Expelled – by Rosalind Butler

When and where:

~Cape Town: Baxter Studio Theatre from February 7 to March 2, 2024
~ Johannesburg: The Market Theatre from March 6 to 31, 2024

Bookings for both: Webtickets

Producer: How Now Brown Cow www.hownowbrowncow.co.za 
Director: Craig Freimond
Cast: Charmaine Weir-Smith, Antony Coleman and Nicolas Hattingh

Exciting news is that How Now Brown Cow is presenting Expelled – a new South African play by Rosalind Butler. Expelled is described as “a family drama which focuses on the largely ungoverned world of social media.  Alex, a Matric pupil at an elite school, gets caught up in a viral scandal and is suspended. Once shared, lives alter in seconds, what’s seen cannot be unseen.  The ramifications for his family are profound.” The prevalence of social media is something that we can all relate to as it impacts our lives – often with shocking consequences.  Direction is by Craig Freimond. The cast features veteran actors Charmaine Weir-Smith and Antony Coleman and Nicolas Hattingh who makes his debut in a professional stage production, with this play. Expelled will premiere in Cape Town, at the Baxter Studio Theatre, from February 7 to March 2, 2024. It then transfers to Johannesburg to The Market Theatre from March 6 to 31, 2024. Read on for more. Info as supplied:

Rosalind Butler’s new South African play – EXPELLED – premieres at the Baxter Theatre and transfers to The Market Theatre in 2024 – bookings are now open!

Following on from their multi-award winning, highly acclaimed production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane, How Now Brown Cow is excited to bring a local, topical, powerful, new work to the South African stage. 

Expelled is a play about social media’s power to connect and its power to destroy.  Can a few minutes of bad judgment ruin a life?  

The production has its South African Premiere in Cape Town at the Studio Theatre at The Baxter on Wednesday February 7, running for a limited season until March 2, 2024.

It then transfers to The Market Theatre from March 6 to 31, 2024.

Tickets for both seasons are available at Webtickets. Early Bird discounts, limited to December 29, 2023 will be available via The Baxter Theatre’s platform for the Cape Town run.

Expelled is a family drama which focuses on the largely ungoverned world of social media.  Alex, a Matric pupil at an elite school, gets caught up in a viral scandal and is suspended. Once shared, lives alter in seconds, what’s seen cannot be unseen.  The ramifications for his family are profound.  

Written by Rosalind Butler, Expelled was created out of How Now Brown Cow’s script development program, The Writers’ Collective during lockdown in 2021.   Directed by Craig Freimond, the cast features Charmaine Weir-Smith and Antony Coleman alongside Nicolas Hattingh. Designs for the production are by Kieran McGregor and Daniel Rutland Manners.

The topicality of Expelled immediately appealed to How Now Brown Cow and we are proud to have nurtured it’s development through The Writers’ Collective,” says Julie-Anne McDowell, founder of and producer at How Now Brown Cow.  “It is a pertinent play for our social media obsessed world, and we believe it’s critical impact will resonate loudly for years to come.  We all need to witness this valuable story.

The Cape Town season will play Tuesday to Saturday at 20h00 with matinee performances at 15h00 on Saturdays. There will also be additional schools’ performances at 11h00 on Tuesdays during the run. The season must close on Saturday March 2 2024 – with no option to extend.  

The production then transfers to Johannesburg’s Market Theatre where it will play in the Mannie Manim Theatre from Wednesday March 6, 2024.

Performances will take place Wednesday to Saturday during the season with evening performances at 19h00 and matinee performances on Saturdays at 15h00 and Sunday performances at 15h00. There will also be additional schools’ performances at 13h00 on Thursdays during the run.

Age advisory: No under 12s

Tickets are also available via Webtickets with Early Bird discounts, limited to  December 29, 2023, available via The Market Theatre platforms.

This production is a must see for all high school learners who make use of social media, and for their parents wading through the minefield – and to this end significant school learner discounts will be on offer via Jeff Brooker on schools@jbpro.co.za at R160 per ticket.

How Now Brown Cow:

How Now Brown Cow was launched in 2020 during a global pandemic. The company, founded by Actor and Writer Julie-Anne McDowell, was established to offer world class South African and international works for local and international audiences and stages. Daniel Galloway, who was The Fugard Theatre’s Managing Director and Lead Producer from 2009 to 2020, is the General Manager and co-Producer alongside Julie-Anne. During the global theatre shutdown of 2020 and 2021, How Now Brown Cow launched the How Now Brown Cow Writer’s Collective which saw the commissioning of 12 new South African scripts several of which are now in the next phase of development. In 2022 the Production Company released their first short film, The Hive, which was screened to critical acclaim on the international and local film festival circuit. The Beauty Queen of Leenane was How Now Brown Cow’s first stage production in South Africa which was presented in Johannesburg in October 2022 and Cape Town’s The Baxter Theatre in August 2023. The production won five Naledi Theatre Awards, including Best Production of a Play. How Now Brown Cow will be staging three new productions in the coming 16 months. For more information, please visit www.hownowbrowncow.co.za 

Creatives and cast:

Rosalind Butler (writer):

After graduating from UCT Drama School, Rosalind worked as an actress, improviser, and director.  She focused on her passion, writing, early in her career and has been entertaining South African television audiences for many years. Her first big break was co-creating and head-writing the acclaimed children’s series Soul Buddyz.  Another highlight was developing and writing SABC’s Home Affairs, nominated twice for Best TV Drama Series for The International Emmy Awards in New York. Rosalind worked on the iconic daily drama Isidingo for more than a decade. She co-wrote the story for the popular feature film Material.

