The Tides in Me(dea)

Drama / Physical Theatre
Written and Devised by Hope BANDA, Lutho BOOI, Neo GUMEDE, Olwethu KUNENE, Grace LORENZO, Lebohang MATSIMELA, Aman NGEMA, Olwethu NTANJANA-MAPISA, Deborah-Keir PAULSEN, Lunga RUBULUZA, Nicole SMITH, Yolanda NTANYANA | Directed by Chuma SOPOTELA | Performed by Hope BANDA, Lutho BOOI, Aman NGEMA, Lunga RUBULUZA, Nicole SMITH and Yolanda NTANYANA | Projections by Grace LORENZO | Costumes and Set by Cast & CTDPS | Presented in collaboration with The Mothertongue Project
PG 14+ mature content

'I am Medea, I am alone and this place is a grave'

This play is a contemporary reimagining of Eurpides' Greek tragedy Medea and it explores the ordinary yet multidimensional South African woman who is constantly fighting a losing battle. Heartbroken and stricken with grief, Medea, sits begging and praying to her mother to release her from the pain she has experienced living in South Africa. The mother is an omnipresent entity that she keeps going back to for comfort and/or love; and is representative of all the ears South African women are constantly begging to hear them. This play asks the question, “What are you doing South Africa?” “What are you doing to Medea, to our women?”. It asks where South African women's anger sits and why it keeps haunting us. The women are drowning, the women seek an urgent cleansing, they dig graves- their own graves. Medea is me, she is you, she is every woman seen and unseen. She resides in subtlety, she resides in chaos, she is beauty, she is beastly, and she is tired. In this performance we have found the voice to respond, it is time that she is heard, listen when she speaks.

About the play

Our interdisciplinary approach aims to change the way we think of female narratives in SA Theatre and how we create a subversion in which they sink in.  There is a poetic & repetitive use of the word Mama in reference to naturalistic Earthy elements which indicates the inner monologue of the performance body. The same body which later turns beastly... drawing from a pseudoscientific idea of Evolution and the unravelling to which it can turn. These themes on stage are later largely characterized & amplified by images of what the beast inside of Medea’s mind might look like. The play is largely contemporary as it deals with the legal/justice system in its incoherent ability to adhere to women’s suffering. There is reference to attacking the legal system in the closing sequence, as she suffocates the words out:

“Umoya wokuphindisela, Ukuphindisela ubuhlungu bami, Ukufunzwa imvelo yodlame.”

Medea is a story of a woman scorned. The idea of a woman burning within her own skin and washed away by the tides of letting go. The Tides of forgiving, forgetting, and moving towards a sense of self-assurance & inherent power. The original context of Medea narrates the story of a woman who suffers through the pain of betrayal from a husband and a community that turns on her. Medea’s mother is a character who largely influences the story as she is a recurring memory from some of her deepest hurts. An enchantress, she is described as, who marries Greek God Jason and prophecies about the trials she will endure with him. In Our Adaptation of Medea, we reference a lover, who is waiting beneath water to meet their end. Tides of feeling and emotion riddle Medea’s journey through love and yearning, as she pleas with the world that ‘seas are too big to swim alone,’ and how the vast nature of her love will spur a rebirth in her. The play references Death, Rebirth, Water, Glass as a reflection of how Medea will journey through the piece. There is a Burial, and there is Rebirth.


Karabo Hope Banda

Karabo Hope Banda is an actor, singer and digital performance art maker who hails from a small town in Limpopo called Northam. She recently graduated from the University of Cape Town with Honours in Theatre and Performance. Before UCT, she spent two years as a student and freelance artist in The South African State Theatre and was also part of the State Theatre Youth Choir. She has been in productions such as, The Trials, White Noise, Ezemiphefumlo, Conversations with my Mother, The Tides in Me(dea) [2021], Reën Bloed Nasie, The Crucible many others. Her interests as a performance maker lies in the use of poetic language and music to bring stories to life

Lutho Booi

Lutho Booi is a Cape Town based Scenographer/Performance maker & actor who began his journey in the world of performing arts as an actor, where he found passion for storytelling, embodying different characters and the magic of the stage. However as someone who has always been fascinated by the behind-the-scenes aspect of theatre, when the opportunity to explore Scenography as a study and career choice was presented to him, he did not hesitate to take it. Through a hands-on experience and a dedicated study, he immersed himself into the art of transforming spaces and creating immersive environments that breathe life into stories. The blend of his skills as an actor and Scenographer allows him not only to perform on the stage but also be a part of creating the worlds in which these performances come to life. He enjoys pushing the boundaries of creativity and storytelling through performance and performance making. He’s performed in a number of productions which include Like Lambs To The Slaughter by Freddy Nyezi, One Two Many by Olwethu Ntanjana, Mike Galeboe, Cassidy Phillips and himself, etc.

Aman Ngema

Aman is a performer who is interested in finding Faith in all spheres of performance. She has performed in '" The Women" a play featured in the Zabalaza Festival 2024. She enjoys watching, reading and performing in absurd plays that tackle themes around identity and the psyche. She comes from a dance background having done ballet for 11 years and performing in The Playhouse Company in Durban. Movement is a significant part of who Aman is, which explains her keen interest in physical theatre. She aims to take up space in a world that seemingly does not feel designed for people like her.

Yolanda Ntanyana

Yolanda is a jack of all trades,Theatre maker, an actress/singer/ dancer/Yoga instructor and a Voice Over artist. I am passionate about making theatre and a soldier at HE(ART). I am currently a 3rd year student at the University of Cape Town a member of Black Pearls under Elvis Sibeko records a member of Light of life Theatre organisation, an Alumni of Baba Yaya Dance Academy and Indoni Dance, arts and leadership Academy and performed I have performed in stages such as Arts cape, Baxter theatre, Star theatre etc. my works include (to mention few)Engomeni with Zimbini Makwetu, Ukuwa kwe nkaba (now a published book) Directed by Mthobisi Mphandle, Imvula: choreographed by Maxwell Xolani Rani,Swart wyn Directed by Martine Zeeman. I have toured in Shanghai China for a dance festival representing South Africa. "When you hear & See me sing,act, making theatre and dance, you hear my heart speak" Yolanda Ntanyana

Lungu Rubuluza

Lunga Rubuluza, uCwerha- A versatile performer who sings and dances. He is in his 4th and final year in Acting at the University of Cape Town. He fell in love with Dramatic Arts in high school as a way to escape his reality. This love has evolved to a need to give a voice and heal beings through the healing of oneself. Follow him on tiktok: @lunga_rubu

Nicole Smith

Nicole Smith is a recent graduate from the University of Cape Town who studied a BA in Theatre and Performance, within the acting stream. Nicole has taken part in productions such as A Midsummer Night Dream Adaptation, The Tides in Me(dea), Ezemiphefumlo…of the souls, Everybody Else (is F*!king Perfect), White Noise, The Trials and most recently Misplaced Shoes at the National Arts Festival this year. Nicole aspires to be both a stage and film actress, with the possibility of teaching someday, but right now her main focus is on learning and experiencing all sectors of the performing arts, to engage in theatre life as a whole. She entered the world of acting as “just” an actress, but she feels that her talents have extended too more than just a singular skill set. She is a performer, who has dabbled in physical performance, singing, writing, dance, performance making and workshop.