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Shakespeare's R&J is now on stage at Montecasino

Shakespeare’s R&J will be on stage in Pieter Toerien’s Theatre, Montecasino 23 August – 8 September.

RJ2RJ8Joe Calarco’s award-winning Shakespeare’s R&J re-imagines Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers as two adolescent schoolboys in a Catholic boarding school during the 1950s. Their love for one another becomes the ultimate forbidden love in an austere, repressive all male milieu.

Four pupils discover an illicit copy of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and start acting it out in their dormitory late one night. Perceptions and understandings are turned upside down as the fun of play acting turns serious and the words and meanings begin to hit home and universal truths emerge.

Shakespeare’s R&J was first presented by Expanded Arts Inc. New York in September 1997. It then opened at the John Houseman Theatre, New York in March 1998 where it ran for over a year (385 performances) making it the longest running version of Romeo and Juliet in New York. Calarco subsequently staged the play in Chicago, Washington D.C, Japan and on London’s West End. Other productions have been staged with great success across the United Stated, Europe and Australia. The South African première was presented by Abrahamse & Meyer Productions at the 2011 National Arts Festival, Grahamstown.

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Justice Edwin Cameron retires

Justice Edwin Cameron stepped down from the Constitutional Court today (20 August 2019).
Justice Cameron has been a judge for 25 years, and before that he worked as a human rights lawyer in the apartheid era, also defending ANC members.
In 1999, he revealed that he was HIV positive and fought for HIV/AIDS and gay-rights activism. He has written an annual World AIDS Day message for Exit for the last decade.
In his first book, Witness to AIDS, he talks about his struggle with the illness.
Cameron was appointed to the Constitutional Court in 2008 by then acting president Kgalema Motlanthe and served in the role for 10 years and eight months.

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India: Women who beat anti-gay law come out as a couple

Menaka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju successfully challenged Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which punished LGBTQ+ relations. The Supreme Court lawyers opposed the draconian laws, which were introduced during the British rule of India.
IndianlescoupleThe law criminalised homosexual acts as an ‘unnatural offence’ and has been heavily contested in the last few decades. They worked together on the landmark case in 2018 when the Supreme Court of India ruled that Section 377 no longer applies to consensual gay sex between adults.
Speaking on a TV show hosted by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, the lawyers spoke about their work to scrap the rule and it bought them closer together. They chuckled and confirmed to Zakaria that they were, in fact, a couple.
On the show, Menaka argued against the archaic laws, saying they should have never been added in during colonial times. She said:
‘For queer folks in all these post-colonial countries, our governments have to have a sense that these are not our laws, these were never our cultures.
‘And why have we not been more proactive in bringing forth law reform and expanding freedom? Surely, independence and decolonisation must mean that?’
Though they were successful in repealing the law in 2018, their efforts to do so in 2013 had failed where they had also worked together. After their landmark victory, the duo received international acclaim, going onto being named by TIME magazine as two of the 100 most influential people of 2019.

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Pride and Purpose

Celebrating 30th years of Johannesburg Pride Parade and Festival and officially launching of Pride of Africa.
JhbPridelandscapeBuilding on last year’s theme of ‘Authentically You’, Pride of Africa will officially be introduced in 2019 as a unified platform and voice for a diverse community. The platform will see the introduction of a lifestyle conference and youth shelter, in addition to supporting events being hosted across Africa. This includes the continent’s longest running pride event: Johannesburg Pride. The intent is to build individual and collective pride within the communities across Africa.
After 30 years of advocacy and celebration, Johannesburg Pride has grown to become the most established and well-attended pride event in South Africa. Attracting an increasing number of supporters throughout Africa every year; it has become a key supporter in the African LGBTQ+ME space. As a result, it has adopted a much bigger cause, going beyond the parade and beyond its own borders, striving to foster a culture of authenticity, acceptance, and support.
In order to capture the intention, collaboration, and strength of Pride of Africa, a new visual identity was created to represent equality and acceptance across the continent. Underpinning this new identity is a symbl of liberation and unity: a flag inspired by those of all 54 African countries. A banner that helps to create a positive stance for a continent where the community faces such overwhelming negativity. A emblem that says you are accepted, you are welcome, and you are safe where this flag flies.
Johannesburg Pride
The 30th Johannesburg Pride Parade and Festival will take place on Saturday, 26 October 2019 in Sandton. Gates will open at 12h00 and the march will start at 14h00. To find out more about this year’s event, visit follow Johannesburg Pride on social media.

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Exit's August cover

345Cover0819Exit’s cover model this month is Latheem Gabriel, whom some of you may have read about last month when Exit ran information about him because of the recent release of his latest album, Seed of Unease.

Latheem has been singing since a very young age, when he grew up in Mitchell’s Plain and attended High School in Heathfield. He was trained to play the guitar and violin. His soulful voice and tone is reminiscent of Alanis Morissette meets Tracey Chapman, though in at least one attempt to get into SA Idols the dumb judges there didn’t give him a golden ticket. LOL.LatheemG27

His single “Human Being” was selected as the official Pretoria Pride anthem for 2017 and maybe we will see him back there this year. See more on Latheem at

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