New talent brought to reworked play

Danger in the Dark cast members.

David Kramer’s reworked version of a musical production he wrote with the late Taliep Petersen in the early 90s previews at the Baxter theatre today, Thursday October 11.

The protagonist in the production Poison has changed and the show is now called Danger in the Dark.

Mr Kramer said the play had a cast of talented actors, singers and dancers, with exciting choreography and fresh musical arrangements by Camillo Lombard.

Poison was very well received in South Africa, Malaysia and London so much so that it had a return season, directed by Bobby Heaney, at the Baxter Theatre in 2004 as part of the Klipfontein Corridor Project.

Mr Kramer said with the new show, he tells the story from the point of view of Pamela, a social worker who is writing her thesis on drug abuse on the Cape Flats.

The story unfolds when Pamela meets up with Juanita, a friend from her school days and she realises that Juanita is trapped in an abusive relationship with a drug lord.

She becomes desperate to help her escape. Pamela is drawn into dark and dangerous places and situations, yet she pursues against all odds, for the safety and survival of her friend.

Mr Kramer said small changes were made to the production over the years, but when he was approached by Lara Foot of the Baxter Theatre to revive it, he decided to make the story about Pamela rather than Poison.

“I’ve restructured this musical to emphasise Pamela’s part in the story, retained most of Taliep’s original music and added a few new songs. To make the hero of the young woman seems more appropriate for these times.”

Mr Kramer said Pamela’s concern is for the children who are suffering the effects of gangsterism and drug abuse. “I believe that the devastation being wreaked on young people can’t be stressed enough.”

He said the themes and subject matter relate to the destructive impact of drugs on society and abusive relationships, which ties in with the current outcry against gender-based violence and the destructive impact of gangsterism. He hopes this musical serves to articulate those concerns.

Touching on the responsibility to lend a helping hand to victims, Mr Kramer said society shouldn’t be where it is right now.

“Society should be encouraged to undertake a process of self evaluation,” he said.

Reflecting back to when they wrote Poison, Mr Kramer said in the 90s the drugs that were being sold were mainly dagga and mandrax.

“The drugs on offer these days are more addictive and destructive. The gangs have also moved into the smaller towns to extend their distribution networks. In my opinion, things have gotten a lot worse. We have to keep believing that something can be done if society decides to tackle the root causes of these problems,” he said.

Danger in the Dark previews at the Baxter Theatre from today, Thursday October 11 to Monday October 14, it opens on Tuesday October 15 and runs until Saturday November 2.

For discounted block or school bookings, fundraisers and
charities, contact Leon van Zyl on 021 680 3972 or leon.vanzyl@uct.ac.za