Pivotal play performed on Umzimvubu River at PSJ

To celebrate his first play, written and produced a decade ago, Eastern Cape-born actor Lulama Masimini will stage performances of it on the water.

Masimini penned Waiting for Thandiwe while a student at the University of Cape Town’s drama school.

The production has been showing in Port St Johns since December 16, but tonight it will be performed on a barge on the Umzimvubu River in front of an intimate audience of 60.

PRESENTING TALE OF ROMANCE: Renowned Eastern Cape-born actor Lulama Masimini. Picture: SUPPLIED
PRESENTING TALE OF ROMANCE: Renowned Eastern Cape-born actor Lulama Masimini. Picture: SUPPLIED

The play stars only two actors – Masimini and Sive Gaba, who plays Thandiwe.

Speaking to the Daily Dispatch, Masimini said the plan for his tour with the play was to take it to unconventional places, to reach those who did not have access to professional theatre.

“This is a quest for a conversation towards meaningful, real and positive social cohesion through performing arts,” said Masimini.

The list of places where the play has been staged includes the National Arts Festival, Wits University 969 Theatre Festival, Johannesburg Theatre, State Theatre, Little Theatre, University of Cape Town, King Theatre and The Steve Biko Centre in Ginsberg.

Masimini said that due to a lack of funding international audiences had missed out on an opportunity to enjoy the play when he was asked to take it to the Edinburgh International Festival. The Edinburgh festival is considered the world’s largest arts festival.

“Nevertheless that has not discouraged this production team to reproduce this play, especially now during the times of intense student struggles, as the story provides a window into student life that is not normally revealed in our media.”

Masimini explores the concept of what happens when a village boy meets a sophisticated lady from exile on campus and falls in love.

Unexpected situations pop up, creating a mixture of comedy and drama, which are supposed to either shake or solidify the foundation of their romance, depending on how the couple manages.

The story of Lulu and Thandiwe is not necessarily a unique one, but it is a love story most 21st century couples could identify with.

Masimini’s own life experiences inspired this story, which is set in King William’s Town.

He said the project was his cry for help as he went through a pivotal stage of his growth.

“It is a window into a young person’s life, a person who lives in two conflicting environments – the suburb and the rural township he comes from. He tries to come to terms with his contradictory circumstances.”

The play is presented by Masimini’s own company Emasimini Productions in collaboration with Amapondo Backpacker Lodge in Port St Johns, where it has been showing.

lEntry is R50 and tickets are available at the venue. The show starts at 5pm daily.

It will run until Saturday December 24. For more details contact Masimini on 0794303371.