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Somewhere on the Border

10 Jan 2012 - 12 Feb 2012

Venue: Main Theatre
Duration: 90 minutes
Age Restriction: 18

Kosie House of Theatre and The Market Theatre

Somewhere on the Border

Writer: Anthony Akerman   Director: André Odendaal       Designer: Kosie Smit

The horrors of a lost generation will be brought into stark relief when Somewhere on the Border, written by Anthony Akerman and directed by Andre Odendaal, is presented at the Market Theatre from 10 January to 12 February.

The play was written by Akerman while in exile, intercepted in the post and banned as a publication by apartheid censorship because the language was considered “offensive” and the portrayal of the South African Armed Forces “prejudicial to the safety of the state”.

“In the 1980s Somewhere on the Border took a stand against young white conscripts being sent to the border. Today, by retelling their story, the play has shown it can help those former conscripts to process what they went through and arrive at some form of healing or closure,” says Akerman.

Exactly 25 years after the play was first performed in Grahamstown, Odendaal’s innovative production opened at the 2011 National Arts Festival. Not one of the actors in this talented cast was even born when Akerman wrote the play. Glen Biderman-Pam plays Dave Levitt, Charles Bouguenon is Kotze, Dylan Horley reprises the role of Doug Cambell, Luan Jacobs is Paul Marais, André Lötter plays Hennie Badenhorst, Kaz McFadden is Trevor Mowbray and Ndino Ndilula plays The Black Actor These young actors give life to a story that makes the old South Africa seem both foreign and familiar.

The Argus hailed Somewhere on the Border as “the toast of the Grahamstown Festival” when it opened in South Africa in 1986. The play was praised for its “bitingly funny language” (The Star), as “the best army play” (Natal Witness) and as “the ultimate anti-war statement in South African theatre” (Argus). The play also attracted the attention of the Military Police in Cape Town, who confiscated the actors’ army browns they were wearing as costumes. While performing in Johannesburg, two actors were severely assaulted by members of the Defence Force’s Civil Co-Operation Bureau in an unsuccessful attempt to shut down the production.??

After almost two decades of silence, the border war has forced its way back into public discourse and this production of Somewhere on the Border is part of that dialogue. Leon van Nierop concluded his review on saying, “the play performs an open heart surgery on the South African psyche. It is timely, finely acted and forcefully directed. See it at all costs. It hits the audience with the force of a sledgehammer.”

And in Cue, Peter Frost summed up his feelings in the following words: “But the legacy of this play, finally, after all these years, performed right now, here, is massively positive. For an army of men who are now in their forties (and their families) battling the consequences of latent rage, this is an acknowledgement that their history is not incidental, despite the context of their tragedy. Good news. Nothing stunts healing like disregard. Ask this country’s other Lost Generation.”

Somewhere on the Border is currently a set work for first-year English at the University of Cape Town. Wits Press is publishing the play in a single volume in time for the run at the Market Theatre. “It has a new preface by me, a slightly reworked version of a lecture I gave at Think! Fest, and an afterword by Professor Gary Baines of the history department at Rhodes University, whose field of academic research focuses on the legacies of the apartheid wars,” said Akerman.

Special 8pm performances at R50 only on Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 and Friday 13 January.

To keep updated on the production, please join the Somewhere on the Border community page on Facebook.

Production Information:

Written by Anthony Akerman
Directed by Andre Odendaal              
Set Designer Kosie Smit            
Stage Manager Joanna Borton      

Cast: Character
Glen Biderman-Pam Dave Levitt
Charles Bouguenon Kotze
Dylan Horley Doug Cambell
Luan Jacobs Paul Marais
André Lötter Hennie Badenhorst
Kaz McFadden Trevor Mowbray
Ndino Ndilula. Everyman

Season     10 January – 12 February 2012

Press Night Friday 13 January 2012

Venue                       The Main Theatre
Performance Times Tuesday – Saturday 20h00 Sunday 15h00

Ticket Prices: Tuesday R66
Wednesday – Thursday R95
Friday – Saturday R160 Sun – R120

Age restriction PG 16 – Language and subject

For production pictures and further information, please contact:
Bridget van Oerle / Christabel Zulu
BUZ Publicity
011 482 3467/3489 / 083 263 6991 / 084 552 2417
FAX 086 694 4054

For Market Theatre please contact:
Lusanda Zokufa
011 832 1641 ext 123/ 072 367 7867

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Cast: Character
Glen Biderman-Pam Dave Levitt
Charles Bouguenon Kotze
Dylan Horley Doug Cambell
Luan Jacobs Paul Marais
André Lötter Hennie Badenhorst
Kaz McFadden Trevor Mowbray
Ndino Ndilula. Everyman

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