From Gympie Street with love

The colourful stories of those who spent their days with their doors opened to neighbours, listening to the sound of children playing hopscotch in the streets of Woodstock are brought back to life by musician Peter Maart who hopes to retell these stories through his production Gympie Straat.

The musician from Delft who has previously produced, Lewe op die straat, said the rich history of Gympie Street was often relayed to him by his father who lived in the area and attended Mountain Road Primary School.

Mr Maart sought to recreate these stories and share its rich history in Gympie Straat. “I’ve heard so many stories about Woodstock, from the aunties with rollers and those school days at Mountain Road. There was a mixed culture in Woodstock – when people were being evicted in District Six, Woodstock was untouched.

“The play is based in the 1990s and uses humour to portray issues experienced among community members back then.

“Most coloured people are scared to speak their language, but we’re trying to embrace that,”said Mr Maart.

Mr Maart said it is sad to see what is currently happening in the Woodstock community regarding the forced evictions and displacement of people due to development.

His show hopes to honour the memory and lives of those who are still staying in the area.

The story follows the Carolus family and the head of the house Mr Carolus who works at Pioneer, which was located where the the Old Biscuit Mill is situated today. A love triangle between Mr Carolus and his next door neighbour who leads him into temptation causes much drama in the family.

The show also explores gangsterism which a family member gets caught up in and although the performance is given a humoristic twist, Mr Maart said it remains true to the story of Gympie Street in the 1990s.

The comedy drama stars Shaun Deon Africa and Miskah Geduldt who bring the set to life as Boi- Boi and Margret.

The show promises to have something for everyone and will debut at the Joseph Stone Auditorium in Athlone on Sunday October 1.

Tickets are R80 and on sale at Computicket.