City actor’s play has powerful message

Over the past 15 years, he has been on many stages, playing different roles – but recently the spotlight was on Carlo Daniels when he performed his one-man show called Klippies van die grond.

The talented 29-year-old actor who lives in the city, but who is originally from Eastridge in Mitchell’s Plain, transformed the Christ the Mediator Church hall into a theatre on Friday July 21 and Saturday July 22 and hopes to take the show around Mitchell’s Plain.

“I felt so blessed for the response we got. The story is very important and relevant. It is our goal to reach as many young people as possible.

“We are definitely looking at taking the show around Mitchell’s Plain and other communities. It’s a great feeling when you see people come out to experience some theatre and leave with a very powerful message,” he said.

Carlo said the play was about Klippies, a charismatic boy from Mitchell’s Plain, who grew up in one of the most dangerous areas, overwhelmed by gangs, drugs and violence.

“The production parallels two worlds, one of Klippies being consumed by drugs, removed from society, lost in a world of glass pipes, flames, tik, money and desperation. The other, humorous encounters of the community’s memories of their interactions with Klippies and their concerns with his addiction,” he said.

The directors of the show are Iman Isaacs and Raezeen Wentworth who are at UCT doing their Master’s degrees in theatre and performance.

Carlo said it was a great collaborative effort and that he was happy with the final script.

“We all wrote the play together, and with the same aim in mind. Theatre is important, as it is able to open people’s minds and identify issues in society. It is a powerful medium for exposing problems, and can see how real and active they are,” he said.

Carlo said it was of great concern that, in Mitchell’s Plain, drug addiction had become rife, particularly among young people.

“Drug addiction is real and it is breaking down families and the broader community,” he said, adding that they wanted to use theatre to highlight issues such as this.

Speaking about his career in performing arts, Carlo told the CapeTowner he started performing at the age of 13 at his grandmother’s 60th birthday.

“That is when it all started. When I saw the positive reaction from the crowd, that’s when I realised that I could do this I can actually perform,” he said.

Thereafter he started his own boy band, Shy, which performed at, among others, the Madame Zingara dinner theatre.

Carlo landed his first role in a David Kramer musical called Some Like it Vrot, in 2011 and went on to feature in four more David Kramer productions – Kat and the Kings, Blood Brothers, Orpheus in Africa and District Six Kanala – which were all produced at the Fugard Theatre in District Six.

Carlo also worked with Fred Abrahamse in the Canal Walk production of Robin Hood and participated in a clown workshop last year when he was chosen to tour with Clowns Without Borders South Africa (CWBSA), performing to underprivileged children in the Northern Cape.

He is also a student at the Magnet Theatre, an independent physical theatre company based in Observatory. “I have incorporated physical theatre into this production, meaning (that) I use my body, space and limited props to tell a story,” he said.

His advice to young people is to work hard at their craft and believe in themselves.