Up-and-coming Vredehoek-based actor, Kiroshan Naidoo, is excited about his role in the new Fugard play The Eulogists.
The 23-year old, said he was also looking forward to working with Louis Viljoen, the resident writer at the Fugard Theatre. play delves into people’s nature.
“In this town you find these three individuals and there are things that are revealed throughout their stay,” said Mr Naidoo who plays the role of Zee.
“It speaks to us as human beings, (about) death and our current state in South Africa. (It also looks) at what death means to people and how you grieve when you don’t know someone or know someone.”
“I’ve worked with Louis as a director before but on a smaller scale. I’m immensely excited to work at the Fugard on one of his texts. They are quite challenging works but for an actor everything is there. If you want an exercise in how to work with text, Louis’ work is a great example.”
In the play the world media has descended on a small town to wait for a great statesman to die.
Audrey, a flash-in-the-pan author who once had access to the leader and profited from it, has holed herself up in a room around the corner from the dying man’s family home.
Zee is an ambitious researcher who dreams of breaking an exclusive story about the leader’s past and shares a room with Audrey – and cabin fever has begun to set in.
“I would say it’s a drama about people’s lives and a reflection,” said Mr Naidoo. “It’s not solely about our political climate; it is about people.
“If you want to watch people on stage with fantastic writing, this is the sort of play you want to see.”
He said it had always been his ambition to become an actor when he was growing up in Pretoria. He came to Cape Town to study theatre and performance at UCT and graduated at the end of 2015. In his final year, he and his partners started a theatre company called Hungry Minds Productions.
Last year the company took three plays to Grahamstown and won an Ovation award for one of them. The idea of the company was to be able to do new work with young people.”
He said he was excited about growing his career in Cape Town.
“This is my first commercial work that I’ve done. I do like the Cape Town theatre scene and film scene. There’s a lot of new directors to work with and the opportunities here are quite great. I am very excited.”
“I think you can either study it or learn through experience but studying helps.
“I loved UCT because it was practically based. I think the biggest thing to remember is your own path. I think we get very lost in this industry because when we speak to other actors, you feel like ‘why am I not working?’
“What steadied me is that I believe there is a time for everything. There is a time when a role comes up that you’re perfect for, it will happen. Just power through.”
He said that winning the Fleur du Cap Award for Most Promising Student last year was one of the most affirming moments of his young career.
“I went through the whole of drama school and I didn’t think I’d get nominated. It was an overwhelming feeling of emotion because it’s people in the industry. Just the recognition is beautiful. It made me feel more confident going into the industry,” said Mr Naidoo.
Also important, he said, was the support of his family. “My mom and dad are my biggest supporters and that’s beautiful.”
He said future plans include more film and TV work.
The Eulogists is currently on at the Fugard Studio Theatre, until Saturday June 24, Tuesdays to Saturdays, at 8pm, with a 4pm matinee performance on Saturdays. Ticket prices range from R120 to R160 and can be booked through Computicket. Bookings can also be made at the Fugard Theatre box office on 021 461 4554.
There is a 15% discount available for the Friends of The Fugard members.