The first thing when going to see Koningin Lear, is throw your
Shakespeare out the window. Or no. Don’t do that. Put it back on
the shelf and google the synopsis.
It is not King Lear in Afrikaans, it’s an adaptation, a
re-imagining, a riot. Freedom from the Elizabethan English allows
this play to fly loose and spit on corporate profiteering with the
venom of a 17th Century Globe Theatre gin rag.
Halloween is great and all. Ghoulish. Topsy Turvy. Trick or Treat. Graveyards and cheap liquor. But it’s not a date so much as a time of year. Before winter begins. Winter that the old and infirm may not survive. In this part of the world we should be checking our tickets around 31 May. Then again, snow and days of darkness are not real things here. We do death though. All year round thanks to government corruption, domestic murder, and police inefficiency. So celebrate being alive.
Book review: An Orchestra of Minorities, by Chigozie Obiama
The cries of all the wounded, oppressed, downtrodden, the enslaved, the wrongfully imprisoned, are raised as if in an orchestra. An orchestra of minorities. It is this identification with the powerless that pulses through the heart of Chigozie Obioma’s magnificent novel.
It is an Homeric struggle, but beneath the feet of the individual protagonist, roots sink into untold centuries of Africa. As deep into into its dark and red earth as its mythology reaches up to the celestial universe of the ancestors and the yet to be reborn.
Although it focuses on the odyssey of just one man, related by his chi, or guardian of his spirit, its depth and breadth is that of a symphony, the metaphors, allegories, and proverbs rising and falling throughout the narrative of Chinonso’s desire to win the approval of his lover’s family, and the journey he undertakes so he can return to marry her.
Two naked lovers on stage involved in the meanderings of post-coital conversation is riqué even as dusk falls on the 2010s. How risqué it was in 1972, when Statements After An Arrest Under the Immorality Act was first staged at The Space in Cape Town, most of us can only guess. What is certain is the two naked bodies on stage being of different races – she white, he coloured – must have been scandalous. Not to mention flirting with the law.