Yusuf Daniels’ bestselling book, Living Coloured, set to be a highlight this festive season, has been adapted for the stage, directed by the award-winning Loukmaan Adams, at the Baxter Concert Hall, from 8 December to 9 January at 7.30pm with Saturday matinees at 2.30pm.
This stage version is based on Daniels’ hugely successful compilation of short stories, Living Coloured (Because Black and White Were Already Taken) and brings together a dynamic group of creatives led by Adams as director, with adaptation by Daniel Mpilo Richards, set design by Patrick Curtis and costumes by Marisa Steenkamp. It also marks Adams’ debut as a solo director.
The vibrant characters are brought to life by a dynamic small cast of six performers who mostly play multiple characters, comprising Tashreeq de Villers, Alexis Petersen, Eldon van der Merwe, Anzio September, Crystal Finck and musician Yvan Potts, all from David Kramer’s Danger in the Dark fame. De Villiers, September and Finck also starred in Marc Lottering’s hit productions Aunty Merle, The Musical and Aunty Merle, it’s a Girl.
“I would like to thank Baxter CEO and artistic director Lara Foot for giving me the opportunity to direct this work at The Baxter and especially since it is my debut as a solo director,” says Adams. “We are happy to be back with live audiences, giving hope and spreading such inspiring messages that anything that you put your mind to, is possible. With social distancing and all COVID-19 protocols observed during lockdown, we look forward to sharing this production with audiences and bring back much-needed laugher and joy.”
Living Coloured is an ode to an era where communities and families thrived despite the hardship of apartheid. It is a hilarious, heart-warming and uplifting portrayal of Daniels’ own life story which speaks of family, friendships, community, traditions and culture, and what it was like growing up on the Cape Flats during an oppressive time in South Africa with racism, gangsterism and poverty. The characters are instantly recognisable and relatable as it tells the story of a young boy faced with these challenges and how he turned them into positives, making the most of living through these trying times and under these conditions.
“There were things that kept us sane. It made us forget the situation we found ourselves in and, most importantly, how we as a community lived fully beyond those odds presented to us at the time,” explains Daniels. “I wrote Living Coloured (Because Black and White Were Already Taken) and Living Lekke, to bring smiles and laughter to people’s faces. I prefer to call myself the accidental author, but I am really more of a storyteller.”
Daniels, whose books reached No 1 at various Exclusive bookstores over the past two years. He shot to fame after writing stories on the social media platform Facebook and which came about through his passion for telling stories and building and uplifting his community. At the US Woordfees earlier this year, Living Lekke received the award for best sales in non-fiction at the festival. He has become a social media influencer through his ability to tell stories with positive messages and has amassed a Facebook following of over 31 000.
He is the host and co-creator of the talk show That Coloured Show, which was available through live-streaming, and included guests such as Marc Lottering, Soli Philander, Chad Saaiman and Salome Damons.
“I am very grateful for the success of my two books so far and to seeing it come alive on stage, with this incredibly talented creative team and cast, is a dream come true for me. Working with Loukmaan as director is really lekker, said Daniels.”
Loukmaan received a Tony nomination and the Laurence Olivier Award for his performances. Other awards include Best Actor in a Musical for his role in Kat and the Kings, an FNB Vita Award for best performer and choreographer as well as a Naledi Award for Best Choreography for Ghoema. He was responsible for vocal training and choreography for The Kramer Petersen Songbook. In recent years at The Baxter he was seen in three sold-out seasons of Aunty Merle, The Musical, David Kramer’s Danger in the Dark and #JustMen.
All performances will be limited to fifty percent capacity, with COVID-19 protocols in place as regulated at Level 1 during the national state of disaster. These will include the availability of hand sanitisers, tracking and tracing, temperature checks, mandatory wearing of masks and practising of physical distancing. Audience members are advised to arrive at least an hour before the start of the performance to avoid delays.
Living Coloured runs at The Baxter Concert Hall from 8 December 2020 to 9 January 2021.
Ticket prices range from R125 to R225
For discounted school or group block bookings, fundraisers or charities, contact Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.