Production in Afrikaans

2018 Best of Zabalaza hit production Onweer returns for its season at the Baxter from 9 to 19 May

2018 Best of Zabalaza winner, the captivating production Onweer comes to the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio for a short run from 9 to 19 May at 7.30pm nightly.

Written by Carlo Daniels of Some Like it Vrot fame, Onweer is a physical theatre piece about a young woman named Tammy (played by Abigail Mei) who lives on the Cape Flats. Tammy is overwhelmed by her abusive father’s (played by Carlo Daniels) return after his 10-year prison sentence. His return causes much anxiety and leaves many unanswered questions for the family and community.

Daniels said, “Onweer was a chance for me to create my own language. It was a way for me to communicate my vision as a director. When I wrote this play I’d heard of many cases of rape around me. It motivated me to research this theme, the impact on the victim and community. Abigail and I developed the piece, first for a competition as a 20-minute play, then as a fully-fledged production for Zabalaza.”

Zabalaza curator Mdu Kweyama noted that Onweer was chosen for its realness, “Plays with themes of domestic violence are common in South African theatre. The high quality of performance in this particular production and its creativity however contributed to it winning the Best of the Zabalaza at this year’s festival. We felt that it stood out as a play that needed to be seen by a broader audience as the subject matter makes it a vital production.

The Best of Zabalaza continues its custom of selecting thrilling, trailblazing and real stories of the complex, yet lived experiences of the communities from which they emerge. Onweer is no exception as it reflects on life after prison as well as the relationship between the victim and perpetrator.

“Winning the Best of Zabalaza award and realizing that we would get a run at the Baxter is a dream come true. Opportunities to have our works produced and funded are few and far between. We have rehearsed this production on open fields, on the deck of the Cape Town station, at the back of theatres and the porches of buildings, so this opportunity afforded to us by the Baxter is an incredible opportunity,” said Daniels.

Daniels, a physical theatre trained actor, singer and theatre maker, grew up in Mitchell’s Plain where he started performing on street corners. He later took his talent to the stages of Madame Zingara and had his first big break in David Kramer’s 2011 musical hit production Some Like it Vrot. He went on to star in several other David Kramer productions such as Kat and the Kings (2012), Blood Brothers (2014), Orpheus in Africa (2015), District Six Kanala (2016) and Fred Abrahamse’s Robin Hood Canal Walk (2017). At the 2018 KKNK he performed Platteland alongside David Kramer.

Daniels also received the award for the Best Actor for his performance in Onweer, at the eighth annual Zabalaza Festival award ceremony which was held on 17 March following a bumper week-long festival which showcased over 40 productions and more than 150 artists. Over the eight-day festival fresh and upcoming talent, along with some stalwarts and previous participants filled the Baxter Theatre Centre stages where the main threads covered sometimes difficult themes of domestic issues, education and politics.

“We are immensely proud of the high quality of all the productions showcased at this year’s festival. It wasn’t easy to choose the Best of Zabalaza, but Onweer was indeed a stand out production that showcased the incredible talent of Carlo and Abigail who beautifully and dramatically tackled this difficult subject,” said Zabalaza artistic director Bongile Mantsai.

Previous Zabalaza winners include Thobani Nzuza’s Boy Ntulikazi (2017), Lauren Hannie’s TIP-ex (2016), Paul Noko’s Fruit (2015), The Champion by Khayalethu Anthony (2014), Skierlik by Philip Dikotla (2013), Bulelani Mabutyana’s Worst of Both Worlds and Uhlazo by Loyiso Damoyi (2011).

The Baxter Zabalaza Theatre Festival continues to produce success stories, providing the platform to showcase the talent of young stars who have gone on to grace the world’s stages in a short period, collecting accolades on their journey. Several artists who have come through the festival have become recognized and have carved careers for themselves in the arts, both locally and internationally.

Onweer previews on 8 May and opens on 9 May, running until 19 May at 7.30pm nightly. Tickets are R80 and booking is through Webtickets, online at www.webtickets.co.za or at selected Pick n Pay outlets. For discounted school or group block bookings, fundraisers or charities contact Sharon Ward on 021 680 3962 or email sharon.ward@uct.ac.za or Carmen Kearns on 021 680 3993 or email her at carmen.kearns@uct.ac.za


Carlo Daniels

Carlo Daniels a Cape Town based physical theatre trained actor, singer and theatre maker. Carlo grew up in Mitchell’s Plain where he started performing on street corners. He later formed a boy band and performed at places such as Madame Zingara. Carlo’s first big musical came in 2011 when he got a role in David Kramer’s Some Like it Vrot and he went on to star in more David Kramer musicals at the Fugard Theatre including Kat and the Kings (2012), Blood Brothers in 2014, Orpheus in Africa (2015), District Six Kanala (2016) then he did Robin Hood Canal Walk directed by Fred Abrahamse. At KKNK 2018 Carlo performed alongside David Kramer in Platteland. He also won best actor and best production at the Baxter Zabalaza Festival where he directed and performed in Onweer. Carlo will finish he studies this year at Magnet Theatre.

Abigail Mei

Abigail Mei, from Malmesbury holds a BTec Diploma in Performing Arts from Northlink College.  She is a current student at Magnet Theatre and has performed in various productions at Northlink College such as SARAFINA! (2015) and Fin Op Sy Eiland (2015). She also partook in the World Skills opening and closing ceremonies at the CTICC in 2014.



9 May - 19 May

Starts: 8:00 pm

Additional Performances:
12 May - 3:00 pm
16 May - 11:00 am
19 May - 3:00 pm

Drama / Golden Arrow Studio

The Baxter Theatre Centre presents the 2018 Best of Zabalaza Theatre Festival Winner: Onweer