Improguise, South Africa’s longest running, award-winning and hilarious improvisation company is turning 20 this year. To mark this special occasion they will be performing South Africa’s first ever live, improvised Soap opera marathon to raise money for Rape Crisis.
TACKLE TALES is set in a small fictional harbour town called EsCape Point. The Storylines focuses on the trials and tribulations of the families and residents. “We decided to create a fictional town”, says Tandi Buchan, Artistic director of Improguise, “so we can have artistic freedom to explore a wide range of themes both real and imagined, and explore threads like love, revenge, divorce, medical issues and family life as well as play a range of characters both local and foreign.” Buchan adds “The team won’t give much away even if we wanted to because it is all going to be improvised, so we will all be just as surprised as our audiences, to see how it all plays out… but we do know that we will be making South African theatre history as well as supporting a really worthy organization like Rape Crisis.”
Rape Crisis provides essential services to women through their counseling and court support services and their twenty-four hour helpline, reaching 4 500 to 5 000 survivors each year. They face a shortfall of R1.3 million in this financial year, a situation that led their Board of Trustees to retrench 13 out of 14 staff members in July 2012, and they are desperately looking to make up this shortfall and re-instate staff so that they can retain their vital skills and experience.
Any funding received will contribute to alleviating their deficit and help them to continue with the daily running of the organisation. It will also certainly be “contributing towards the development of a vibrant, democratic and just South Africa that we could all be proud of.” says an optimistic volunteer at Rape Crisis, who then adds “since our projects are deeply concerned with issues of equity and equitable access to justice and with the fairness and dignity with which women in particular are treated.”
This first ever South African Soap-a-thon will take place on 27 October at The Little Theatre, on UCT’s Hiddingh Campus and will run over a period of 12 hours beginning at 10am and ending at 10pm. There will be 8 episodes, which will each cost R60, and will last 1 hour and 10 min, except for the last episode, which is 1hour and 30 min. There is a discount for those who buy more than 4 tickets. There will be food and drink available and the show is suitable for the whole family. “We challenge as many of our audience members to ‘do’ the whole thing with us.” Says Tandi.