I was pleasantly surprised (see: ecstatically thrilled like a teenage girl at a Bieberfest) when we were invited to watch the opening night of Crush Hopper at The Catalina Theatre Wilson's Wharf.
We arrived at the theatre and the atmosphere was buzzing, even outside, people were laughing and mingling, networking and generally being very, very excited. I was personally love-mauled by Madame Diva Pinkie Mtshali (The Durban Diva's) followed closely by a dive tackle love hug from songbird Thulile Zama (Heels Over Head) and her awesome side-kick Marshall. Upstairs I had the pleasure of seeing Samantha Govender (watch this rising star - incredible actress), my old friend Ntando Mncube (Spice n Stuff), Thobani Mbhele and Chantal Snyman (Green Revolution) and a few others.
As the show started I really didn't know what to expect (the name is very open ended). Once Mandisa came on stage, it took me about 10 minutes or so to really warm up to the character, but boy, once I had connected, it was a rollercoaster ride of mixed emotions for me. She took me back in time to my own childhood were we all played the same games it seems, I laughed, I sang along, I felt guilty, I felt a kindred tie weave it's way through the crowd.
I thought, earlier on, that the show would follow the 'expected' racial path...but it didn't. It was an open, honest diary of the internal life of a young person searching for her identity. It was refreshing. It was worth seeing again.
I let my eyes wander the audience, each audience member was engrossed, most were laughing, a few were uncomfortable - which is a good thing! The subject matter is funny and accessible but, it holds a very large mirror up before the audience, causing us to look at ourselves from a new perspective.
The question that I was left with, and one that I have mulled over since watching the show is this:
"Am I proud of who I am? Do I know who I am? Should I apologise for who I am?"
I really would recommend this show, please note that there is use of English, some Afrikaans and minimal isiKhosa in the show...and no subtitles.
Crush Hopper is a one woman show conceived, written and created by Mandisa Haarhof in collaboration with her director Ntokozo Madlala. The play was first performed at the Musho Theatre Festival in Durban in January 2011 where won the festival's Audience award, as voted for by the audiences! It is a beautiful true tale of a young woman searching for love and identity in the midst of trying circumstances. Through crushing and crushes, she finds a way to cope with her displacement and an escape from her numbing reality!
Thursday June 16 at 8:00pm until June 26 at 10:00pm
Thurs - Fri @ 8pm
Sat @ 5pm & 8pm
Sun @ 2pm & 6pm
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