Sexual violence and harassment against women took centre stage this year, following shocking allegations against several Hollywood bosses and famous actors, chief among them producer Harvey Weinstein and actor Bill Cosby.
The social media campaign #MeToo has resulted in thousands of other victims breaking the silence about harassment in all spheres of society, including the workplace.
It was in answer to this campaign that theatre producer and director Heinrich Reisenhofer came up with #JustMen, a show placing the #MeToo phenomenon in the South African context.
The all-male cast of popular local actors tackle the scourge of violence against women and children in South Africa.
It’s the Baxter Theatre’s latest flagship production and calls for men to unite and take a stand against the abusers who are giving the manne a bad name.
The cast for this drama is Loukmaan Adams, Thando Doni, Sherman Pharo and Johan Baird.
Together, they have developed the play through intensive workshop processes held over four weeks of research and rehear- sals.
Loukmaan says #JustMen provides a platform for the men to express themselves in an era where they are too often painted with the same sexual harasser brush, or they are too scared to give their opinion on the issue for fear of being shot down as insensitive.
“When I got the call to express interest in being cast for #JustMen, I could not pass up the opportunity,” he says.
“I realised that there wasn’t a platform where men get to speak to each other and listen to each other and I knew that I could use this as a springboard to grow personally and be part of this movement.”
He says the workshops were intensely personal and they were all forced to be brutally honest with themselves.
“It has been an incredible and empowering journey getting to know myself and the rest of the cast, who in their own right are big names and have taught me a lot about performing and about healing.
“#JustMen is not a play in the traditional sense, there was no script to follow, so we needed to be brave and dig deep to develop the narrative for this powerful work and to be part of the conversation for change,” he explains.
#JustMen runs from 13 to 30 June at 7.30pm and tickets cost R120.
Booking is through Webtickets or selected Pick n Pay stores.
There is an age restriction of 16 years.