Archive for the 'theatre' Category
Report by Stephanie Shumba & Kayleigh Tuck
Adapted from the original book by Pinto Ferreira, Last Supper is a play about a boy who goes to live with his aunt Roseline in the small town of Richmond, South Africa. He moves from Europe after the deaths of his mother and step father to live with his last surviving relative. Abused as a child, Ignatius never felt like he belonged to the world and the world rejected him. However, the community loved it when he dressed up and performed for them at night or at special events. He loved doing this because for a brief moment he felt loved by those who abused and picked on him.
Report by Athini Majali & Zizipho Majavu
Ityala Lamawele is a re-enactment of a book written by a legendary IsiXhosa writer, SEK Mqhayi. The play illustrates how IsiXhosa traditionally handle disputes and the language to do this.
Report by Kellan Botha, Nontobeko Gumede & Sarah Knight
Fiona Ramsay teams up with director Janna Ramos-Violante in this powerful one-woman performance. Playing Stella Goldschag, a German Jewess in wartime Berlin, Ramsay delivers a powerful performance which delves into ideas of race, beauty, and the high cost of survival in a dangerous world. Through emotive monologue and lighting, “Blonde Poison” delivers a sombre truth: good people can be driven to terrible deeds when their survival and the survival of those they love are at stake.
Report by Zondelela Njaba & Afika Lulo Jadezweni
A musical rendition of the history of apartheid South African told though song, dance, hip hop, poetry and multimedia. It is a reflection of the past, interrogation of the present and hope for the future. Throughout the musical there is a focus on the transition from boy to man. The director, Jerry Pooe, says this is a metaphor for how change is essential for growth and progress. The live band adds a sense of the South African authenticity.
Report by Athini Majali & Zizipho Majavu
‘Vat En Sit’ is a common South African expression to describe an unmarried couple that stays together. This is theatre about a young woman who moves out of home because of circumstances that lead to her rape. After struggling to cope with what happened to her she then moves in with her boyfriend. Their ‘vat en sit’ relationship works well but the boyfriend later abuses her and things spiral out of control.
Report by Afika Jadezweni & Ethan Van Diemen
Multi award-winning theatre, television and radio actor and producer, Sello Maake kaNcube pays homage to Can Themba in this biographical play about the late writer’s life, writing and circumstances that inspired some of Themba’s most intriguing works. The play is one that explores some of the challenges and contradictions of being an intellectual, educated black man under the Apartheid regime caught between worlds.
Report by Kayleigh Tuck & Stephanie Shumba
An adaptation of Ruth First’s 1956 novel, Ruth First: 117 days is a remarkable solo performance of the incarceration of the white, female activist under South Africa’s apartheid system’s 90-day clause. Under solitary confinement, First was interrogated about her involvement in the Rivonia Trial, but refused to provide information to the security police.
Actress Jackie Rens dramatises Ruth’s painful and lonely days in prison as she fears for her children, her family and her friends of the anti-apartheid movement. Director Marcel Meyer explains his effective choice of set for Ruth’s story, while Jackie Ren provides a detailed account of Ruth’s character as a phenomenal woman.
Report by Afika Lulo Jadezweni & Athini Majali
Aza-Nya is Five-to is a sketch comedy that satirizes the South African condition through song and theatre. We chat to Kitty, MoMo, Zethu and Tumy about Aza-Nya, being woke and women in a male dominated field. They explain their use of satire as a tool that brings to light serious issues that are usually taken lightly. In their National Arts Festival debut they cover race, patriarchy, our education system and safe sexual practises. Aza-Nya is Five-To is a good dose of Black Girl Magic.
Report by Zondelela Njaba, Zizipho Majavu & Armand Mukenge
The depiction of the racial tension is barely evident and the prejudices the piece promises to confront are done so at a minimum. Different scenarios in the production raise questions about the piece itself and if the production could put more emphasis on the race tension. The production is definitely a conversation starter and challenges one to really think about internalised prejudices as well as possible discrimination. Although aimed at the black and Indian communities, it definitely speaks to a wider audience and the façade people of different races put up in public.
Report by Michael Dorfling
Premiering during this year’s National Arts Festival, “This is for keeps” portrays the story of a young white couple living in a 1980’s South Africa. The play sheds light into some of the turmoil of living during apartheid in a privileged skin, particularly highlighting the issue of domestic abuse and violence. Director Nondumiso Msimanga talks us through the history and symbolism of the play, and explains her attachment to its content.
Report by Sebastian Burger, Bracken Lee-Rudolph, Zondelela Njabo, Zizipho Majavu, Athini Majali & Mihlali Ntsabo
The 42nd National Arts Festival kicked off at the 1820 Settlers Monument in Grahamstown on Wednesday, 29 July.
MEC of Sport, Recreation Arts, and Culture, Pemmy Majodina was present alongside Makana Mayor, Nomhle Gaga, and Arts Festival CEO Tony Lankester. Earlier in the day at the press briefing the National Arts Festival’s government funding and Grahamstown’s water crisis were discussed.