Market Theatre in association with Standard Bank and
Written by 2011 Standard Bank Young Artist Neil Coppen
Directed Neil Coppen and Jana Ramos Violante
Writer/director Neil Coppen (creator of Tin Bucket Drum and Tree Boy, has set his latest play in a fictional battlefield town situated in the once war ravaged valleys of northern KwaZulu-Natal. It has been described in the national press as a breathtaking amalgamation of ghost story, love drama, historical epic and dark comedy.
When thirty-year-old loner Vincent Liversage meets sixteen-year-old Katrien Joubert (the rebellious daughter of the local NG Kerk dominie) an unusual friendship is forged and soon the two hatch a plan to escape the oppressive town of their birth. However, to obtain freedom they must first confront and challenge their divided family histories.
As an annual town re-enactment from the Anglo-Boer war approaches, Vincent and Katrien find themselves cast in the roles of their long-lost ancestors, playing out and – often unwillingly – repeating events from their ill-fated love affair. It isn’t long before the young lovers come to realise that history has a much stronger pull on them than they had imagined. Setting out to rewrite its undesirable conclusions is a task not without its own set of creative challenges.
With a narrative that whisks audiences through two centuries of South African history, Abnormal Loads presents a theatrical world in which the past runs in tandem with the present and events shift seamlessly from the grandeur of a battlefield in 1879 to the intimacy of a bedroom in 2011.
Coppen’s acclaimed production features a multi-talented cast comprising of some of the country’s finest talents, including Allison Cassels, Mothusi Magano (of Tsotsi and Plein Street fame) and Jenna Dunster (of Isidingo). Once again, Coppen has collaborated across disciplines and mediums to bring his new work to life. Movement, sound, music, multi-media and shadow combine to create a unique theatrical experience.
Abnormal Loads is running at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg from April 11th – 20th 2012.
Reviews of Abnormal Loads
“Astonishing” The Mercury
“Captivating and heart-rending theatrical mastery.” The Witness
“Neil Coppen’s accomplished dramatic comedy Abnormal Loads is a must-see.” The Mail & Guardian
“A resounding success.” The Tonight
“Breathtaking.” The Crystal Calligrapher
“Innovative and intriguing” The Herald
“Ground Breaking” City Press.
“A beautifully hewn work.” Artslink
Written and Designed by Neil Coppen
Directed by Neil Coppen and Janna Ramos- Violante
Think Theatre Producer and Administration - Margie Coppen
Company Manager - Tina le Roux
Lighting Designer - Tina le Roux
Stage Manager - Nosipho Bophela
Assistant Stage Manager - Shayna De Kock
Movement - Ntombi Gasa and Janna Ramos-Violante
Costume co-ordination - Neil Coppen & Julia Wilson
Additional period costuming - Neil Stuart Harris
Sewing - Neil Stuart Harris, Julia Wilson and Alison Cassells
Soldier and Zulu costumes courtesy of The Dundee Die Hards
Sound design - Tristan Horton
Score composed by Gary Thomas
Musicians - Gary Thomas (Guitar, Ebo & Vocals)
Guy Buttery (Mabira and Saw)
Ant Cawthorn-Blazeby (Violin)
Karen Van Pletsen (Female Vocals)
AV Design and Technician - Vaughn Sadie
AV kindly provided by Wired Media
Heliograph Hill designed and built by Xavier Clarrisse
Assisted by Mlungisi Emmanuel Dlamini
Model Houses and heliographs built by Bryan Hiles
Ground cloth painting and props by Wendy Henstock
Door frames constructed by Bongani Phakati & Super Buthelezi
Welding - Bongani Phakati
Original poster design - Colwyn Thomas
Poster and programme layout- Greg Lomas
Photographer - Val Adamson, Sean Laurenz & Suzy Bernstein
Character: Cast Members:
Vincent Liversage Mothusi Magano
Katrien Joubert Jenna Dunster
Moira Bashford Liversage Allison Cassels
Prudence Ngobese Fortunate Dhlomo
Gerty Ngobese Ntombi Gasa
Edna Bashford Jana Ramos- Violante
William Bashford Clinton Small
Johan Joubert Thomie Holtzhausen
Charlie Ngobese Nhlakanipho Manqele
Chorus Nosipho Bophela and Shayna De Kock
Season: 11 April – 20 May 2012
Venue: The Main Theatre
Performance Times: Tues – Sat, 20h00 and Sun, 15h00
Gala Event: Friday 13 April 2012
NB: Tuesday performances R72 only!
To make block bookings, please contact Anthony Ext 121 or Tiny Ext 135 on 011 832 1641.
For further information, interviews and images, contact:
Lusanda Zokufa, Interim Marketing Manager
Market Theatre Foundation
011 832 1641 ext 118 or 123
072 367 7867