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Poison is a serious musical with music, book and lyrics by David Kramer and Taliep Petersen based on Othello. It looks at the the drug trade and gangsterism in Cape Town.

The original text

Translations and adaptations

Later rewritten as a full-on musical.

Performance history in South Africa

First directed for CAPAB Opera by Janice Honeyman at the Nico Malan Theatre, opening 20 October 1992. Deisgns by Andrew Botha, choric work by Hotep Galeta, choreography by Christopher Kindo, costumes by Fanie Steenkamp, lighting by Malcolm Hurrell. The cast included Al Hendricks, Winston Pienaar, Steve Walsh, Jenny de Lenta, Giempie Vardien, Ricky Rudolph, Bettina Schouw, Linda Alexander, Didi Moses, Arthur Petersen, Rashied Cassiem and Jody Abrahams.

David Kramer directed the adapted version with the Volkswagen Music Active drama group at the Baxter Theatre in 1994, when Kramer won the FNB Vita Award for Best Director of a Musical. Also played in Malaysia.

1995: Poison was staged at the Port Elizabeth Opera House.


Poison theatre programme, 1992.

Personal message from David Kramer to Ivor Markman, June 2018.

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