Johaardien's script takes top honours

04 November 2002
UCT alumnus Ashraf Johaardien's script for Salaam Stories has been voted Best of the Festival following the Spier Arts Trust and the Performing Arts Network of South African (PANSA)'s festival in February this year.

Salaam Stories was initially chosen as one of six scripts from 28 national submissions to go through to the finals. The full scale production will be presented by the Spier Arts Trust in the open-air amphitheatre on January 2, 2003.

Johaardien graduated from UCT in 1996 with a BA (Hons) degree in English. He also holds an International Baccalaureate Diploma from the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales.

Salaam Stories tells of a journey through the hearts and histories of Cape Muslims. The play has been structured as a series of contemporary stories set against the largely forgotten historical background of Cape Malay culture and weaves historical narrative with a sequence of monologues.

The individual stories sketch vivid personal testimonies and accounts of what it is like to live caught between distant roots in the East and a home in the West. Johaardien is currently in Canada for two months working with the Shaw Festival near Toronto. He had also been invited to read Salaam Stories at the Circle East Theatre Company in New York this month.

His first play, Coloured Son X, was produced at the Baxter Theatre in 1998 and has been published in a volume of new South African work called 2 + 2 Plays.

Since graduating from UCT, he has been associated with several South African arts and culture organisations, including the SA Maritime Museum, the SA National Gallery, Iziko Museums of Cape Town, the Warehouse Theatre and the Film and Publication Board.

Booking for the Spier presentation of Salaam Stories is through Computicket.

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