Playwright: Jemma Kahn // Director: Helen Iskander
Sometimes, in war, famine and radical times of change, there is someone still standing. And sometimes, they are not alone. Amongst the dunes of post-2050 earth a mirage of humanity glimmers in the heat.
Directed by Helen Iskander (Nominated ABSA ‘Best Director 2009’ award at the KKNK, for The Famished Road). Designed by Jemma Kahn and performed by Kyla Davis (ImpACT award winner for Theatre 2010) and Mongi Mthombeni (NAF Golden Ovation Award Winners for The Butcher Brothers (2010) and Naledi Award winners for Best Cutting Edge production 2010) this collaboration of award-winning artists brings you an exquisitely visual new play of epic proportions.
Planet B was originally performed as part of the SA Devised Season at WITS Theatre in 2011 and subsequently went on to tour to the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown 2011 and the Out The Box Festival, Cape Town 2011 (where it received a special mention for Excellence at the Handspring Awards.) The play also formed part of the official cultural programme at the international COP17 conference on climate change in Durban (Dec 2011).
Post-apocalypse, somewhere in South Africa, two survivors encounter each other and face off in a struggle for survival. The play deals with hostility and hospitality, sharing and stealing, trust and betrayal, generosity and selfishness. A brilliantly versatile set, evocative sound effects and gifted actors combine to make this a thoroughly enjoyable show. – Cue, July 2011
Through careful interactions and cunning narrative, we see how human selfishness begets more suffering. How living eco-consciously can be done on the tightest means. How generosity of spirit can impact a world greater than just one’s own. Now that’s clever consciousness. Planet B provides carefully crafted theatre with some beautiful visual elements. The set, for instance, is a magical assemblage of salvaged canvas structures and spare parts. It somehow manages to be both crazy futuristic contraption and cosy homestead, with inventive ‘green’ solutions to all life’s necessities (not sparing the proverbial kitchen sink). Infinitely adaptable, it becomes by turn a life pod, a cave, a makeshift stage and a sailboat, proving that the extraordinary always lies behind the everyday, if we only have the creativity to unlock it. – Carla Lever, Out the Box, Sept 2011
A post climate change apocalyptic survival story involving transformations and adaptations of the set, setting and character, Planet B explores the potential for relationship and humane gesture in the context of a competition for resources. Helen Iskander directs this two-hander with her usual visual skill and flair for story telling. Physically adept actor Mongi Mthombeni plays the planetary survivor Doctor Oba Femi with humour and agility and theatro earth activist Kyla Davis, with strength and a steely purpose, plants her presence solidly in this imaginative wasteland. Together they bring us a beautifully crafted and tender show, its ingenious design being an integral element. – Jane Stone, Artsblog, July 2011
Duration: 75 minutes
Grades: Grade 8+
Themes covered: Change, Choices, Climate Change, Creativity, Death, Environmental awareness, Fate/Free Will, Identity, Imagination, Life skills, Morality, National/global conflicts, Relationships, Survival, Xenophobia
Festivals Attended/Performances at:
- SA Devised Season (WITS Theatre, 2011)
- National Arts Festival (Grahamstown, 2011)
- Out The Box Festival (Cape Town, 2011)