I walked through the door of the Baxter’s Golden Arrow Studio and stepped into a club on Cape Town’s famous Long Street. It was all there: the bustling of people talking, the flashing lights that are never coordinated and the tiny outfits on pretty girls. I caught myself thinking, “Wonder if there will be any cute guys here tonight?” Back in the day that’s what I wanted from Long Street. In Long Street Nights the characters are not that far off.
Long Street Nights focuses on six archetypes that frequent this street, sourced by the actors themselves after prowling Long Street itself during some of its seediest hours. There’s party girl Mia (Natasha Dryden), Catherine the DJ past her prime (Daneel van der Walt), politician and tenderpreneur Duma (Thami Mbongo), a naïve boy from the township Sizwe (Thando Doni), Fabian (Antonio Fisher) a barman and Jasmine (Riana Alfreds) the single mother business owner. Much like my student self they all have certain things they want from Long Street.
This is not a six degrees of separation story although it is inevitable that some of the characters do cross paths. Director Nicky Rebelo expertly weaves the different stories to create a raw and honest portrayal of Long Street’s night life.
The characters are completely authentic; these are the people that you’ll encounter in a stroll down Long Street. Which begs the question: why pay the theatre admission if you can just meander down the street? The answers are numerous: Long Street Nights is a fly-on-the-wall experience, a chance to listen to the distilled, raw truth that only a bottle of tequila will bring out. And you’ll be able to hear it. And you’ll be able to remember it. So book your seat at the Baxter now.
by Jana van Heerden
Long Street Nights runs at the Baxter Theatre’s Golden Arrow Studio 8 May to 1 June 2013.