Theatre Archive

Machine Makes Man: We, Robot

Machine Makes Man created by Old Sound Room follows the story of Milly and Jeffery, a sweet couple very much in love, expecting the birth of their first child. Jeffery (a mechanic), in the effort to provide for his new family, agrees to become the test subject for a new teaching technology experiment that could propel

Accomplished Undone

Undone has deservedly won a Standard Bank Ovation Award. Wessel Pretorius wrote, directed, and excels in this beautifully forged work. Pretorius takes us on the deeply personal journey of klein boet, now a young man, who reflects on his upbringing and defective family. His mother cares for him, verging on babying, and his father is

Return of the Ancestors: Ghost of a play

Art is a great platform on which to critique society. Journalism digs at the coalface but art can coalesce the findings, establishing them firmly in the public’s imagination. Theatre particularly, among the arts, has a long tradition of political commentary. Thus we need a voice like Mike van Graan’s in South African theatre. His writing

Oedipus @ Koö-Nú!: two for the price of one

Greek tragedy for an East London oke can feel daunting, so it brings relief when the playwright-director tells you at the end of his show to take what you want. But this is the 40th National Arts Festival where strange and marvellous things happen; the post-performance audience discussion with Standard Bank young artist award winner

Undermined: A hot little nugget

Undermined got a standing ovation and the youth, who made up most of the audience, chattered excitedly all the way out the gate of the Princess Alice Hall. A comic-book styled African story about Jim comes to Jo’burg to become a miner (actually a Mozambican peasant) could feel odd without a single reference to the

Hard-hitting Bash

Bret Easton Ellis. Raymond Carver. These writers jump to mind while watching Neil Labute’s Bash, directed by Megan Willson. Mundane everyday activities are numbing. As Bash’s characters do, we occupy ourselves with daily work or parties or the various and varying dramas that busy our time. But what’s really going on underneath it all?

Unaffected Unexpected Man

“…the meat of a conversation obviously doesn’t lie in what’s actually said…”” (Martha) Yasmina Reza’s The Unexpected Man is often criticised for being better on page than on stage. I beg to differ. A commonly uttered phrase before one embarks on a bus or plane is “I hope I sit next to someone nice”. The

Oedipus @ Koö-Nú!: Woe is me

Greek tragedy performed well goes straight to our primal heart, tapping into archetypes that unite all of humanity. Greek tragedy done badly is a bore of actors bemoaning their fate and offering toneless philosophical monologues that test our endurance. Post-modernism done well is an incisive stab at our complacency, with irony as its sword. Done