Joburg-based theatre-maker Lidija Mareliè has scooped a star cast for her manifestation of the fourth 2012 Theatre Arts Admin Collective’s Emerging Theatre Director’s Bursary, with veteran actors Terry Norton, Susan Danford and Adrian Galley making up the cast of Villa Sofia.
Set in a period between the two World Wars and reflecting on the violent Balkan Wars of 1912 – 1914, Villa Sofia interrogates how two people from different cultures and religions can find each other when those very differences are separated by details they themselves struggle to define. Toni (Adrian Galley) writes a novel about Sofia (Terry Norton); who forces him to delve into, and find the strength to write about, his haunting past. This in turn gives a voice to his mute housekeeper, Rafaela (Susan Danford), who he has loved for most of his life. Why is Rafaela mute and would Toni rather keep her that way in a culture where silence prevails?
“This is a play that I really shouldn’t be making as it explores cultural wars that have been going on for centuries and the truths I explore are considered both unpatriotic and unspeakable in my culture, but it’s a story that really needs to be told. As a director, working with this generous cast has really helped me to access the honesty that I need to do that.” says Mareliè.
Lidija Mareliè received an Honours Degree in Dramatic Arts from the University of Witwatersrand. She has performed at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown on several occasions. Since graduating she has directed a number of productions in Johannesburg including Waiting for Jack, Jefferson Tshabalala’s Flames on Manhood Mountain and Satyricon (assistant director to Bailey Snyman, Young Standard Bank Award Winner for Dance 2012). She has also performed in Barney Simon’s Born in the RSA directed by Warren Nebe and Othello directed by John Kani. She was awarded the Percy Tucker award at Wits for Best Director in 2011. She regularly presents workshops on performance at schools and for the under g round Johannesburg scene.
Featuring Terry Norton, Susan Danford and Adrian Galley; Villa Sofia will run at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective (cnr Wesley and Milton Streets, Observatory) from 27 November to 1 December 2012 at 8pm nightly. Tickets are R40 and can be booked via 021 447 3683.
The Theatre Arts Admin Collective Emerging Theatre Director’s Bursary is presented in association with the Gordon Institute of Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA), the Baxter Theatre and Distell.
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