leaders from highly contesting factions crumble when they face a public uprising. Problems they failed to solve and encounters and alliances they have faced and forged, which form their political history, good and bad, are narrated.

Dan Hargrove and Everson Ndlovu in "Allegations" from Zimbabwe
Dan Hargrove and Everson Ndlovu in “Allegations” from Zimbabwe

Twelve, another work, looks at the last few days of South Africa (looking for salvation on a map with old street names). It is written and directed by Dhaveshan Govender.  Brothers features identical twins grappling with the social complexities of South Africa, and Veil tells a beautiful love story of which society disapproves.

“The festival will run from Wednesday 16 January until Sunday 20 and we are planning for a bumper edition!” said says Musho! Festival Director, Emma Durden. “We had a record number of over 70 applications for the festival this year, which we were delighted about. After long deliberation, we have selected 12 productions for the main festival – including one children’s production, and four fringe productions. The Twist project of developing theatre will have two productions for the Musho with a Twist arm of the festival,” explained Durden.

Musho! typically provides a platform for new work. The festival is organised by PANSA KZN, the Performing Arts Network of South Africa, with support from The Daily News, Ethekwini Municipality, KZN Department of Arts and Culture, Business and Arts South Africa, Twist, The Kingdom of the Netherlands, Pro-Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

'Mob Feel' by Ian Hardman. Written and directed by Kline Smith and performed by Mpilo Nzimande and T.Q. Zondi. Mentored by Peter Mitchell.
‘Mob Feel’ by Ian Hardman. Written and directed by Kline Smith and performed by Mpilo Nzimande and T.Q. Zondi. Mentored by Peter Mitchell.

CONTACT DETAILS:

For more details about the festival, you can visit the website on www.mushofestival.co.za or email kzn@pansa.org.za. For bookings, show times and details contact the Catalina Theatre on 031 305 6889 or visit www.catalinatheatre.co.za/musho-festival

All shows R50 per ticket
PANSA paid-members R30
OAPS, students and children under 12 R30
Special all-day ticket on Saturday / Sunday – R100 per day
Twist / Fringe tickets – pay-what-you-can
Children’s show: R30 for kids, R50 for adults
MUSHO! MAIN PROGRAMME

Veil: Wednesday 16 January, 6pm
Written and directed by Zwai Mgijima and performed by Fortunate Dhlomo and Bhekani Shabalala
Assistant director: Bandile Mkhize
New Brighton houses the beautiful love story of Ali and Nosipho. The land they walk on is infested with ants. How do we respond when society disapproves? The script was a finalist in the 2012 PANSA new writing competition. (Drama; ages 16+; 60 minutes)

Sometimes I Laugh Like My Sister Wednesday 16 January, 8pm
Produced by Vital Digression and Obviam Est (London) present Written by Rebecca Peyton and Martin M Bartelt, directed by Martin M Bartelt and performed by Rebecca Peyton
In February 2005 a BBC journalist was murdered in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. Her name was Kate and she was Rebecca’s big sister. Rebecca welcomes us to her world in a passionately political, sharply comical and painfully personal account of life after Kate. Crafting a moving and often comic tapestry of private moments from a public tragedy, the show explores, through Rebecca’s eyes, the story of a courageous journalist and a loving big sister who is missed. Sometimes I Laugh Like My Sister now comes to South Africa, where Kate lived for the last ten years of her life. Each show is dedicated to different people who have been killed working as journalists or media workers. (Drama; All ages; 70 minutes)
Twelve: Thursday 16 January, 6pm
Written by Dhaveshan Govender, directed by Dhaveshan Govender in collaboration with the cast and performed by Shika Budhoo and Mpume Mthombeni
It’s the end of the world but who’s to blame? Rhino poachers? Jacob Zuma? Cell C? You? Two friends with one water bottle are running through the final days of South Africa, looking for salvation in a map with old street names. Multi-award winning cast and writer. (Comedy; All ages; 55 minutes)

