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. email@example.com
HERITAGE: Waseef Piekaan is hard at work with his own play,
which is running at The Baxter until January 18.