Durbanville school drama reaches national talent show finals

The eight Curro Durbanville Primary School pupils who make up the cast of Agt are Christina Marx, Elizabeth Coetzer, Leonie Zimmermann, Kaylee Wallace, Judi Hattingh, Lucy Morillion, Jana Muller, and Risa Burger. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht.

Curro Durbanville Primary School drama has earned a spot to compete against the country’s best productions in the finals of a national Afrikaans talent show next month.

Last month, the play, Agt (Eight in Afrikaans), was selected as one of the top-six productions that reached the national round at the Western Cape ATKV Tjokkertoneel regionals that took place at Curro Durbanville High School’s theatre on Saturday August 19.

The play, written by drama teacher Cecilia Wesson will now compete against the country’s top productions in the competition’s national finals at the Lyric Theatre in Gold Reef City, Johannesburg, next month, according to school spokesperson Nosipho Mlotsana.

Agt revolves around the concept of a clock that chimes eight times and involves eight of the school’s pupils: Grade 7s Risa Burger, Christina Marx, Kaylee Wallace, and Lucy Morillion; Grade 6s Elizabeth Coetzer, Jana Muller and Leonie Zimmermann; and Grade 5 Judi Hattingh.

“The production earned the Best Ensemble and Best Production accolade. Judi Hattingh also received the Best Actress gong. Additionally, Agt received nominations in several categories, including: Best Handling of Technical Aspects, Best Director (Cecilia Wesson), Best Actress (Risa Burger), and Best Actress (Leonie Zimmermann).”

Curro Durbanville was one of only two Western Cape schools to make it into the top six, Ms Mlotsana said.

“All eight learners received gold certificates for their contributions, while Cecilia Wesson earned a gold award as the dramatist. Curro Durbanville Primary School also received a gold award for the overall production,” Ms Mlotsana said.

Ms Wesson said she had grown up in a home where drama and theatre were part of her family’s daily life.

“The play concerns mostly stories and memories from my own life experiences. I hardly remember writing the play, the words just fell on the pages because it is so personal to me.”

She said she had wanted to create a production that the pupils could be proud of.

“There is no lead role in this play. I wanted all of them to shine and have their moment, it was quite a challenge to do as it is not the norm.“

Risa said she had a great passion for acting even though she had minimal acting experience.

“My love for acting began from the moment I could walk. I would perform shows for my family, dress up as characters and later on perform in pre-school in my favourite musicals.”

Leonie said her love for acting started to grow from when she was in Grade 4 and last year she appeared in her school’s musical, Peter Pan.

“One thing I know for sure is that I will never stop acting,” she said.