Black

Jade Bowers (2016 Standard Bank Young Artist, Naledi Theatre Awards Best Director for Scorched) and Ameera Patel (Naledi Theatre Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Scorched) join forces to present ‘Black’. Based on CA Davids’ 2014 novel ‘The Blacks of Cape Town’, Gold Standard Bank Ovation Award-winning writer/director Penny Youngleson has written an adaptation for stage which intricately balances the poetry and pain of discovery, of unpacking history and the drama of family politics. Accomplished actress Patel tackles her first one-hander, under the directorial hand of Bowers, and with musical composition and accompaniment by Daniel Geddes.

While based abroad, historian Zara Black (Patel) learns via an officious but vague letter from the South African government, that documents once sealed and implicating her father in an act (which, while not clearly defined, was committed against the anti-apartheid movement decades earlier) will soon be released to the public. The resultant unearthing of her own past begins with Isaiah Black – the grandfather that ‘started it all’ when he stole a handful of diamonds from one of the world’s largest diamond mines in Kimberley. This act, however, is overshadowed by what the family considers his far greater crime – concealing his (mixed) race to escape the harsh realities of the mines before abandoning his mother and ultimately changing his name. His choice of surname is not without irony; because having been classified as mixed, he had passed as white, but had given rise to a line of coloured children and grandchildren. His granddaughter Zara finds herself alone and displaced in New Jersey, caught up in the excitement of an American election of a new and historic president, while trying to make sense of South Africa of the past and present: constructing a history for herself and her family from fragmented recollections and family lore.

The show looks at the never ending battle between the queens wives, the disruptive lack of modesty in the laymen, the bad luck that seems to follow the heir and the laughable bad decisions made by the king’s close friends. This seeks to show the similarities between the king and queens and the so called commoner, the most evident similarity being the chaos that comes with the every day life. So maybe we are all kings and queens with our portion of chaos?

The traditional African stories are told using physical and vocal gestures to elevate and honor the ancient art of oral tradition. The storyteller, the bare stage and the graceful gestures will take audiences on imaginative trips across the African continent, moving from Nigeria to Lesotho and every place in between.

Does anyone have any idea what the impact of the pandemic of HIV and AIDS is having on our children and their family life? How does one approach this sensitive subject? Did you know that a live theatre show like, Tand’ Impilo can open up a safe space to discuss the subject and this forum can save lives?

6 actors, 5 acts, 75 minutes, 6 puppets and 3 masks – Brett Goldin Bursary winner, Nkosinathi Gaar, uses his training with the Royal Shakespeare Company and experience with The Handspring Puppet Company to take the famed ‘Scottish Play’ to a new level and new audience. A young, exciting cast bring refreshing energy to the well-known play.

Logo-to-go-with-Macbeth-production

Emperor Loxly’s court is in turmoil, because his designer quit the day before his birthday, and left His Highness without a new show-stopper outfit. That is, however not the only problem. The much bigger issue is Wonty, the unenthusiastic court jester, who stole the emperor’s prized watch, and is planning to take over the kingdom. The emperor’s loyal servant, Wilma, tries to maintain the status quo: keeping Loxly happy and Wonty quiet, but then Wonty is banned, Loxly almost loses his mind, and a stranger makes his appearance. Can the smooth talking, never-heard-of designer called Wontier, save the day?

In the workshop, learners evaluate all the characters in the play, and decide who displayed good leadership skills. They also apply it to their own environment and lives.

A poignant, bunraku-style puppet play for older children and adults based on the life of Sadako Sasaki. At two, Sadako survived the Hiroshima atom bomb but ten years later developed leukemia. A Japanese legend tells: ‘if you fold 1000 origami cranes, your wish will be granted’; Sadako began folding paper.

We leave our children a complicated legacy, growing up in a world where they face the consequences of adults’ actions: war; nuclear power; global warming; HIV. Sadako’s experience transcends culture and period and is able to speak to a contemporary South African or French youth audience. Young people who have shifted from picture books to art galleries; from nursery-rhymes to pop music. They are ready for theatre that can offer them cathartic and transformative experiences; challenge them with profoundly moving and thought provoking ideas. Sadako is real theatre for young people.

