Starring Strandfontein’s Stanfield

Former Strandfontein resident Chantal Stanfields play, Koesiestes to Kneidlach, will be staged at the Baxter Theatre next week.

The one-woman “kosher comedy”, Koe’siestes to Kneidlach, by actress, singer and voice artist Chantal Stanfield from Strandfontein, will start its run at the Baxter Theatre next week.

Directed by Megan Furniss, Koe’siestes to Kneidlach is about a girl from the Cape Flats who gets involved with a Jewish boy from Joburg’s East Rand. It raises all sorts of questions and awkward situations for the young bride-to-be.

The show will run from Tuesday December 19 to Saturday January 6 next year.

Chantal was born, bred and “buttered” in Strandfontein and now lives in Johannesburg. She attended Dennegeur Primary, Muizenberg Junior and High schools and then furthered her studies at UCT Drama School.

She has starred in the Afrikaans soapie 7De Laan, the television series Montana and can now be seen in Getroud Met Rugby.

Chantal will be celebrating her 12th professional year in the performance industry this month.

“I’ve been performing all my life, from the annual creche show and drama club in junior school to debating and plays in high school. Performing has always been a major part of my life and I’ve been able to make it my career through hard slog and determination,” she said.

Chantal said performing is exhilarating and exciting.

“There’s nothing else quite like it. What keeps me going back for more is that feeling of being ‘lost’ within a character – something almost sacred happens where you as the actor disappears and the character takes over. It’s also that special synergy that happens between you and the audience, where you know something you’ve said or written has made an impact on how somebody else sees the world and or their unexpected, fresh response to something. It’s a thing of beauty,” she said.

Chantal said the play could be a romantic comedy and other times also a dramatic tragedy. She said it was a fresh, comedic take on a relationship that crossed culture and religion, specifically of a coloured girl meeting a Jewish boy, and the various questions and situations she finds herself in.

“It’s really a celebration of the things that we think divide us and an uncomfortable acknowledgement of the things that actually do. We have so many unique cultures and languages within this country, if we just take the time to experience and respect each other’s worlds, we would all be so enriched. Like the title – most Capetonians on the Flats know what koe’siestes are but what in the world are kneidlach?”

Chantal’s advice to young people is to “find your purpose and figure out what are you here on this Earth to do and pursue it”.

She said some careers, choices or paths were always going to be “easier” and gain acceptance from family or community, while others you’d have to walk alone.

“Either way, fight for what it is. Also, your choices might keep changing. That’s okay, but be courageous and relentless. The only people who supported my career choice were my close family and friends – even neighbours and teachers tried to discourage me and steer me towards something ‘conventional’. Years later, I’m making an impact with a play I wrote and co-produced, recording my own music and travelled the world with my talent. Find your purpose,” she urged.

Tickets for Koe’siestes to Kneidlach are available from Computicket at R100 on Tuesdays; R140 Wednesdays to Saturdays and R250 for the New Year’s Eve show. Contact Sharon Ward on 021 680 3962 or email sharon.ward@uct.ac.za for details.