The re­turn of Paul Slabolep­szy

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODTHEATRE - ROBYN CO­HEN

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.

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