An adaptation of Paul Gallico’s classic novella The Snow Goose. Tells the story of storm tossed snow goose who brings together a young girl, Frith, and a reclusive hunchback outcast, Rhayader, together. Set against the second world war and the miracle of Dunkirk. The Snow Goose is a story about bravery and friendship.

Produced by KBT Productions, directed and designed by Jenine Collocott (Sunday Morning, Dirt, A Day in the Desert, High Diving), performed by James Cairns (Dirt, Three Little Pigs) and Taryn Bennett (Kaput!), adapted by the director and the cast.

A new play by Craig Higginson

First commissioned by the National Theatre, London, for the 2012 Connections Festival

Directed by Malcolm Purkey

Production Design Neil Coppen

Little Foot was first commissioned by the National Theatre, London, for the 2012 Connections Festival. Craig Higginson is one of ten writers from around the world participating in this prestigious festival, and Little Foot is to be performed at the National Theatre prior to the 2012 Olympics. The National Theatre has generously agreed to allow the Market Theatre, in association with the Grahamstown Festival, to put together a South African production of their own – a production that will be an extended version of the original play.

This powerful and poetic new South African play is situated on a farm in the Cradle of Humankind, where much of the world’s pre-human remains have been found. It takes the audience down into the vast network of caves where the three-million-year-old hominin Little Foot was discovered. Out of sheer co-incidence, the production will be released at the same time that Little Foot’s remains will finally be freed from the rock. It has taken thirteen years to extract the hominin’s calcified bones, using brushes and dentists’ drills.

In Higginson’s play, we experience the caves through the eyes of a group of young South African university students – who went to school together and are having a reunion on New Year’s Eve, exactly a year since they last saw each other. One of them (Wizard) brings along a new girlfriend from England (Rebecca). He wants her to meet his oldest friends, not suspecting that a terrible trap is being set for him. What starts as a practical joke soon leads to a series of events that appear to have tragic consequences. As the students delve deeper into the caves – and we travel ever deeper into their psyches and their shared histories – a Chorus of ancient hominins steps through the walls of the caves. The play finally dramatises the coming together of our most primal and contemporary identities

Little Foot draws on Greek theatre, Philosophy, Palaeontology and South African mythology to create a powerful portrayal of modern relationships. Not only does the audience come to a deeper understanding of their common ancestry, but the play powerfully illustrates how the best and the worst of us has its roots in the ancient past, and how these two capacities are carried through into our contemporary democracy.

Since we first learned to control fire, light has been used to satisfy our best and our worst impulses as a species. It is what we do with the light handed down to us that we define ourselves. The theatre – which provides a darkened space into which we introduce light for the telling of our stories – is surely the perfect place to explore these themes and concepts.

For this production, writer Craig Higginson and director Malcolm Purkey are collaborating with Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year award-winner Neil Coppen to create a multi-media event that will include a composer, videographer, sound designer, sculptor, editor, choreographer, as well as a lighting, costume and set designer. Huge cloths will be used to create different spaces and textured surfaces, as well as being used for surfaces for video projection and shadow puppetry. The Chorus will be created using masks, sculpture and projection. In both content and form, this promises to be a unique piece of storytelling that will redefine the boundaries of contemporary South African theatre.

Previous collaborations between writer Craig Higginson and director Malcolm Purkey include the internationally acclaimed plays Dream of the Dog and The Girl in the Yellow Dress – both originally produced by the Market Theatre.

Performers

  • Dylan Nicol Horley
  • Jenna Dunster
  • Phumzile Sitole
  • Khayelihle Dominique Gumede
  • Glen Biderman-Pam
  • Mlondolozi Bradley Zondi
  • Chorus – Kyla Davis, Jaques de Silva, Sibulele Gcilitshana, Peter Langa, Sello Sebotsane

Comedy-drama. In a country on the Mediterranean Sea that has seen many decades of war, two brothers live a peaceful, unfettered existence. Then a foreign occupation disrupts their lives in unimaginable ways.

Kaput has played to many school audiences, including the National Schools Festival in Grahamstown 2012, with an over-whelming audience response.

Directed by James Cuningham (Jutro; Black and Blue; Sunday Morning), featuring Helen Iskander (Planet B; The Famished Road; Baobabs Don’t Grow Here), Taryn Bennett (Sie Weiss Alles; Doctor Collinger’s Funeral Services), Dorian Burstein (Pictures of You).