South African playwright Ashraf Johaardien

Theatre Out in Orange County, California will present the third US production of Ashraf Johaardien’s play, Happy Endings Are Extra, in as many years.

The play is a provocative story of unravelling love and betrayal as one man comes to terms with the life he is leading and the one he has left behind.

The play had its roots as a tribute to the victims of the “Sizzlers massacre”, where seven gay rent boys were bound and shot in the back of the head in Cape Town in 2003.

“This shocking play is non-judgmental. All three characters are complex, neither wholly good nor wholly bad. Throughout (this play) one is aware of the pain that each causes the other simply by trying to learn more about oneself,” said Professor Marianne McDonald in the lecture Postcolonial Legacies.

Happy Endings, first presented on the Main Programme of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in 2004, has gained international success over the past five years. It was the first of several Artscape New Writing Productions to be presented at the Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival.

Tom Williams, writing for, described Happy Endings Are Extra as “A well written and well acted drama that contains several plot twists that raises the complexity of sexual addiction”.

Ashraf Johaardien is an openly gay, Cape Town-born playwright, performer, columnist, and arts manager and has had his work performed and produced at mainstream theatres and festivals across South Africa, in Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands and the USA. His other plays include Coloured Son X, Salaam Stories, SALAAM, STRIPPED, Miracle, and Ecce Homo!

Theatre Out’s production of Happy Endings Are Extra will be presented in October.

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