Saturday, 03 January 2015 05:57

After Nines

After Nines was an applied theatre* script based on personal and collected testimony and oral history. I facilitated a collaborative research/development and writing process, trained and directed the storytellers and edited and wrote the final script. This community enagement initiative was done to brief for the South African Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action Archive (GALA) and presented in Johannebsurg, Amsterdam and Sydney. *Applied theatre refers to the use of theatre practices outside of traditional settings and conventions.

 

 

"Act One.

Scene One.

The family sit in the lounge. Phillimon (Father), Beauty (Mother), MamQwati (Grandmother) and Lebo (Daughter). Lilly is a spirit and is not seen by the family. The first beat is sung.

Lilly

Last Friday night at the Khumalo household.

Beauty

The dishes are cleared and I can put up my feet

The week is done, time for a treat.

No books to mark, no noisy schoolchildren to teach

Just me and my happy family.

Phillimon

Friday night, my shop is locked up

Sometimes I long for the old days when I was free

A drink with the boys, chase a few skirts

Ag but that's life I guess

Happy, cosy and safely at home with my family

MamQwathi

MamQwathi that's me

At my age you are allowed to sleep in front of the TV

(A chorus of snores and mumbles)

Lebo

I have to tell them tonight

I know they'll get a fright

But what time will ever be right

I have to tell them tonight

The people who love me must know the real me

Lebo

Mom, Dad, Granny. I have something to tell you. I'm gay.

Lilly

That was last Friday. The Khumalo household hasn't been the same since. They took her to one sangoma who said she can lift this "curse" for a lot of extra money, then to another who said there's nothing wrong with Lebo and she wouldn't take any money at all. This morning it all blew up.

Phillimon

Are you a man in this house, do I have to pay lebola?

MamQwathi

She's a woman who's a man who loves woman?

Phillimon

Where do you get this nonsense. It's from these white schools. I'm taking you out.

Beauty

You can't. It's a phase, be gentle on the child

Philly

This is my house, and in my house you follow the Khumalo law.

MamQwathi

Beauty, Beauty. Talk to your husband

Philly

I've already paid my lebola and everybody must obey my laws. Khumalo. That's me. If there's a problem, I sort it out.

MamQwathi

If you go out and get drunk and leave the problem here, who do you think is going to sort that problem out?

Beauty

Tell him mama. Tell him mama.

Philly

There is another man in this house. He must get out and make his own way in the world. This is my house and I make the rules. Lebo. Lebo. Out. Pack your bags and go.

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Robert Colman

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