Neil Coppen

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Think Theatre & the Catalina Unltd with support from the Playhouse Company and in association with the National Arts Festival presents Neil Coppen’s Abnormal Loads.

Pre-production is well underway for KZN playwright Neil Coppen’s (Creator of Tin Bucket Drum and Tree Boy) newest play titled Abnormal loads, which will headline the main programme at this year’s Grahamstown festival before embarking on a nationwide tour.

Abnormal Loads has been commissioned as part of Coppen’s 2011 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Theatre.

 Set in a fictional Northern KwaZulu-Natal battle-field town known as Bashford, Coppen’s latest play has been described as a whimsical (at times bloody) praise-poem to the province of KZN and its myriad of characters and cultures.

After months of auditioning in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, Coppen is thrilled to have secured acclaimed film and TV star Mothusi Magano (Totsi, Hotel Rwanda and  hit SABC 3 TV series The Lab) and Isidingo’s Jenna Dunster (currently playing the role of Sofia Le Roux on the show) who will play the productions romantic leads.

Magano and Dunster will join a stellar KZN contingent of performers which include Allison Cassels, Jana Ramos Violante, Fortunate Dhlomo, Ntombikayise Gasa, Clinton Small, and Thomie Holtzhausen.

With a narrative that whisks audiences through two centuries of South African history, Abnormal loads presents a theatrical universe where the past runs in tandem with the present and where events shift seamlessly from the grandeur of a battle-field in 1879 to the intimacy of the bedroom in 2011.

Coppen says he hopes audiences will find his latest play to be a moving, insightful and humorous reflection of the many complexities and contradictions of life in small town South Africa.

Once again the theatre maker is collaborating across a variety of disciplines and mediums with some of KZN’s top artists and musicians.  Movement, sound, music and multi-media will combine to create an innovative theatrical experience. 

Lighting design by Tina le Roux. Sound Design by Tristan Horton. Original score by Gary Thomas, Ant Cawthorn-Blazeby (of Landscape Prayers fame) and  Karen Van Pletsen. Set-construction Xavier Clarisse. Audio Visuals by Vaughn Sadie. Period Costume by Neil Stuart-Harris. Military Uniforms and additional period costumes courtesy of The Dundee Die Hard re-enactment group and UKZN Drama Department.

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One Comment to


  1. On April 12th, 2012 at 1:29 pm vusimuzi simon mnguni Says:


    iam a passionate local artist in poetry and acting as well as motivational speaker, and im looking for an audition and assitance in my work

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