Arts Council to Fund South African Smasher Play

A tour of the new smash hit play Tannie & Tannie has been announced and will travel throughout Yorkshire and the North Western U.K.

Tannie &Tannie is the play-writing debut of South African writer Claudine Bennent and tells the story of a pair of ‘tannies’ (Afrikaan slang for auntie) as they brave the wilderness to go on a ‘trek’ after being forcibly evicted from their homes. Heavily inspired by the works of Herman Charles Bosman and South Africa’s own colonialist history, this play is an endearing humorous and heartfelt glance at the current, turbulent state of world politics, of the factions which create divisions within society and of the human determination to survive and persevere in the face of adversity. This play is a working class narrative that is certain to resonate with Northern English audiences, especially as many of the venues on the tour will be former mining communities. Tannies &Tannie is a play written, produced and performed by women and as such will also be a close examination of women in vulnerable positions as they must traverse harsh, unforgiving terrain and a crisis made by man.

One of the most intriguing figures to emerge out of this is Bennent herself. A graduate of the University of Cape Town, she has been working steadily as a theatre maker and actress since 2005 and has collaborated with numerous theatrical companies and organisations in South Africa, including the National Children’s Theatre.

Having lent their seal of approval, the play is almost certain to find a warm welcome in the North thanks to the Arts Council. Melanie Crawley, one of the actors and producer on board the production has praised the decision and declared it as the ‘next step’ for Claudine’s ‘wonderfully warm and funny script’ and explained her hope that it would, eventually tour South Africa. The play was first performed at the DINA venue in Sheffield in November of 2018, and will continue to play in venues that have endured some of the greatest drops in public service expenditure in the last decade.

Tannie & Tannie will premiere at the Kollider, Castle House on the 16th of October, and will continue throughout November before making its return in the New Year starting in February and on until March. As per its convictions, the play will appear in social clubs and refurbished shops and stores.

Visit the website here. 

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