‘Home Affairs’ is an examination of the current status of the nation

Lawrence Joffe and Sello Ramolahloane. Picture: Supplied

Lawrence Joffe and Sello Ramolahloane. Picture: Supplied

Published May 15, 2024


Award-winning actors, Lawrence Joffe and Sello Ramolahloane are gearing up for their compelling new stage production titled “Home Affairs.”

Joffe explained that the play is an examination of where South Africa currently is and questions: “How did we get here?”

Written and directed by Michelle Douglas, it follows two elderly South African citizens, who come from completely different walks of life, but they end up realising that they are more alike than they initially thought.

“Picture this: You’ve got two old guys, one white and one black, they are at Home Affairs, they both need their documents and load shedding hits.

“They don’t take it very well,” said Joffe, who is renowned for his several local and international film and TV roles.

“As load shedding proceeds, people begin to leave and these two guys start getting irritable. The show is funny, it’s kind of like we’ve all been to Home Affairs and we all know what goes on there, so we recreate that kind of feeling,” Joffe said.

He added that after a few hours at the government department, everything starts to go wrong, but not in the way you’d expect.

“We discover the back stories behind these two men, who look like ‘a certain type’, from completely different backgrounds. It gets quite hectic.

“What’s important is that even though it is dealing with modern-day South Africa and everything that goes wrong, you’ve got two guys from different backgrounds and yet, the things that are important to them are the same.

“They become friends, you would have never thought it possible, but they do. So there is a feeling of hope in spite of all the adversity and everything that’s gone wrong,” Joffe said.

The production looks at everything that “irritate and annoy us”, he shared.

“Whether it’s load shedding, water shedding, bad service, car guards or even immigration.”

The show also has a historical element to it.

“We get to establish where these guys came from, how they were brought up, and yet throughout the difference, there’s the sameness of genuine humanity. That people are generally all the same and want the same things. And the issues that we are wrestling with, even today.

“Although there are references to the past and a section on the past, it is not about the past, it’s about today and these two guys have lived through the whole of the new South Africa and a large part of the old South Africa.

He believes that the show is an important one and that it will open up a conversation in the run-up to the 2024 national elections, which will be held on May 29.

“This is a show that’s not about political parties’ promises’, this is a show about two ordinary guys just getting on with life and trying to deal with where the country has gone to and how did we get here.

“This wasn’t really the plan, and they are more concerned about their families and children because it’s no longer about them.

“So although it’s placed within the current context of SA, it’s a human story. We don’t hold back, we call it like it is. Sello and I are not young and we do come from the old and new SA; and Sello’s true story is in the show, he was a member of MK (uMkhonto weSizwe).

“It’s not going to be the story that everyone expects. There are a lot of other real life stories that we’ve drawn from,” he says.

Joffe added that this production is a form of protest theatre.

“It’s two guys saying, ‘Why are we here, how did we get here? This is not how it is supposed to be’. We ask the questions, but we don’t cease to have the answers, but it does open up a broader conversation,” he ends.

Where: The Playhouse Loft Theatre.

When: Friday, May 17, at 7.30pm and Saturday, May 18, at 2.30pm.

Cost: R100 from Webtickets.

Comedy Club - The Final Comedy Frontier

Aaron McIlroy’s latest one-man show is set to premiere in Durban this week.

This latest MacBob Production claims to “boldly go where no show has gone before”.

Conceived and written by McIlroy and Darren King, the production will leave no stone unturned in their quest to tickle the funny bone.

The setting is an international comedy venue, and McIlroy portrays a wild selection of eclectic comedians from around the globe.

These new comedic characters will have you in fits of laughter, with McIlroy dangerously close to a straitjacket and electro-shock therapy.

Where: The Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre at the UKZN.

When: May 15 -26.

Cost: R175 - R195 from Webtickets, Pick n Pay or Boxer stores.

Growing Old Disgracefully

International cabaret artist, Tonya Koenderman’s hilarious comedy, “Growing Old Disgracefully” will take audiences on a light-hearted but frank look at the funny side of ageing.

If you tend to put your car keys in the fridge or walk into a room and forget why, or even if your arms are starting to resemble bat wings, never forget you are not alone.

This cabaret features some evergreen songs which have been rebooted to embrace more age-appropriate themes.

Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Base” becomes an ode to make-up and other anti-ageing tools.

Overall, audiences can look forward to a side-splitting night of entertainment and fun-filled frivolity.

Where: The Rhumbelow Theatre Umbilo.

When: Saturday, May 18-19.

Cost: R180 at Webtickets or email [email protected].