Play inspired by many true queer stories

Lethabo Bereng and Kopo Jake Nathane in Born Naked. PICTURE: Kirsten Harris

The coming-of-age story, Born Naked, runs at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio stage for its Cape debut, from Tuesday April 19 to Saturday April 30.

Under the direction of Kirsten Harris, it stars Kopo Jake Nathane and Lethabo Bereng.

The play centres on the character Blaq Widow and her relationship with her drag mother, Queen Bling. Travelling in time, it follows Blaq Widow on her journey on trains, to drag pageants, inside back rooms and dressing rooms. It is a complex story layered with the intricacies of two people navigating their way through vibrant, colourful, and sometimes violent spaces in South Africa.

A myriad real South Africanqueer stories is woven into the play, with specific reference to the life of Thapelo Makhutle, who was brutally murdered in a violent hate crime in Kuruman in the Northern Cape in 2012.

Born Naked pays homage to Thapelo and to the many other LGBTQI+ people and the lives they lived. I wanted to explore these stories with the cast to interrogate the way in which queer stories are told by the media,” says Harris.

“I want us to shift our focus to celebrating the memory of their lives rather than the way in which they died. Most importantly, I want us as South Africans to have critical conversations and dialogue about hate crimes and the society that we have created. I want us to talk about the urgent need for the National Assembly to expedite the passing of The Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill.”

Ticket prices range from R100 to R150. Book through Webtickets or Pick n Pay stores. For discounted corporate, group or schools block bookings, fundraisers or charities, contact Carmen Kearns on or 021 680 3993.