And The Girls in Their Sunday Dresses

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A short play with Hlengiwe Lushaba and Lesego Motsepe, who has a role in the South African soap Isidingo. The blurb for the play has a rather confusing story on the play being set in the near future when a huge poverty gap defines most people’s lives.

In practice, the play is about two women, queuing up for days in order to buy rice at government controlled prices. One is a retiring prostitute, the other a maid, both left by their man and trying to get on in life, they find they both have responded very differently to the cards life has dealt them.

It’s two very reasonable performances, but a bit of a shaky story, seemingly not being able to decide whether the play wants to be slapstick, social commentary or plain drama.
There’s some character development, but it’s not managed very well. Specifically near the end of the play, a major change happens with both characters’ view on life, while there’s no clear indication as to why the sudden change occurs, besides the obvious realization that waiting in a food queue for days is dehumanizing.

There’s a clear hint that both women were left by the same man, him first dumping the hooker, then dumping the maid. However, the characters don’t see this and nothing is done with this information, which makes the reference pointless.

On the whole, the play, though short, does have a few scenes which drone on for too long. It seems the reason for this being the easy laughs the actors are able to get from the, at times, slapstick-like performances. This takes away from the show as a whole.

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