Zubayr Charles speaks about his play Mercy

Mercy is a theatre production (written and directed by Zubayr Charles). It was part of the 14th annual Zabalaza Festival at the Baxter Theatre last week.

Mercy features a cast of talented and upcoming actors: Jennifer Morris, Ibtisaam Florence, Vuyokazi Bulu, Jethro Dylan Thomas and Sharfa du Plessis.

Synopsis: After being sent to an old-age home by her two children, Aunty Kaashiefah Momsen, an elderly woman suffering from dementia, forges a strong bond with her night nurse named Mercy. As the story of this newly formed companionship unfolds, it becomes clear that not everything is as it appears to be with Nurse Mercy.” LitNet. The link to the Q&A can be found below.

  • At the end of the Baxter Zabalaza Theatre Festival run, Sharfu du Plessis won in the best supporting actress category for her role as Lameez, the dutiful daughter.

    The play also received a best actor nomination for Jethro Dylan Thomas who played Latief. And Zubayr received a best script nomination which garnered a Top 4 spot out of 31 scripts.
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Zubayr Charles grew up in the picture-postcard neighbourhood of the Bo-Kaap. He teaches English First Language at the Good Hope Seminary High School and coordinates the school's drama club. At the same time, he is busy with his master's degree in creative writing at UCT. 'I write short stories, but I also consider myself a poet and playwright. In 2019 I showcased my first play dealing with gender-based violence The Battered Housewives' Club.' Zubayr is in the process of self-publishing an anthology of poems on the topic of the gentrification of the Bo-Kaap. Zubayr was hesitant about submitting his work to the Kommadagga panel. 'I have learnt that reading is subjective and people can either really like or dislike one's writing. So, I wasn't sure how the panellists would respond to my submission. When I received the good news, it was humbling because, although I have grown more confident in my writing, I wasn't sure about the reaction I would receive.' The short story he submitted deals with many of the taboos that millennials in Cape Town struggle with and that older and more conservative generations may not necessarily warm towards. 'I feel extremely honoured to be part of this programme and I hope to improve my writing in order to continue sharing the stories of the marginalised in the Cape Town of today.'

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