SILENT VOICE at Baxter Golden Arrow Studio from 13 October

Tshallo Chokwe, Zenzo Nqobe,
Boitumelo Shisana and Don Mosenye
Photo credit: Sanmari Marais

Straight from its success at the 2014 Edinburgh Assembly Fringe Festival, Aubrey Sekhabi's high-octane, gripping thriller SILENT VOICE, featuring a stellar cast, will have audiences riveted to their seats at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio this October. Nominated for five Naledi Awards earlier this year (Best Production of a Play, Best Director, Best Ensemble/Cutting Edge, Best Score/Arrangement/Adaptation and Best Lighting Design), the play has been performed to great acclaim at the South African State Theatre, the Market Theatre and most recently the Edinburgh Assembly Fringe Festival.

Originally produced in 2008, SILENT VOICE tells the tale of four men who are forced to resort to extraordinary measures as they fight for their very survival after their plans for a robbery go awry and turn to murder. With its incisive commentary about life in modern-day South Africa, this is the first time in many years that one of Sekhabi's plays will be staged and performed in Cape Town, despite his prolific and award-winning career.

Affectionately known as the Quentin Tarantino of township theatre, Sekhabi is the artistic director of the State Theatre in Pretoria and is widely regarded as one of South Africa's highly respected and dynamic theatre-makers. In 2006, he directed the highly successful return to the stage of John Kani and Winston Ntshona in SIZWE BANZI IS DEAD at the Baxter Theatre. Other productions for which he was responsible include RIVONIA TRIAL and most recently he adapted and directed MARIKANA - THE MUSICAL.

"The characters in SILENT VOICE affirm that dreams built on broken morals become broken dreams," says Sekhabi. "Violence breeds violence. Often it seems so far removed from us because we only read about it or see it on the news. Each time I go back to this play, I try to get into the hearts and the silent thoughts of the characters so as to somehow understand their actions."

The stellar cast is made up of television, stage and film actors. Tshallo Chokwe (BOPHA, WOZA ALBERT, TEN WAYS TO KILL A PRESIDENT) will head up the cast for the first part of the run, with Presley Chweneyagae (well-known for his role in the Academy Award-winning film TSOTSI) taking over his role for limited performances from 27 October to 1 November. Zenzo Ngqobe (RHYTHM CITY, TSOTSI, BLACK DIAMOND), Boitumelo Shisana (CARDS, HILLSIDE, TSHEPANG) and Don Mosenye (COOLIE ODYSSEY and GENERATIONS) complete the company. Motshepe Pusho Kgawane provides live onstage percussion accompaniment and the set, lighting and video design is by Wilhelm Disbergen.

Don Mosenye, Zenzo Nqobe, Tshallo Chokwe
and Don Mosenye in SILENT VOICE
Photo credit: Sanmari Marais

With the ever-increasing rise in crime of this nature in South Africa and especially in the Western Cape in recent months, SILENT VOICE is now more relevant than ever before. Dealing with trust, betrayal, money, sacrifice and love, this production exposes not only the two sides of the characters in the drama, but also the spiralling of the emotional and social rollercoaster ride they will all take. This sometimes shocking, sometimes hard-core exposé of events affecting all of us in South Africa today will have audiences riveted to their seats as it examines the relationship between man and his dreams to obtain wealth at all costs, with no thought for the future.

SILENT VOICE previews at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio on 13 and 14 October, opens on 15 October at 8.15pm, with a matinee on 18 October at 2pm and runs until 1 November. Ticket prices are R80 (previews and matinee), R90 (Monday to Thursday) and R100 over weekends. There is an age restriction of 14 years due to language and violence. Booking is through Computicket (0861 915 8000) or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet.

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