Le Chop TV: Thursday 17 January, 8pm
Written by Cobus van Heerden with directorial assistance from Liam Magner and David Gouldie, and performed by Cobus van Heerden
Meet Benson Schwenson, a self confessed ego-maniac who uses his fame and fortune to provide opportunities to those less fortunate than himself as part of his quest toward enlightenment. Outrageous, extravagant, hilarious! (Comedy; ages 14+, 50 minutes)
The Epicene Butcher and other stories: Friday 18 January, 6pm
Produced by Daddy’s Little Secret (Johannesburg) Written by Gwydion Beynon, directed by John Trengove and illustrated and performed by Jemma Kahn, with assistance from Klara Van Wyk and Carlos Amato
The ancient Japanese storytelling art of Kamishibai (paper-play) is given a profane, hilarious and utterly original revival as Kahn performs seven eclectic stories that take in such divergent themes as heaven and hell, pornography, gothic tragedy and the dream life of cats. “Nothing short of perfect” Artslink. (Storytelling; ages 16+; 50 minutes)

Hambre del Alma: Friday 18 January, 8pm
Produced by Masidlaale Productions. Created and performed by Tristan Jacobs and directed by Andrew Buckland
“Hambre del Alma” is a solo mask performance about the Durban-born, Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. Hilarious in its wordlessness, creative and sad, the play underlines the beauty of adults playing pretend. Award winning Tristan Jacobs returns to Durban for his second Musho! Show. (Physical Theatre/ Mask; All ages; 45 minutes)

Allegations: Saturday 19 January, 6pm
Produced by Almasi Collaborative Arts (Zimbabwe) with tour support from Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Written by Mandisi Gobodi, directed by Patience Tawengwa and performed by Dan Hargrove and Everson Ndlovu
What does ‘national healing’ really mean to a white farmer and a black rural dweller? Is it possible to just let sleeping dogs lie? “Allegations” examines Zimbabwe’s brutal past and present, and is a true story of hope, fear and frustration in the country today. Sold out at Edinburgh Festival – don’t miss it! (Drama; 16+; ages 60 minutes)

The Spinster: Saturday 19 January, 8pm
Written and performed by Kyla Davis and directed by James Cairns
Come in. Sit down. Don’t be boring. The Spinster has some stories for you. She’s mad and wild and outrageously rude but, if you promise not to interrupt, she’ll probably let you stay for a drink. Or seven. Drawing inspiration from the political satire of Franca Rame, Lecoq’s ‘Buffoon’ and Jungian female archetypes, ‘The Spinster’ is a rowdy new play. (Comedy; ages 16+; 45 minutes)
Brothers: Sunday 20 January, 2pm
Produced by Umsindo Productions (Durban). Written by Bongumusa Shabalala, Musawenkosi Shabalala and Jerry Pooe, and directed and performed by identical twins Bongumusa and Musawenkosi Shabalala
Seen through the eyes of twin boys, the story takes us through their happiness, suffering and pain. They question why they were born together but don’t die together. Faced with impossible odds, each one of them searches for his own answer. (Drama; ages 13+; 60 minutes)

Elnora & Nirvana: Sunday 20 January, 4pm
Written and performed by Nieke Lombard and directed by Stephanie Brink
Nirvana is Elnora’s spirit who spends her days with Elnora, reminiscing on the past. Elnora’s inner child makes an appearance as she comes to grips with her life. Elnora is brought to life through the delightful techniques of the acclaimed Handspring Puppet Company. (Object Theatre; ages 13+; 45 minutes)

Half empty/Half full: Sunday 20 January, 6pm
Produced by Savannah Trust (Zimbabwe) with tour support from Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Created by Tafadzwa Hananda and Teddy Mangawa, written by Leonard Matsa, directed by Daniel Maposa with assistance from Lloyd Nyikadzino and performed by Tafadzwa Hananda and Teddy Mangawa
Two political leaders from highly contesting factions crumble when they face a public uprising. Problems they failed to solve and encounters and alliances they have faced and forged, which form their political history, good and bad, are narrated through this satire on contemporary Zimbabwean politics. (Comedy; ages 13+; 60 minutes)

This show will be followed by the Musho! 2013 prize-giving from 7.15 until 8pm.

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