The return of Paul Slabolepszy
So it is great news that Slab is back in town with My Low-Fat, Almost Italian Wedding. It wraps up the Artscape Spring Drama Season and opens tonight at the Artscape Arena, after previewing this week. Roy Sargeant directs the sevenhander which has a stand out cast and is on until January 4.
It is a big play, with a history. Slab explains: “It is a complete rewrite of a play I wrote back in 1994 called Victoria Almost Falls or Trattoria Vittoria – which was staged in 1994, for five performances only at the National Arts Festival. It is set in 1994 – the first year of our new democracy.
“The action takes place in what I call the Hillbrow/Yeoville/Berea Triangle in Joburg.
“The plot involves an old Italian immigrant, Salvatore, who tries to come to terms with the changing South Africa.
“He is an Italian ex-prisoner of war who stayed on in SA after the war. The story unfolds on the day his beloved daughter (Victoria) is to be married. It’s a tragi-comedy that is hilarious, bitter-sweet and heartwarming at the same time.”
The Artscape revival came about when Sargeant approached Slab and asked him to write a new play for the Spring Drama Season.
“It’s good to know that the new artistic director (James Ncgobo) at the market theatre is to revive his play Pale Natives next year. So Slab is back with a bang,” says Sargent.
The cast of this revised production is beyond superlative: Graham Hopkins, Anthea Thompson, Hannah Borthwick, Nhlanhla Mkwanazi, James Cairns, Mark Elderkin and Murray Steyn.
● My Low-Fat, Almost Italian Wedding is on until January 4 but check Computicket for dates and times as there are no performances on some days. Tickets R50 to R85 from Computicket on 0861 915 8000 or Artscape on 021 421 7695.
COMIC CHARACTERS: Actor and playwright Paul Slabolepszy.