Ashraf Johaardien’s award-winning play Salaam Stories will be featured at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective in Observatory. The play will be directed by newcomer Niquita Hartley under the mentorship of Standard Bank Young Artist alumna and Naledi Award-winner Jade Bowers, and features actor Ashalin Singh (pictured below).
Set against the historical backdrop of the Cape slave trade and the Malay diaspora in South Africa, Johaardien’s play has been performed in London, New York, Amsterdam and all over South Africa.
Through artful storytelling, the playwright focuses themes of identity, history and group belonging through an intimately personal lens taking audiences on a journey across the Cape Flats to Robben Island – and then to and from Bombay – back in time, to the 17th century, when the Dutch were at war with the Portuguese. Moving fluidly through multiple timeframes, a colourful community of characters is conjured to life from the recesses of memory, history and imagination.
Ashalin Singh graduated from Wits University in 2011 as an actor, writer and director. He has performed in a number of stage and television productions, most notably, the dramatic series Mishika Shika, John Kani’s production of Othello, Reza De Wet’s Diepe Grond and Scorched by Wajdi Mouhad.
Niquita Hartley made her debut as a performer at the age of 13 in The Guitar That Rocked the World by Themi Venturas. She also performed in the original production of Salaam Stories at Spier and in subsequent productions of the play at the Baxter Theatre and the University of the Western Cape and at the Cape Town Book Fair. The 2019 revival of the play marks her debut as a director.
Jade Bowers is a director and designer who experiments with physical style and conceptual form to make theatre that is fuelled by invention and creativity. She is the winner of the 2016 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Theatre.
What: Salaam Stories
Where and when: Theatre Arts Admin Collective from 4 to 9 March 2019