Soap On A Rope

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Sea­son 1 SABC3 (*193) 19:30 Com­edy

Gray Hofmeyr has been cre­at­ing and direct­ing TV shows for over 30 years (like come­dies The Big Time, 1991-1993 and Sub­ur­ban Bliss, 1996-1997, as well as soapie Isidingo, 1998-cur­rent – see p19). The 68-year-old isn’t done just yet ei­ther – he’s also the cre­ator, pro­ducer and di­rec­tor of show-within-a-show sit­com Soap On A Rope (2016-cur­rent).

A show about a soapie cast is an in­ter­est­ing con­cept… I’ve had per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing on my pre­vi­ous shows. There’s back­stage fight­ing, chal­lenges, good and bad moments and funny moments. I had enough ma­te­rial to cre­ate a show about a show, which trans­formed into dram­edy Soap On A Rope. But aren’t sit­coms and soaps very dif­fer­ent?

Very! I tried to treat Soap On A Rope as a se­rial with a long-run­ning com­mon theme and there are shorter, comedic sto­ries in ev­ery episode. There’s no slap­stick com­edy though. How did you put to­gether the cast? I wanted a big cast pop­u­lated with dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties. We held au­di­tions and chose the best of the best to bring the char­ac­ters to life, like Me­lanie DuBois (Felic­ity in 7de Laan, 2000-cur­rent) as Zee and Luthuli Dlamini (Stan in Scan­dal!, 2007-cur­rent) as Sello. Quite a mix of tal­ents – did it re­mind you of

Sub­ur­ban Bliss? It did. I had a great time on that show with the likes of Seputla Se­bo­godi (Ken­neth Mashaba in Gen­er­a­tions, 1994-cur­rent) and Martin Le Maitre (Ivan in Hard Copy, 2005-cur­rent) – and even more so on Soap.

Is sea­son 2 in the works? It’s dif­fi­cult to tell with­out numbers, but if the re­cep­tion is good, then we’re hop­ing to work on a sea­son 2. I’d do a sec­ond round sim­ply be­cause it was good fun to shoot 13 episodes in 13 days!

SA TV su­per-cre­ator Gray Hofe­myr.

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