DAVID KRAMER’S NEW MU­SI­CAL AT THE FUGARD

Cape Argus - - FRONT PAGE - ORIELLE BERRY Lan­garm will be per­formed at the Fugard The­atre from Novem­ber 20, Tues­days to Satur­days at 8pm with a mati­nee per­for­mance on Satur­days at 3pm. From Sun­day, De­cem­ber 16, there will be an ad­di­tional Sun­day mati­nee at 3pm. There will be a Mond

SET IN the 1960s, Lan­garm is David Kramer’s new mu­si­cal cen­tred on how much peo­ple were will­ing to do to sur­vive the apartheid laws of the day.

Set in the ball­room dance world, this mix of love and in­trigue, backed by dance moves and feisty mu­sic, is the sto­ry­line that makes it go round.

Due to open at the Fugard The­atre on Novem­ber 20, pre­sented by Eric Abra­ham, the drama is the ideal start to the fes­tive sea­son with a cast in­clud­ing El­ton Lan­drew (of the film Ellen: The Ellen Pakkies Story), with Rush­ney Fer­gu­son, Cameron Botha, Kim Louis, Pierre Nel­son and Julio Jan­tjies.

Cameron Botha plays the lead­ing role of Jeff, and the young ac­tor who ap­peared in West Side Story at the Artscape also has con­sid­er­able ex­pe­ri­ence in danc­ing his way across the stage in Funny Girl, Sweeney Todd, Call­ing Us Home and Dirty Danc­ing.

Botha, who grad­u­ated from Tsh­wane Tech­ni­cal Univer­sity in 2011, says it’s a chal­lenge to be play­ing Jeff for sev­eral rea­sons.

“As a white South African I need to ex­plore the her­itage of the roles oth­ers play on stage. And as a Born Free I didn’t ex­pe­ri­ence ac­tively the hor­rors of apartheid – only the af­ter­math.”

But he’s ex­cited and hon­oured to play Jeff.

As the story un­folds, it’s 1965. When Di­nah Levin is wid­owed, she in­vites her nephew (Jeff), whose fi­ancée has dumped him, to help her man­age her late hus­band’s Can­ter­bury Ho­tel in District Six. There the young man meets ball­room dancer An­gelina.

When her part­ner leaves her in the lurch, she asks Jeff to dance with her in The Swaziland Ball­room Cham­pi­onships.

Aware that he risks ar­rest if they get caught flout­ing the law, he throws cau­tion to the wind and agrees.

Botha ex­plains: “It’s Kramer bring­ing the Jewish side or an­gle and fall­ing in love with a Coloured girl in District Six. But he’s more ‘ïsh’ than Jewish as he fights against this, bring­ing pas­sion to the side of

‘lan­garm’ danc­ing. So what hap­pens is you get a dance ro­mance that de­vel­ops into a deep love that has to be clothed in se­crecy.”

Jeff de­cides to re­ju­ve­nate the ho­tel by of­fer­ing lan­garm dances. Ed­die Jephta is the leader of the Moon­light Ser­e­naders lan­garm band who comes to play at The Can­ter­bury Ho­tel, and as he comes onto the scene, Di­nah has to con­front the se­crets of her past.

Cameron Botha and Rush­ney Fer­gu­son in Lan­garm. | Fugard The­atre

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