WIP Theatre Plays is a collection of plays and revues written in the late 1970s and early 1980s for a group of aspiring young actors whose dedication to theatre made it possible for local playwrights to produce indigenous works, build up a considerable repertoire and inspire further growth in the dramatic arts.
Dramatists like Kessie Govender and the Stable Theatre and Ronnie Govender and the Shah Theatre Academy were very active in establishing a strong and vibrant theatre. When I joined them in the late seventies, I was inspired to begin writing myself. My first efforts were the one-acts, Have Tea and Go and The Divorcee, which I wrote for the Shah Theatre Academy. Encouraged by the success of these plays and motivated by the vitality of the actors, I began to write full-length plays. It was an intoxicating experience and in the next few years, I wrote seven more plays and in 1983 three productions of my plays were running more or less simultaneously, Masks at the Asoka Theatre, UDW, Outside-In at the Hermit and the satirical revue, The Masterplan, at UDF rallies.
It was an exciting time in my life and I owe it all to the theatre fraternity of the time, especially all those young, enthusiastic actors who took part in the plays for the love of theatre and didn’t complain about little or no remuneration. I shall always be grateful to those talented, dedicated and generous people: Babs Pillay, Essop Khan, Mohammed Ali, Etienne Essery, Nasreen Moosa, Oliver Raman, Ajay Hurbans, Iqbal Moosa, Vishvani Naidu, Subashni Naidoo, Mike Narsey, Lincoln Nthunya, Rex Dunlop, Victoria Francis, Faizel Bayat, Hamilton Ncayiyana, Pippa Dyer, Charles Pillay, Neville Josie, Kogi Govender, Shirley Sunichur, Manu Padayachee, Solly Pillay, Goodwill Mokoena, David Mokgathle, Ivor Chipkin, Tom Swart, Marthy Watson and the director of Masks at the University of Durban-Westville, Surya Naidoo, and the 1983 students of the UDW Drama Department.
Thank you all. WIP THEATRE PLAYS, could not have happened without you.
31 March 2009.