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Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODTHEATRE -

AC­TOR, singer and co­me­dian Waseef Piekaan has been mak­ing his mark on the boards in shows like Vo­cal is Lekka and this year he was in the mu­si­cal, A Town Called Fokol Lutho. In be­tween th­ese per­for­mances, he has been work­ing on his own play – Wrongly Ac­cused – a com­edy-drama fea­tur­ing his songs. He re­ceived the best ac­tor award at the Bax­ter Zabalaza Fes­ti­val for this pro­duc­tion and now it is on at the Bax­ter’s Masambe The­atre for the fes­tive sea­son, un­til Jan­uary 18.

Wrongly Ac­cused is about a young man from the East­ern Cape who is ac­cused of rob­bing a cell­phone shop. Piekaan plays six char­ac­ters. Check out a clip at www.bax­ter.co.za/shows/wrongly­ac­cused/ for a sneak pre­view.

Piekaan is a per­former with huge charisma and is a de­light to watch. Ev­ery time I see him, I have a smile on my face. In Wrongly Ac­cused, he com­bines goema songs, bal­lads and lots of mirth.

The play was con­ceived last Oc­to­ber when Jody Abra­hams was putting to­gether a the­atre fes­ti­val to run in tan­dem with the an­nual Voice Search com­pe­ti­tion at West­gate Mall.

“Jody wanted a home­town boytjie to put on a new the­atre piece and I had just got back from the Ed­in­burgh Fes­ti­val with Vo­cal is Lekka,” ex­plains Piekaan. “I had wanted to write some­thing of my own and then it hit me. Most of the fam­ily from my fa­ther’s side is from the farm­ing com­mu­nity in De Doorns. My mother is a Malay woman from Cape Town – I’ve grown up on her side, the Malay side. I re­alised I was run­ning away from a fam­ily her­itage thing. I wanted to em­brace it. Wrongly Ac­cused was my op­por­tu­nity to em­brace that side of my her­itage.”

Wrongly Ac­cused is ul­ti­mately a feel- good love- story. Mar­ius van Rooyen dreams of be­com­ing a singer but in De Doorns he knows that, at best, he will be able to be­come a farm man­ager, so he heads for Cape Town to find fame, for­tune and to woo his sweet­heart, Fran­siena.

Things go pear-shaped when he is ac­cused of steal­ing. While Piekaan was putting Wrongly Ac­cused to­gether, the cre­ative juices were flow­ing and he also started work­ing on odes for other shows. In Fe­bru­ary, he will be at the Bax­ter Con­cert Hall with Swag Nights: It’s a Valen­tine’s Spec­ta­cle.

But for now, all his en­ergy is on Wrongly Ac­cused. To get the play to the stan­dard he wants, he has brought in two di­rec­tors, Thami Mbongo and Basil Ap­pol­lis.

Ap­pol­lis is a busy man. In ad­di­tion to be­ing co-di­rec­tor of Wrongly Ac­cused, he will be on stage at the Masambe, in his own show, My Word! Re­design­ing Buck­ing­ham Palace – a celebration of the life and work of leg­endary writer Richard Rive.

Rive’s iconic 1986 novel, Buck­ing­ham Palace: Dis­trict Six, was about a group of peo­ple who lived in Dis­trict Six, in a row of houses called Buck­ing­ham Palace, and Ap­pol­lis’ show is also a trib­ute to Dis­trict Six.

My Word! opens on Tues­day and runs un­til De­cem­ber 31, at 7pm.

Wrongly Ac­cused is al­ready on and wraps up on Jan­uary 18. It starts at 8.30pm. A good idea is to see both pro­duc­tions in one evening.

● Tick­ets for Wrongly Ac­cused cost R100 and R60 this Tues­day.

There’s an ex­tra show on De­cem­ber 31 at 10.15pm. Tick­ets for this New Year per­for­mance cost R170 if booked be­fore De­cem­ber 2 as an Early Bird Spe­cial.

Tick­ets for My Word! cost R100R120. Book­ings at Com­puticket. Call 0861 915 8000. co­henry@ne­tac­tive.co.za

@TheCapeRobyn

Wrongly Ac­cused,

HER­ITAGE: Waseef Piekaan is hard at work with his own play,

which is run­ning at The Bax­ter un­til Jan­uary 18.

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