Durban Dialogues, Then and Now
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A fine collection of contemporary plays by one of South Africa's leading playwrights.
The plays selected, namely Into the Grey, Shooting and Swing cover topics such as social activism, the death of a friend and discrimination in sport. Described through Singh's satirical lens, these thought-provoking plays bring us up to date with the challenges of life in post-Apartheid South Africa. They focus particularly on people of Indian origin and their relationships with other South African communities and chart the loss of ideals in the dream of the Rainbow nation.
Into the Grey: A harrowing drama depicting the twenty-nine year association between two Durban activists who battle a variety of challenges as their country stumbles towards a bleak future.
Shooting: A one-man play about the unchanging paradigm in Durban's small town communities in the early years of democracy as a football prodigy's dream is brutally shattered.
Swing: A two-hander about the relationship between a mixed-race Durban tennis player and her father/coach as they confront many obstacles in a society which undervalues the girl-child.
With a foreword by director Ralph Lawson and introduction by Pranav Joshipura, Associate Professor of English, Mahila College, Gandhinagar, India.
A follow-up anthology of three hard-hitting plays to Singh's successful drama anthology Durban Dialogues, Indian Voice (2013) which is now studied internationally.
"Ashwin Singh's plays, working in a contemporary idiom and style and context, become a place for us to set up house, to inhabit, a place filled with humour, compassion and insight. They categorically signal a disposition not to remain silent, not to remain indifferent, prompting us and nudging us to make choices about how we live in our world." Dr Betty Govinden, KZN Literary Tourism
"The ability to capture the lives and communities of Durban with both pathos and humour resonates in all Singh's works. The plays pay tribute to the city's cultural and aesthetic beauty but they also expose its underbelly of crime, corruption and racial tension." Estelle Sinkins, Weekend Witness
"As with his To House and Spice 'n Stuff, Shooting author Ashwin Singh tackles his subjects head-on, using his considerable writing skills to blend important historical and contemporary issues with entertainment." Caroline Smart, The Mercury
About the author
Ashwin Singh is an attorney, academic, playwright, director and actor. His first anthology of plays, Durban Dialogues, Indian Voice was published in 2013 by Aurora Metro Books. The book is being studied and/or referenced at a variety of universities in South Africa, India, Canada and Europe. Singh has also been published as a playwright in the collective anthologies, New South African Plays (Aurora Metro Books, 2006) and the Catalina Collection (Catalina UnLtd, 2013). He is also a published poet and academic author.
Singh is a three-time national award winner via the PANSA Playreading Festival (the country's foremost playwriting contest) with his plays To House (2003); Duped (2005); and Reoca Light (2012). He is also a respected stage and radio actor, having performed in a number of dramatic and comic productions.
Singh also played a lead role in award winning UK director James Brown's short film about child abuse, One Wedding and a Funeral.