Booking is now open for the modern classic, Manuel Puig’s extraordinary play, Kiss of the Spider Woman, directed by the multi-award winning Sylvaine Strike, at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio from 5 to 19 June 2021 at 7pm, with Saturday matinees at 2pm.

Originally written in Spanish in 1976 by Puig, and translated into English by Allan Baker, Kiss of the Spider Woman has captured the attention of audiences for its romantic drama, political outcry and postmodern style portrayed through its two characters, Molina and Valentin. It was adapted for the stage in 1983.

In recent years at the Baxter, Strike has directed hugely acclaimed productions such as Endgame, Curse of the Starving Class, Tartuffe, Tobacco and The Miser. In 2019 she was awarded the prestigious Chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French Government and is a former Standard Bank Young Artist for Drama winner and Featured Artist of the National Arts Festival.

Strike directs a stellar cast with Mbulelo Grootboom (Rainbow Scars, Iagos Last Dance, Hamlet) as Valentin and Wessel Pretorius (Ont, Die Ontelbare 48, Balbesit) as Molina, in this journey of self-awareness, intrigue, romance, revolution, love and betrayal, with lighting design by Mannie Manim, set and costume design by Wolf Britz and music by Brendan Jury.

Political intrigue and double-crossing

The plot follows two cellmates who pass their time in a prison, by remembering and reinventing classics of the silver screen. What at first seems to be a simple and straightforward – if not casual – story of two people who appear to be opposites (the romantic and the revolutionary), instead reveals a story of political intrigue and double-crossing.

The 1985 film version of the play, starring William Hurt and Raul Julia,  received widespread critical acclaim earning Hurt Academy and BAFTA awards the film received a further three Oscar nominations including Best Picture.

“While we now exist in a time where confinement and lockdown are a part of our everyday vocabulary, we also live in a world where it is crucial to re-examine and expand our limited understanding of gender politics,” says Strike. “The choice to stage this seminal play in today’s revolutionary climate seems obvious and necessary.”

What: Kiss of the Spider Woman

Where and when:  The Baxter from 5 to 19 June 2021

Tickets: Webtickets

Pictures: Oscar O’Ryan