Reviews Archive

Tswalo: Mystical made manifest

The cycle of birth, life and death is a rather large theme to tackle in a performance. Although, at the same time, perhaps the simplest. All encompassing, yet something each one of us has experienced, is experiencing, and will experience. Or perhaps we’ve experienced it all before, many times. Whatever your view, it’s almost impossible

Samthing Soweto: Stretching time

“I’m not ready for this. Yho! I’m not ready for this,” annouced a young woman pacing outside the Alma Cafe in apparent mild distress yesterday. It later turned out she was quite ready, but she had me wondering exactly what ‘this’ was going to be and whether I shouldn’t be more prepared somehow. What required

Steke: A few loose threads

Steke has a promising start: playful and offbeat and quite quirky. The performers have talent. Saree van Coppenhagen and Boitumelo Mohutsioa won best female actresses at the inaugural Arts Incubator Trade Fair awards earlier this year. A fun camaraderie was set up between Sarie and Marie on stage and us in the crowd. “What are you

The Champion: A powerful punch

The protagonist in The Champion is not a nice guy. Yet Khayalethu Anthony, who wrote the script and acts as Thulani in this hard-hitting one-hander, is able to make us root for him. Our sympathy for the character is invoked despite even his misogyny at a time we have moved beyond outrage at the daily,

Rock to the Core: cracking the foundations

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Mamela Nyamza’s work is disruptive and provocative and alienating, sometimes ugly, sometimes unbearable in its unrelenting purpose, always hard-hitting. It’s not easy to watch four women in garish, clashing outfits and stiletto heels carefully side-stepping and back-stepping, keeping in line for what seems ages. Mostly because

Abangabonwa (The Unseen): Go, See

Rousing drumming and the mbira’s twanging fills the hazy air. A faint yet distinct burning smell lingers. Bodies pulsate. Swift fling. Sharp grab. Resist. Rebound. Relentless undulation. A trance state washes down from the stage into the auditorium. These aren’t dancers performing rehearsed moves. They are people. Being, living. Sharing their concerns, their pride, their

The Fall of the ANC at Open Book: More blood will flow

The intellectual boxing match between Prince Mashele and Charles Nqakula at the Open Book festival’s Fugard Theater main stage yesterday evening provided fascinating insight into the battered politician syndrome. Radio talk show host and author in her own right, Redi was the referee, although she was biased to Prince, her reason not having been bought