Renowned troupe brings shows to East London

‘The Snow Goose’ and ‘Dirt’ are two of their most notable shows

Celebrated South African theatre company, Contagious Theatre, who have showcased their work locally and internationally, will be bringing two productions, The Snow Goose and Dirt to East London audiences for the first time next month.
Showing at the Guild Theatre on February 7 and 8 respectively, The Snow Goose and Dirt are two of the company’s most notable productions, with The Snow Goose being nominated for three Naledi Awards and two Fleur du Cap awards since 2015.
Uniting the talents of critically acclaimed creatives, Jeanine Collocott, James Cairns and Taryn Bennett and production skills of Simon and Helen Cooper, Contagious Theatre offers up a unique theatre experience and local audiences will delight in the imaginative and moving performances.
“Last year, we did a small tour of the garden route and we received such a great response so we decided to do it again and add a few more cities and towns,” said Bennett.
“We’re based in Johannesburg, but we love bringing theatre to smaller communities.
“The Guild is an established theatre but we’ve often performed in school or city halls in smaller towns and brought our own lighting and sound.”
East London will be the company’s first stop on their 2019 tour. They will also visit Port Elizabeth, Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, George and Graaff-Reinet before making their way to Cape Town.
Guild Theatre manager, Zane Flanagan said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Contagious Theatre here in East London for the first time and we certainly hope this will not be the last.”
Set on the marshes of Essex in the 1930’s, The Snow Goose is based on Paul Gallico’s novella of the same name and sees Cairns and Bennett, each portraying five to six characters, to communicate the story of Fritha, a young girl, and Philip Rhayader, a recluse, brought together by a wounded snow goose.
Audiences will see complex and colourful characters vividly brought to life using artistic theatre masks, basic props and a dynamic soundscape to tell the touching tale.
“We’ve adapted Gallico’s short story into a stage version so there are a few added characters and more themes, but we’ve kept the warmth and sincerity of the original story,” said Bennett, who plays the protagonist, Fritha, along with five other characters in The Snow Goose.
“Working with the masks enables us to show the identity of each character, but the main reason is to portray the emotion – the masks allow the performance to be much more sentimental and emotionally charged.”
Set in SA, Dirt is by contrast a comedic one-man hit.
Written by Nick Warren, the story follows three estranged friends, brought back together for the funeral of a fourth.
Journeying from Johannesburg to Cape Town the trio takes a “bromatic” trip down memory lane, often delving into some painful, poignant and often hilarious stories of their past.
Both shows start at 7pm and while The Snow Goose, showing on February 7, is suitable for all ages, Dirt, showing on February 8, has an age restriction of 16. Tickets are available at Computicket at R120 per person...

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