Her play An Unromantic Comedy, loved by audiences and critics, was nominated by The Naledi Awards as Best New Script.  Rosalind loved writing on Lioness, M-Net’s hit drama.  She has been nominated countless times and has won a number of awards.  She loves new challenges and is on a constant quest to become a better writer.  Rosalind is delighted to be working with How Now Brown Cow on Expelled her latest play.  It is an explosive piece combining high drama and dark comedy.  Expelled explores a universe many inhabit but few understand its influence and power.

Craig Freimond (director):

Craig is an award-winning South African writer and director in theatre, film and television. His plays include The King of Laughter, Jump Ralph Jump and Gums & Noses. He has directed more than fifteen plays including The Great Gatsby, Macbeth, Talk Radio, Sweet Phoebe, Gums & Noses and Death of a Colonialist.

He has written and directed five feature films, Gums & Noses, Jozi, Material, Beyond the River and New Material. New film projects include theSA political satire Weekend Special and the human drama The Road to Broad Bay, a SA / NZ co-production. Craig also wrote the hit Nigerian film Oloture, and the sequel Oloture 2 is now in postproduction. Both were for Netflix.

Craig’s television work includes the true crime drama Beneath an adaptation of Alex Yeliseev’s book Cold Case Confession. He is also working on Devil’s Town, for Mnet and Ochre pictures based on the Krugersdorp murders. He wrote the hit Nigerian series Blood Sisters with Zelipa Zulu and is currently working on Blood Sisters 2.

Craig’s telenovela and daily drama experience includes thirteen years on the hit series Rhythm City, where he worked as a writer, story liner, breakdowner, script editor and mentor. He worked with Zelipa Zulu for ten years on this series. Last year with Zelipa Zulu, he co-head-wrote the new legal telenovela Briefsfor SABC3.

For more information: www.craigfreimond.com


Kieren McGregor (set and lighting) and Daniel Rutland Manners (video)

Charmaine Weir-Smith:

Charmaine is an award-winning actress and director. She has performed in and directed over 40 theatre productions. Charmaine’s breakout role was Ophelia in Hamlet for which she won theVita Award for Best Supporting Actressfollowed by Daisy in The Young Visitors – Vita Nomination for Best Actress, Agnes in Agnes of God, Kitty in Charlie’s Aunt, and Em in A Story of an African Farm. Charmaine received the Naledi Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Comedyfor 2 4 The Price of 1 and for Sylvaine Strike’s Pregnant Pause a Naledi Theatre Award Nomination for Best Actress. She played the lead in Rosalind Butler’s An Unromantic Comedy and for six seasons, Charmaine played Shanell in Paul Slabolepszy’s Suddenly the Storm for which she was nominated for Naledi and Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards.

Charmaine’s directing credits include: The Vita nominated musical I Love you, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Annie – Vita Award for Best Musical Production, Big Band Blast – Naledi Award for Best Musical, Captain Entertainment – Naledi Award Best Revue, Paul Slabolepszy’s Freak Country, Tale of the Allergists Wife and Glorious. She directed Nick Boraine in his one-man show Sic which toured South Africa and had a successful off-Broadway run in New York. She directed Athol Fugard’s The Train Driver for The Market Theatre for which she won the Naledi Award for Best Director.In 2022, Charmaine directed The Beauty Queen of Leenane for How Now Brown Cow Productions which had a successful Johannesburg season, winning 5 Naledi Theatre Awards including Best Director for Charmaine and Best Production before transferring to The Baxter Theatre. In 2023, Charmaine directed a sold-out season of Nothing But The Truth for The Theatre on the Square and Sello Maake KaNcube productions.

Charmaine’s television and film career has spanned more than two decades with lead roles in South Africa’s popular daily soaps – Generations, Isidingo, Binnelanders and Scandal. She could be seen in the UK ITV production of Wild at Heart playing Sienna Ruiters and in Showmax’s The Girl from St Agnes.

Her latest film credits include Netflix’s Jadotville and The Jakes Are Missing.

Antony Coleman:

Antony Coleman is a celebrated South African actor and is much loved (and hated) for his roles both on screen and on stage. He is most renowned for his work as the villainous brother David King in the SABC production High Rollers. With over thirty years of experience in the industry, Antony has numerous award-winning film, television, presenting, theatrical, corporate and voiceover campaigns under his belt. Antony graduated from Wits University with a BADA(Hons) Degree majoring in Performance, Directing and Scriptwriting.

Antony has acted in a number of award-winning films, including the Oscar nominated Blood Diamond and Gums and Noses for which he won Best Actor at the New York International Independent Film Festival. He has six Vita Award Nominations for his work in theatre and two SAFTA nominations and one win for Best Actor. He also won Best Supporting Actor at the Naledi Theatre Awards for his performance in Pale Natives at the Market Theatre. His most recent theatrical work includes an adaptation of Ferdinand Oyono’s Houseboy by William Kentridge at the Centre for the Less Good Idea and at the Redcat Theatre in Los Angeles.

Nicolas Hattingh:

Nicolas has appeared in several South African theatre productions. Nicolas has appeared in, Joburg Ballet’s productions of Giselle and Snow White. Most recently, he received his first Naledi Theatre Award for Best Actor in a Student Production for his role as the Emcee in Redhill High School’s production of Cabaret. Nicolas has ten years of formal dance training and is trained in dance styles such as ballet, modern and contemporary dance. This is Nicolas’s first dramatic stage production, and he is very excited to take to the stage as Alex in Expelled.

❇ Sponsored content. Images supplied. Featured image of cast of Expelled– Charmaine Weir-Smith, Nicolas Hattingh and Antony Coleman. The new South African play is by Rosalind Butler and produced by How Now Brown Cow,