After creating an award nominated play, six former Witsies, interwoven by the threads of their theatrical dreams, unite to start their own theatre company.
The curtains may have closed on the final run of the show Seeing Other People at the Theatre on the Square, Sandton, on Saturday, 22 July, but for the creators, it marks just the opening act of an exciting new journey.
After creating a three-time Naledi Theatre award-nominated play former Witsies Hira Lodhi, Martin Grendele, Naledi Modipa, Sasha Karlin, Hlumie Moloi and James Netherlands have started a theatre company named “Top Comedy”.
The group said founded the company for two reasons. Firstly, they thoroughly enjoy working together and share an undeniable performance chemistry and rapport. Secondly, creating this company provides them with a valuable support system.
“The theatre industry can be quite competitive, working together means we have each other to lean on for support in regards to creating work together,” said the group in a combined statement.
The idea of starting the company had been on the group’s mind since their days at the Wits theatre department, but they admitted that it “always seemed so out of reach
.“. However, after the success they experienced with their play Seeing Other People starting the company felt like the right move.
The group wanted to make it clear that they are a theatre company, not a production company. “The major difference being that we don’t produce other theatre or works, except our own. We simply collaborate creatively to make a work of theatre [and to] generate online content.”
(From left to right) James Netherlands, Martin Grendele, Sasha Karlin, Hlumie Moloi, Hira Lodhi, Naledi Modipa posing for a “fun” photo after a performance of their award nominated show Seeing Other People at Theatre on the Square. Photo: Terri-Ann Brouwers
Commenting on the roles each member fulfils, they said that the roles change depending on the project they are working on and what each member wants to take on.
“For example, Hira Lodhi [was the] director, designer and producer of “Seeing Other People” while Martin Grendele [was the] producer and performer.”
The team says that their long-term goals are simply “To keep working. To keep creating”.
The future of the company looks bright as they are currently working on new theatrical and digital projects.
FEATURED IMAGE: The six Witsies who started Top Comedy after the final run of their award nominated show, Seeing Other People, at Theatre on the Square. Photo: Terri-Ann Brouwers
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