The Bells of Amersfoort
Written by Zakes Mda (2002)
We may not have all the answers to amend the socio-political strife we find ourselves in, but we artists do have the ability, responsibility and will to reflect on such narratives in remembrance of those whose shoulders we stand upon who anchor social change. To illustrate these stories to the masses in magical ways: the grain of salt taken with the reality we endure.
No Complaints, New Day, New Dawn
A response to Samuel Beckett's Happy Days
Ultimately, for me, No Complaints is about hope. Through pain, we must transcend and reach for “better days” and Wendy (all three selves) finds the strength to keep going: “We cannot give up… it will end someday.” Sure, it might not be better today- “back into the past and into future” and why is everyone “so f**ing happy and smiling and laughing” and posturing that there are no complaints. But, cheerfulness pushes though. It speaks to the resilience of people in South Africa – the fortitude and grit to seek out better days and not complain – too much. “Can’t complain”, “No Complaints” is very Cape Town. How you doing? “Ja, we can’t complain; no complaints…” Robyn Cohen
A Faint Patch of Light
Photo by Clare Louise Thomas
An interpretation of Athol Fugard’s Statements After An Arrest Under the Immorality Act (1972)
The story I arrive at is a poignant portrayal of two black womxn loving together on the margins of society. To be queer and black and a womxn means that every day I must live in fear of, not only ostracisation from heteronormative society, but also of real violence being done to my body. For me this context of fear is much like the fear the ‘Immorality Act’ except that here the judge, jury and executioner is not just a racist white supremacist government but a society continuing to perpetuate rape culture
Where She Walked
Inspired by Zakes Mda's Heart of Redness
Where She Walked follows the relationship between a father and his daughter. The daughter represents the western world while the father’s views are quite set in stone, representing culture and tradition. I wanted to make a production that spoke to black urban youth and their connection, or lack thereof, to their traditions and cultures. I wished to understand the importance of the rural landscape in helping black people form their identity. The production does not answer any questions but rather it aims to evoke a sense of longing and a willingness to connect to the intangible, spiritual traces that linger in our genealogy.
Pieces is a futuristic absurd comedy that explores existence in all its complexity.
The play started as an exploration of the gaze - how it relates to us as black womxn: alienation, inclusion and trying to fit in whilst trying to find an individual voice - the tension of disrupting an already established space.
Reimagining The Native Who Caused All The Trouble
The Native Who Caused All The Trouble is a play that allows us to look at our own history, and discuss our relationship with religion and land ownership and talk about it and its effects without being hateful or oppressive to any race. The protagonist in the play, Tselilo shows us the importance of being a teacher. It is important to talk about the things that make us uncomfortable instead of hiding behind silence.
Personified, Reparation is a clean-lined, iPhone edge. The new-aged theatre goer who only watches local content. It listens to Cassper Nyovest. It’s impolite. It’s loud. It’s got a potty mouth. It graduated from UCT in 2015. Stun grenades were thrown at it outside Parliament. It will give you your tip when it gets its land. It’s got one bullet. It hunts Sparrows while tweeting. It drinks Lemonade and ice tea. It speaks in memes. It’s lit AF.
My Children! My Africa!
Written by Athol Fugard (1989)
The relevance of this play doesn't excite me. It frightens me - Mahlatsi
At the Edge of the Light
A modern Selkie tale that reunites a grandmother with her drenched granddaughter one storm swept night, when the sea is high and the beach has crept under the door of the rickety cottage.
In Wag Van
Die vol maan rondomtalie met haar gesig, ‘n antieke skedel wat sommige glo die dood van kinders aankondig. Dalk is dit die vrees vir dood wat hulle sou raaksien, die aand toe die maan bewegingloos in die nag gaan stilhou.
In Wag Van poetically addresses what it means to wait, and how far anxiety can test us. This performance run is dedicated to the many young children who have recently been abducted in the Cape Town so-called coloured communities.
Hi there. Thank you for coming to watch the show. I'm afraid you have already missed it.
A star hits the ground and a magical creature comes to life.
Written by Martin Crimp (1993)
Crimp's slick, sick-sexy masterpiece is an eloquent comment on the fuckery of art and the world. Basically.
PHALA OOKEDITSE PHALA
Cantos Reborn explores the psyche of an unborn girl child who refuses to be born into the South Africa that women know and experience.
Drawing off the experience of millions of South Africans who are still waiting for the world that was promised in 1994, Eutopia asks the question – can it ever exist?
The performers face the back and perform a movement trio that has many moments when there is a pause in the action. In performance, they pause and only move again when they hear a sound from the audience (cough, shift, laugh etc). [The audience may or may not pick up on this interaction, it is not important – hopefully they will not know exactly that it is the sound, but will get a sense of their own presence in the space]. [This might be the first actual scene after the preset and or roses].
The knitting may also pause in these pauses, and resume with the movement.
When I started I wanted to tell a love story. I didn’t have the courage to explore the politics or cultures that have torn my homeland apart for centuries. This process has helped me find that courage, and with that courage I now understand the gravity in loving my own soil, culture, traditions and people - Lidija Marelic
KHAYELIHLE DOM GUMEDE
An adaptation of Can Themba's short story Crepuscule (1970)
In the tradition of several recent revivals such as Farber’s Mies Julie and Kerfoot’s Statements after an Arrest under the Immorality Act, this high energy, fast-paced production of Crepuscule takes a look at a time much closer to who and where we are today, than we would like to admit.
The people you are about to meet see the world in a different light to what we have defined as normal, they are in search of acceptance, in search of a world that doesn’t discriminate against things it does not know…
Does this world exist?
Will they succeed in their search for what is ordinary?
Will they capture the sanity they were told that they once lost?
TSEPO WA MAMATU
Thabo Mbeki and Other Nightmares
Mbeki understood how bastardised our nation was, yet could not rise above the tide and grip of her circumstances. He played to these circumstances unknowingly and when he realized how badly he had erred, he lacked the political will and clout to rewrite his history differently.
Words Words Words
Written by David Ives (1987)
There is no business like monkey business.
Written by Athol Fugard (1972)
Statements is complicated- it doesn't try to give easy answers. It has a visceral power. The emotional immediacy allows you in, past the history and the politics to see what this Act, what this System, did; the devastation it caused, at a fundamental level, to one relationship, to two people.
Enter The Maids
An interweaving of Genet's The Maids (1947) and Phewa's Under The Pigeon Coop (2010)
a dark and mysterious piece of theatre that tackles hard issues of identity, slavery, womanhood and sexuality, and challenges the boxes that society so often is comfortable leaving untouched
between you and me
Relationships make good entertainment and art because they are a never ending cause for reflection, disgust, comedy, interest and of course drama - Sarah Keevy
That’s where they fail, isn’t it? They never state the offence, it’s always only the brutality of being kicked awake in the middle of the night. Of having a boot kicked into your groin and being hurled into a metal cage.
There was no cage.