Passion, complexity

Exploding onto the Arena stage at Artscape as one of the plays during the Applauz Arts Initiative 2nd SoloAfrika Festival of MonoDrama from Monday 27 August to Wednesday 1 September is The Real Mrs Muhammad.

The play features Artscape’s senior marketing manager, Simone Heradien, in her debut appearance on-stage. The play tackles the complexities of an intercultural relationship between a naturalised practising Muslim Pakistani man and a feminist atheist Capetonian woman­.

Heradien will dramatise a raw, autobiographical, microcosmic view of her life. She will be confronting her struggle to balance her liberalism, feminism and atheism among others.

The play will contrast this with the will in a relationship which is masculine, Muslim, Pakistani and culturally driven by her partner.

The two meet on a plane and fall passionately in love mid-air halfway between somewhere and Dubai, which sees her move lock, stock and two smoking barrels to Pretoria where he resides.

However, the male lead is secretly betrothed to another in the Motherland.

The secret is exposed three years into the relationship after he’s taken his love to Pakistan.

The relationship nearly goes up in flames.

Five years into the relationship he moots that the “cultural wife” and their baby move to South Africa. Are there any more surprises that this relationship must face, and who will stand up as the real Mrs. Muhammad?

Through the extensive network of Applauz Arts Initiative on the continent and abroad they intend to export this and other productions to the international theatre community after the festival.

As an NGO within the creative industry, Applauz Arts Initiative is pushing the envelope to make a difference not just within the South African creative narrative, but also testing the “Global Village” concept. They’re offering emerging talent this opportunity to showcase and network with their international peers.

These new productions would not exist without the mastery of mentor/director, the multitalented Kurt Egelhof.

Egelhof has been active in the arts and culture sector for 34 years, uninterrupted.

He started his professional career in the industry as an actor in 1981 and rose to his career highlight as the head of the creative department for Endemol SA 20 years later.

Today, he resides in Muizenberg with a wealth of experience as a freelance consultant/ producer/director for film, television and stage productions.

He was the national coordinator of the Performing Arts Network and the South African representative for the International Theatre Institute.

The Real Mrs Muhammad will be performed on Wednesday 29 August at 19:00, Friday 31 August at 19:00 and Wednesday 1 September at 11:00. Tickets are R120, while students’ and pensioners’ concession is R60. V Tickets are R120, while students’ and pensioners’ concession is R60.