Gay Readings to Mark LGBT History Month

Published: October 23, 2011

The plays in the season all feature in “SA Gay Plays 1” compiled by Robin Malan and published by through his independent press, Junkets Publisher.

 “The social issues addressed in the collection include more than just LGBT themes,” says Grace Meadows who is the Manager of Performing Arts at UJ and the producer of the season of readings. “Sexual awakening, issues of identity and abandonment are interlaced with the added grit of revenge, passion and sex.

Most important of all is that the work is young, fresh and compelling,” she adds. The Season Director of READING GAY is Alby Michaels who has pulled together a formidable team of new young directors, UJ students, UJ alumni and professional guest performers to tackle the five plays: The Boy Who Fell from the Roof Wednesday 26 October 2011 – 19:30 Capetonian Jade Bowers directs “The Boy Who Fell from the Roof” (2007) by Juliet Jenkin leads the line-up.

 A heartfelt story about a boy, Simon, who, with his best friend, Georgina, falls into the cold bath waters of homosexuality, race, love, death and growing up in contemporary Cape Town. Myth of Andrew & Jo Thursday 27 October 2011 – 19:30 UJ Arts Academy alumnus Motlatji Ditodi directs Gideon van Eeden’s “Myth of Andrew & Jo” (2010) is a contemporary tale of a gay couple, a lesbian couple and a pregnancy – how will the live, how will they love and how will they laugh? Happy Endings Are Extra Friday 28 October 2011 – 19:30 Musical Theatre star Neels Clasen directs Ashraf Johaardien’s “Happy Endings Are Extra” (2006), which was the first of the plays in the collection to be invited to Dublin.

 A provocative story of love and betrayal unravels as one man comes to terms with the life he’s leading and the one he’s left behind. Dalliances Saturday 29 October 2011 – 19:30 Alby Micheals, who is the resident Director of the UJ Arts Academy, takes on “Dalliances” (2008) by Pieter Jacobs. Leo and Janet are friends. Ken is involved with Andy. When Ken meets Leo and make out in a lift, the lives of these four characters intersect with extraordinary results.

Jacobs scooped the KKNK Nagtegaal Debut Prize for his Afikaans play “Plofstof” earlier this year. Careful Sunday 30 October 2011 – 16:00 Television personality, Jacques Bessenger who plays Renier in Erfsondes 2 on SABC2 directs the lesbian themed “Careful” (2009) by the late Fiona Coyne. “(It is) about woman and lesbianism, about friendship and fear, or fear and friendship, and being willing to take the risk to care, both about oneself and others.” (Fiona Coyne). “Careful” was her last play.

 “This season is a precursor to the PLAYING GAY Festival we are planning for next year; a multi-layered and textured smorgasbord of performing and visual arts aimed at social interchange,” says playwright Johaardien who is also the new Head of Arts and Culture at UJ.

 READING GAY is supported by LIBERATI, UJ’s LGBT student society and Babylon Bar, Gauteng’s premier gay clubbing experience. Readings are each on for one night only at the Con Cowan Theatre located on the University of Johannesburg’s Bunting Road Campus (adjacent to the SABC) in Auckland Park. Tickets cost R30 per performance for the general public and R20 per performance for valid student card holders through. Season tickets to see all 5 plays are R100 for the package.

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