Coal Yard

15 April 2024

For Immediate Release:

PACOFS starts its fiscal year with an exhilarating theatre show, 18-20 April 2024

Performing Arts Centre of The Free State has partnered with the Market Theatre Foundation to offer you one of the most touching experiences through a drama production “Coal Yard.

With a title like Coal Yard, described as the worst place in the world to work, and the issue of sexual abuse, who’d have thought you would be laughing for almost 90 minutes? Coal Yard starts with a burst of energy that never lets up and even though the actors last the course, the audience must keep a close watch to stay abreast. The pace is lightning fast, the dialogue quick and witty and the four actors change character as speedily as they swap hats. And all the time, they add their soundtrack as chairs squeak, doors adopt a personality and even a taxi ride takes on a life of its own. Donkeys and dogs, babies and their mamas, an Indian boss, abusive fathers, doting mothers, and duplicitous girlfriends are all part of the repertoire.

The play is as exciting as the genre that bubbles with creativity from beginning to end. There’s too much to catch it all, the vernacular changes so often it’s difficult to check if it’s a language you understand, but none of it matters because the meaning is always crystal clear. If anyone doubts the vibrancy of our theatre, Coal Yard is proof enough of the kind of talent that is emerging all the time. From the exuberant acting to the clever script that has you laughing all the way yet still whacks you with an extraordinary message in the end, Coal Yard establishes yet another uniquely South African way of telling a story.

It crosses cultures and ages as it introduces theatre that plays with and speaks to the people.

It is difficult to believe that the origin is a community theatre festival and it underscores. the Market Theatre’s claim that the annual Zwakala Festival is one of the most important showcases for new South African theatre talent. Coal Yard should travel around the country and pack them in. It displays the wealth of the South African theatre tradition while at the same time reinventing storytelling in a way that is accessible and hugely entertaining. And yet, the message never loses impact.

Tickets are available on Webtickets and PACOFS’ booking office for R100pp or R80pp for group booking.



For media enquiries, contact Maseeta Makgabane at 079 875 6177.