Theatre preview: Sleepless nights and bizarre thoughts -new play, Earworm, premieres in Cape Town- November 10-12 at Theatre Arts, in Observatory

What: Earworm- play
Where: Theatre Arts, Observatory, Cape Town
When and time: November 10-12, 2021, at 7pm
Duration: 45 minutes Tickets: R80
Writer and director: Natalie Fraser
Cast: Frances Sholto-Douglas and Bianca Oosthuizen
Production assistant: Roland du Preez
Instagram: @earworm_play Facebook:

As pandemic numbers stabilize, it is wonderful to see the re-awakening of live performance in Cape Town. Natalie Fraser’s play Earworm, is premiering at Theatre Arts next week- November 10-12, 2021 at 7pm.  In addition to donning the hat as writer, she is directing the play. The performers are Frances Sholto-Douglas and Bianca Oosthuizen. Earworm: You lie awake at night and you cannot get a song, jingle or melody out of your head. That is called an earworm. I think that in pandemic times, many people can relate as their minds are flooded with noise, anxiety and night terrors. Fraser wrote Earworm as a monologue in 2019. She then extended it into a play in her final year of drama studies at UCT, last year [2020]. Fraser says that the narrative follows the “course of a sleepless night and all the bizarre thoughts that keep a person awake.” She adds: “The definition of an earworm is a melody stuck in one’s head, repeating itself on a loop and refusing to go away. In this play, the earworm takes the form of those niggling anxieties that visit us at night; that cannot be ignored when we’re left alone with our thoughts. As we battle these frivolous fixations from bed, we find ourselves on a journey toward darker realizations.”

Earworm was supposed to be Fraser’s final graduating piece at the end of last year [2020] but Rona intervened. “Everyone’s shows were cancelled the week before opening because of Covid so it was never performed. I picked it up earlier this year but it was cancelled again because the cast got Covid. It has been quite a journey to get it to an opening night.” Earworm premieres at Theatre Arts next week- November 10-12, 2021.

Stir crazy: Frances Sholto-Douglas in the new South African play, Earworm, by Natalie Fraser. Supplied.
New South African play: Natalie Fraser – writer and director of the play, Earworm – premiering in Cape Town at Theatre Arts, in Observatory – November 10-12, 2021. Supplied.
Earworm – the team

Natalie Fraser

Natalie graduated at the end of 2020, from The University of Cape Town with a BA (hons) in Theatre and Performance, specialising in Theatre Making. During her studies, she was introduced to multiple performance methods and ways of creating theatre. While studying, she developed her love of writing, collaborative and devised theatre making and she also immersed herself in learning about backstage and the production aspects of theatre. She says: “I am excited to continue learning and experiencing what theatre has to offer.”  

Frances Sholto-Douglas

Frances Sholto-Douglas is a South African actress, born in Cape Town. She trained in acting and musical theatre at the Cape Academy of Performing Arts before attending the University of Cape Town, where she received an Honours Degree in Theatre and Performance. She has gained traction through her work in films and television shows such as The Kissing Booth 2 (2020), Black Mirror (2011), and Samson (2018). She has acted in plays such as Zakes Mda’s Ways of Dying, directed by Lara Foot and Esiseleni Sedini directed by Lwanda Sindaphi. Frances has trained in opera part-time since 2015.  

Bianca Oosthuizen

Bianca is an actress currently based in Cape Town. She began acting at a young age. After school she trained at the University of Cape Town, and received a B.A. (hons) in Theatre and Performance with distinction. Highlights from her time as a student include playing Beth in the Sam Shepard classic, A Lie of the Mind, directed by Geoffrey Hyland; acting in Phoenix, directed by Justin Wyatt-Smith and collaborating with Chloe Cattin in creating her final year piece, Nest. After university Bianca has worked predominantly in commercials, film and television. Wanting to develop her live performance skills, she travelled to New York City to study acting in a summer conservatoire under Seth Barrish at the Barrow Group. She is continuously striving to not only better her craft but to contribute meaningfully to diverse projects. She wishes to move forward with passion, curiosity and fearlessness. Hoping to work with teams that share her desire to create compelling work in the future.

Biography info -as supplied.