Director Sylvaine Strike staged Sam Shepard’s Curse of the Starving Class in Stellenbosch, 40 years to the day after it was first performed on March 2 1978. "I’ve always felt that I completely get him," Strike says about the US playwright, who died in 2017 and whose work is being acknowledged again, with local productions planned. This is Shepard’s most autobiographical work about his father, who features in many of his plays. But this one deals mostly with the little people targeted by the greedy. Curse of the Starving Class circles around a dysfunctional family as their farm collapses. "It’s the perfect nuclear family — a mother, father and two children, a son and a daughter — and they’re completely dysfunctional," says Strike. She staged Molière’s The Miser and Tartuffe recently and moving to Shepard made complete sense to her. She ensures his play is not all about the horrors of hardship — there’s always hope and a smile. Strike makes light of things where she can with movement ...

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