South African playwright Rajesh Gopie is no newcomer to the Market Theatre’s stage. In 1999, his play Out of Bounds filled up a successful 5-week season before it went off on an acclaimed national and international tour.
His play Coolie Odyssey, revolved around the struggle and aspirations of indentured labourers, was commissioned by the National Art Festival. His new play Tamasha on Hope Street, is currently on at the Market Theatre and it promises to also be a runaway success.
Tamasha, a Hindi word meaning “trouble” or “chaos”, becomes a set for a thought-provoking metaphor to this drama.
Set in the Indian township of Chatsworth against the backdrop of poverty and social abuse in the face of new freedom, this magic realism production will be directed by Gopala Davies who is known for his cutting edge production of Le Cenci which premiered last year on the main stage of the National Arts Festival. Davies will be assisted by theatre producer and director, Gita Pather for his Market Theatre directorial debut.
In Gopie’s plays there is a fine line between the personal and the political but his intense plays are often laced with with sharp humour and even laughter that can bring tears to the eyes. Tamasha on Hope Street takes place after a series of xenophobic attacks that gripped parts of South Africa.
Albert, a Zimbabwean, is on the run after xenophobic attacks. He ends up in Chatsworth and gets a job as a night watchman. His escape to safety seems fulfilled until he discovers Payal, a young street prostitute played by Ameera Patel, the winner of the 2016 Best Supporting Actress Award at the Naledi Theatre Awards. Also starring Dhaveshan Govender, Lindani Nkosi, Matthew MacFarlane, Afzal Khan and Keith Gengadoo Tamasha on Hope Street will inspire strong and critical debate.
Tamasha — a Hindi word meaning trouble or chaos — sets a gripping and thought proving preamble to Rajesh Gopie’s new play that will take audiences on a roller coast ride of enthralling emotions. It will leave them charged with high sense of hope for the despairing situations people find themselves in.
The development and presentation of Tamasha on Hope Street is made possible by funding support from the Department of Arts and Culture’s Incubation Programme which aims to boost opportunities for fresh young talent in the theatre industry and to bring more local content brought to South African stages.
Tamasha on Hope Street will be at the the Market Theatre from 8 September to 01 October 2017.
Venue: Mannie Manim, Market Theatre, 56 Margaret Mcingana St, Newtown
Time: Tue to Sat 8.15pm | Sun 3.15pm
Cost: R70 – R150