A stellar creative team will bring Gabriella Pinto's play Chickens to life when it is performed at Magnet Theatre from 25 October to 3 November.
The play was the winning entry of the inaugural SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition, an annual competition presented by the Imbewu Trust to promote and develop contemporary South African theatre. The prize is to have the play mounted by a professional team for a run at a theatre.
Chickens is directed by multiple-award-winner Tara Notcutt (..miskien; Mafeking Road), and the cast features acclaimed broadcaster and actor Adrian Galley (The Mechanicals;Tonight Neither Hamlet); Dylan Horley (Somewhere on the Border; Little Foot) and rising newcomer Kelly-Eve Koopman (Woza Andries). Lighting design is by Luke Ellenbogen with set and costume design by Juanita Ferreira.
Chickens is a comedy that explores what happens when an older, seasoned journalist and a young intern attempt to write a masterpiece of a play under the pressure of an urgent deadline. It takes a tongue-in-cheek, but tender look, at the generation gap, the negation of old people and the contradictions and complexities of daily life.
"It's a fresh, funny and insightful script that sees these two men travel on a journey of self-discovery as they struggle to write their masterpiece," says Notcutt. "The play touches on 'hipster' culture, mortality and the apprehensions we have about one another. Coincidentally, two of our cast members also have extensive experience as journalists!"
Adrian Galley is a well-known actor, voice artist, scriptwriter and broadcaster. His rich voice is instantly recognisable from his time as a journalist at stations such as 567CapeTalk and Radio 702. His international film credits include including The Deal, playing opposite William H Macy and Meg Ryan, while his many stage appearances include six seasons with Not the Midnight Mass; curtain-puller Ingo Sassmann in Rainer Lewandowski's Tonight Neither Hamlet and numerous performances with The Mechanicals theatre company. He is currently shooting on two movies – the international film Zulu, featuring Forest Whitaker and Orlando Bloom, and Felix, with Dame Janet Suzman.
Dylan made his professional theatre debut playing the role of Doug Campbell in Anthony Akerman's Somewhere on the Border for the 2011 National Arts Festival Main Programme, followed by a successful ten-week run at the Market and Baxter Theatres, which he also co-produced. He performed the lead role of Wizard in Craig Higginson's Little Foot at the Market Theatre and appeared in the feature film The Long Walk to Freedom directed by Justin Chadwick.
Kelly-Eve Simone Koopman graduated from Stellenbosch University last year with a degree in Drama with an English major cum laude. She has performed in various Teaterteater productions including Woza Andries, Vagina Dentata and Ubu and the Secrecy Bill, and the F word. She is also a member of the theatre collective Polony led by Christiaan Olwagen.
Tara Notcutt is a multiple-award-winning director and producer. Recently named as one of the Mail and Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans, she is also Artistic Director of The Pink Couch, which creates brave, original South African theatre. In 2011, Tara was invited to the prestigious Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab to spend three weeks working with some of the world's leading young directors in New York City. The productions ...miskien and Three Little Pigs, which she directed, were both invited to international festivals in New York, Australia and Holland.
Gabriella graduated from UCT with a BA in Theatre and Performance where she was awarded the Mavis Taylor Award for theatre-making and the Ruth Peffers Prize for most promising student. She also trained at the Waterfront Theatre School, performing in various student productions. At the National Arts Festival this year, she wrote and directed Eden which premièred at the Cape Town Edge venue, and which will be performed at the Intimate Theatre in Cape Town from 6 November.
The Imbewu Trust is a Non-Profit Organisation which was set up to develop and promote contemporary South African theatre and arts, as well as showcase South African theatre on an international stage. It was founded by experienced director and teacher Paul Griffiths, who has worked extensively in South Africa and the UK, with Sam de Romijn, who is also a seasoned theatre teacher, performer and stage manager; and accountant and business consultant Paul Dickson. The Trust has also recently returned from presenting a successful run in New York of Tin Bucket Drum by Standard Bank Young Artist Neil Coppen.