Tales of a two-decade friendship

Actors Shaun Smith, from Manenberg, and Shaundeon Afrika, from Brooklyn, formerly from Rocklands and Lentegeur respectively.

Two former Mitchell’s Plain residents are taking to the stage to tell the story of friendship found in their home town and life’s challenges, which could have a silver lining.

The two-man play, Simpler Days, starring Shaun Smith and Shaundeon Afrika will be performed at the Nassau Theatre, at Groote Schuur High School, 77 Palmyra Road in Newlands, on Friday
July 26 and Saturday July 27, at 8pm.

Shaun, who lived in Rocklands, but now stays in Manenberg, and Shaundeon, formerly from Rocklands, who now lives in Brooklyn, tell the story of an almost two-decade friendship, with each of them having walked different life paths.

Jonathan Lewis, played by Shaundeon, is in a mental institution and his friend Jeffrey Witbooi is a successful lawyer.

The two, who had been friends since primary school, meet again after having been estranged for several years.

Shaundeon said they were tired of people in Mitchell’s Plain being portrayed as gangsters, being shot at and killed.

“We wanted to tell the story of two friends, one who made it in this world and the other who had the odds stacked up against him,” he said.

“The message is about friendship. These men have been through a lot in life and they try to make it work. “I always say a friendship is a workmanship – it takes work,” said Shaundeon.

Their work together, along with stage manager and lighting designer Caleb “Sufodien”, from Eastridge, comes a long way as they share in each other’s passion for performance and their love of theatre.

The original play was written by Tatum-Lee Louw, from Westridge, and was first performed last year during the Zabalaza Festival at the Baxter Theatre. The mission of the annual festival is to provide an ongoing skills programme in areas of theatre-making to upcoming artists.

This weekend’s script has been revised, renewed with added scenes and new name was written by Lauren Snyders, from Lansdowne, as the play was previously called Perceptions. The play is directed by Mkonto Yanga, from Gugulethu.

Tickets cost R120 via webtickets and Pick * Pay Stores. For more information call Rowan Haywood on 063 328 7926 or email miraclesquaredbookings@gmail.com.