Curl Up and Dye

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A play by Sue Pam-Grant.

The original text

A multi-racial, multilingual play about women in a hairdressing salon in the decaying Joubert Park area of Johannesburg, exploring racial tensions and prejudices in the city through its poignant and ironic dialogue. Shaped in rehearsal by the performers, Pam-Grant, Lillian Dube, Val Donald-Bell and Nandi Nyembe. First published in Stephen Gray: South African Plays (Nick Hern Publishers) in 1993.

Translations and adaptations

The play was presented at the Edinburgh festival and had a successful season at the Tricycle Theatre in London in 1990. In tour, Hanna Botha played Mrs Dubois and Thoko Ntshinga played Dudu.

A revised version was created and performed in 2013.

Productions in South Africa

1989: First performed at the Black Sun nightclub and, directed by Lucille Gillwald, then went to the Grahamstown Festival, before playing at the Market Theatre for three seasons from 1989 onwards.

1991: Performed at the André Huguenet Theatre in August 1991, restaged by Sandra Prinsloo with the original Black Sun cast, Susan Pam, Val Donald-Bell, Debra Watson, Lillian Dube, Nandi Myembe.

2013: The new version produced at the Theatre on the Square, opening 20 March 2013, by Daphne Kuhn, directed by Sue Pam-Grant with Quanita Adams, Robert Colman, Hlengiwe Lushaba-Madlala, Cindy Swanepoel, Lesedi Job-Smith.

2014: Directed by Christopher Weare, Intimate Theatre, UCT campus.


Gray, 1993b

"Curl Up and Dye still has impact" by Peter Feldman, Artslink 03/22/2013[1]

"Curl Up and Dye still shocks" by Jennifer de Klerk, Artslink 03/30/2013[2]

Malan, Wilson and Fick. 2013. Now I Am Alone 1: pp.50-53.

Review by Steyn du Toit, Cape Times, 13 March 2014.

Stephen Gray (ed). 1993. South Africa Plays. Nick Hern Books.

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