Curtain Up

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Curtain Up is a South African musical play by Charon Williams-Ros (fl. 1992-2023)

Not to be confused with any one of a number of British and American plays by this name and mostly using the basic idea of a derelict theatre building and revamping it.

The original text

The play tells of a diverse group of talented young performers who take shelter from the rain in a derelict, old theatre where, to their delight, they discover the evocative remnants of past productions. Inspired by the idea of bringing the old theatre back to life, the performers appeal to the new owner, Siyanda, who inherited the theatre from his grandfather. He informs them that the sale of the property is imminent, and that the theatre will be knocked down to make way for a casino. The passion with which the young performers fight to save the theatre throws a spotlight on Siyanda's own values leading him to the realization of what it is he truly wants.

Translations and adaptations

Re-written and updated in 2019 by the author, from her original script, written for the first production in 2001.

Performance history in South Africa

2001: Produced by The Young Performers Project (YPP) as their very first Young Performers Production, directed by Themi Venturas.

2019: Produced in a revamped version by The Young Performers Project at the Sneddon Theatre, Durban, 16 May - 02 June. Directed by Jaco van Rensburg with professional artists Mthokizisi Zulu and Sbongisene Shezi and a cast of talented high school performers.


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