Forced to grow up before her time

THIS play, which traces the life of one woman's tragic forced maturity, is bound to ring bells with many people who have experienced similar situations while they were growing up or who might even be experiencing them right now.

Flying Kites With Boys breaks new ground in the theatre because it will take place in a sports club.

The director, Tendayi Nyeke, says this is an attempt to destroy the often traditionally held view that good theatre can only take place in a theatre.

If this works it might open opportunities for other brave directors to take their productions to different venues .

Flying Kites With Boys will run from June 8 to 12 at the Sandton Sports Club in Johannesburg.

Written and directed by Nyeke, the pop musical follows the life of Myra, a 17-year-old girl, and the four men in her life - her father, best friend, fiancé and her hip-hop music idol.

Through dance and song the audience will find themselves immersed in Myra's journey as she is thrust into adulthood prematurely by a personal tragedy. It is a journey of tears, laughter and discovery.

People close to Nyeke will testify that the play is about them and that would be true because Myra' s story was inspired by her own life experiences as well as th e lives of friends and family.

The play poses a question to women, one for which many men would perhaps want an answer: why is it that when a guy hurts a woman they all end up looking the same?

Nyeke chose to stage the play in a sports club as a way of promoting theatre, which is not very popular with the youth.

Plays in a nontheatrical setting is risky, but for Nyeke "settings such as these will allow me and other directors to take plays to remote parts of South Africa where the notion of theatre is nonexistent. Hopefully in so doing, it will provide an education while at the same time entertaining the less privileged," she explains.

"I want to change the perception that theatre has to be confined to a building because I believe that it is a tool to explore past, present, future, real or imagined states of being in an entertaining way, no matter what the setting," she says.

The play's new cast includes Lwazi Qubu and Alice Forrester. These two knew from a young age that theatre was their calling and they are slowly building their own repertoires. Forrester acted in three plays -Urinetown: The Musical (2008), Parade (2010) and Articulations (2010).

Lwazi has acted in Ubunt'who (2008) and The Signs (2009).

Though Flying Kites With Boys is a very challenging production, these two actors bring huge talents and experience to the stage and are excited and proud to channel the play's characters in a powerful way.