99 pp., paperback, Cape Town, 2011
"Abnormal Loads" was co-produced by Think Theatre, The National Arts Festival, The Catalina UnLtd and the Playhouse Company. The production was commissioned as part of Neil Coppen's Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Theatre, 2011. It was first performed at the Rhodes Theatre, Grahamstown, in June 2011.
"In 'Abnormal Loads' director and playwright Neil Coppen warned of the consequences of regurgitating the past, which allows it to permeate and overshadow the present, thus pre-empting a situation in which it could be replayed. Coppen made his point through a tragi-comedy centred on a young coloured man brought up in a white family who boast of their colonial history - he eventually finds himself trapped in it and becomes subject to its consequences, though it is not of his own making. Coppen didn't simply juxtapose the past and present, he allowed history to run parallel to the present, eventually allowing the two to intersect, at its climax, in such a way that they become indistinguishable from each other. " Sunday Independent
"Coppen's accomplished dramatic comedy, 'Abnormal Loads', is a must-see. An amagamation of ghost story, love drama, historical epic and dark comedy, the events present and past unfold seamlessly." The Mail & Guardian
Neil Coppen works as an actor, writer, director and designer in Durban. His plays include "Suicidal Pigeons", "Two...", "The Beginning and the End" (co-written and performed with Clare Mortimer), "Tin Bucket Drum" and "Tree Boy".