A VOICE I CANNOT SILENCE
DATE: 30 Sep – 24 Oct @ 8pm
Daily, except Sundays and Mondays
VENUE: Momentum Theatre
A play based on the life and work of Alan Paton by Greg Homann and Ralph Lawson
A VOICE I CANNOT SILENCE is a moving and empathetic personal examination of life as portrayed through Alan Paton's own words, stories, poems, and autobiographies. The play highlights the invaluable contribution made by the author of CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY who was, in the words of Douglas Livingstone, a "lighthouse in the South African twilight” during the dark decades leading up to the country's constitutional democracy. Paton's internationally recognised gifts of lyric verse, evocative prose, and vibrant story telling are combined to create a richly dramatic portrait.
The play focuses on the various watersheds in the author's life – his years as Principal of Diepkloof Reformatory, the “toughest black borstal in the southern hemisphere”, where he introduced daring reforms that brought him into conflict with Dr Verwoerd; his position as President of the Liberal Party that led to harassment and a ten year period during which his passport was taken away by the Apartheid Government; his indomitable belief in and daunting struggle for human rights; and the complexities of his personal relationships.
These weighty topics are explored through Paton's interaction with Anne Hopkins who he employed in 1968 as a secretary shortly after the death of his wife, Dorrie. While trying to come to terms with his loss, the memories of his wife and their love for each other are set in contrast to his difficult days at the reformatory some twenty years earlier where he vividly remembers a curious young man called Sponono. This private story plays out against the tumultuous politics of the day as Paton, one of the country’s cultural and political icons, tries to hold together the Liberal Party and himself.
The play - sometimes satirical, often wryly amusing, redolent with Paton's profound love of nature and the devout Anglicanism that sustained him - reveals a complex man who was haunted by the injustices of South African society and whose entire existence and work was dedicated to equality, alleviation of human suffering, and to what he called "the grand theories of freedom and responsibility".
Running time: 90 minutes. No interval. Age Restriction: PG 13
Directed by Greg Homann, Set Design by Nadya Cohen, Lighting Design by Michael Broderick, Soundscape by Evan, Roberts, Photography by Anthony Stonier, Alan Paton by Ralph Lawson, Anne Hopkins by Clare Mortimer, Sponono by Menzi Mkhwane, Company Manager by Murray Angus-Leppan, Management by Sue Clarence
With thanks to The Alan Paton Wills Trust, The Alan Paton Centre & Struggle Archives, and Anne Paton.
SCHOOL MATINEE PERFORMANCES
Wed 30 Sep, Thu 01 Oct, Fri 09 Oct, Fri 16 Oct & Fri 23 Oct at 10h00
SCHOOL BLOCK BOOKINGS
(Venue seats 120)
Tickets R50 per learner. Accompanying educators free of charge (1 per 30 learners).
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel 012 392 4275; 072 269 9037