Suip!

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A bilingual Afrikaans and English musical drama by Heinrich Reisenhofer and Oscar Peterson.

Original text

Though the published text is ascribed to Reisenhofer and Peterson as authors, the text was originally a workshopped student piece, developed as a UCT Drama Production by a group of students facilitated by Reisenhofer, who each created a character. This first version was presented at the The National Arts Festival Fringe (Christ Church Hall) in 1993.

It was subsequently transcribed for the text which appeared in 2+2 Plays, a collection compiled and edited by Roy Sergeant, published by Compress in 2000. (This was the text used for the first professional production in 1999.)

Subject

A tragi-comic and multilingual look at the lives of a group of Capetonian “bergies” (street people who sleep in the "berg" (Table Mountain)). As one character puts it: "...loitering, stinking and drinking is our only crime".

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

A hugely successful play, which travelled widely in South Africa and abroad. )

1993: Developed and staged at the University of Cape Town Drama Department and on the The National Arts Festival Fringe (Christ Church Hall). Directed by Heinrich Reisenhofer, with Ashraf Johaardien as "Boy", Selloane Motsieloa Mokuku as "Sofia", Oscar Peterson as "Shaun" and Euodia Samson as "Rose".

1999: Staged professionally at the Grahamstown Festival 1999 by Djamaqua Productions, directed and choreographed by Heinrich Reisenhofer, with Mary Daniels, Ivan Abrahams, Celeste Matthews, Shaun Arnolds and Nicol Sheraton. Percussion by Nkululeko Mzawakhe Hlatshwayo. The same production was performed in the Studio at the Baxter Theatre in July/August 1999. , The play and cast won Fleur du Cap Awards for Best New Indigenous Script and Best Supporting Actress (for Celeste Matthews) in 1999.

2000: The 1999 production played at the Opera House in Port Elizabeth in June 2000 and on the Fringe at the National Arts Festival from 2 to 4 July.

2001: One of the plays that opened the Celebrate South Africa Festival at the Tricycle Theatre, London in April, directed and choreographed by Heinrich Reisenhofer, with Mary Daniels, Ivan Abrahams, Silvia Esua, Shaun Arnolds and Nicol Sheraton. Percussion by Nkululeko Mzawakhe Hlatshwayo. This production also played at the Perth International Arts Festival and the State Theatre Pretoria in November.

2007: Restaged in 2007 by Heinrich Reisenhofer with Mary Daniels, Ivan Abrahams, Ilse Oppelt, Shaun Arnolds, Travis Snyders and Wonder Made (Music).

Sources

E-mail correspondence from Ashraf Johaardien, 1 October, 2015 [ashrafj@uj.ac.za]

Die Burger, 1 July 1999.

EP Herald, 21 June 2000.

The Independent on Saturday (UK), 21 April 2001.

The Citizen, 5 November 2001.

Malan, Wilson and Fick. 2013. Now I Am Alone 2: pp.114-117.

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