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Suddenly the Storm: Multiple Naledi nominee

Suddenly the Storm
Renate Stuurman, Paul Slabolepszy and Charmaine Weir-Smith

Nominated for six Naledi Theatre Awards, the Baxter Theatre Centre presents the Market Theatre’s production of Suddenly the Storm during Youth Month. 

Following its unprecedented success at the Market Theatre and the Theatre on the Square, Paul Slabolepszy’s riveting drama, Suddenly the Storm, will have its Cape Town premiere at the Baxter Flipside, from 7 June to 8 July at 19:30 nightly and selected matinees at 14:00. Two of South Africa’s leading theatre stalwarts, playwright and actor Slabolepszy and theatre and television director Bobby Heaney, once again team up to create a distinctly South African experience in Slabolepszy’s brand new hit play. Joining Slabolepszy on stage in his role as Dwayne are Charmaine Weir-Smith (Isidingo, Binnelanders, Generations) as Shanell and Renate Stuurman (Isidingo, Scandal!) as Namhla, directed by Heaney.  

Combative, volatile, constantly on the verge of exploding, Dwayne and Shanell Combrink are two halves of a white South African working- class couple, living an uneasy truce as they struggle with the day-to-day trials of scraping together a living and dreaming competing dreams. But beneath Dwayne’s angry, violent exterior lies the heartbreak that governs his attitude to life. Dwayne is a man in mourning. Shanell believes his current level of despair was sparked by the death of his childhood friend and recent work partner, Jonas, but the source of his mourning and anger lies much further back. When the elegant and self-contained Namhla Gumede, born on 16 June 1976, arrives on their doorstep seeking answers to questions that have remained buried for forty years, Dwayne and Shanell finally find out the truth.

What starts as a smouldering dark comedy suddenly turns into a roller-coaster ride of startling revelations, rage and recrimination … before the storm finally breaks.

The extensive critical acclaim the production has received include explosive, unexpected, satisfying and provocative… Slabolepszy delivers a towering performance” – The Saturday Star and “A fascinating slice of theatre which embraces the dynamics of today’s South Africa” – The Next 48 Hours. Lighting design is by Wesley France and Set design by Greg King. Paul Slabolepszy is an acclaimed playwright, as well as radio, television and screenwriter of more than 31 plays which include Mooi Street Moves, Making Like America, SmallholdingBraaitLaaities, Pale Natives, My Low-Fat Almost Italian Wedding, The Return of Elvis du Pisani and Heel Against the Head. Suddenly the Storm is his first new play since 2009. “Paul Slabolepszy is one of South Africa’s most prolific and admired theatremakers and we are delighted to welcome him back to the Baxter and to be hosting the Cape Town premiere of his latest play,” says Lara Foot, artistic director and CEO of the Baxter Theatre Centre.

Suddenly The Storm runs at the Baxter Flipside from 7 June to 8 July at 19:30 nightly, with matinee performances on Saturdays 24 June, 1 and 8 July, at 14:00. There are no performances from 15 to 19 June. Tickets for previews and matinees cost R130, Mondays to Thursdays are R140 and Fridays and Saturdays cost R160. Block bookings of ten or more are R120 and students and senior citizens tickets cost R110. There is an age restriction of 16 years. Bookings can be made at Computicket online, or 0861 915 8000, or at any Shoprite or Checkers outlet. For discounted corporate, schools or block-bookings, charities or fundraisers, contact Sharon on 021 680 3962, email or Carmen on 021 680 3993, email

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