Photo credit: CuePix/Mia van der Merwe
Rob Murray directs a cast of sensational masked performers whose physical adeptness and versatility makes Waterline a visually richly captivating production.
A simple love story unfolds before us. Man loves Woman. Man has a ring. But not much else… Man doesn’t have the preciously coveted Water. Woman gets thirsty. Other Man has Water… Complications ensue.
Our jilted lover embarks on a journey following the promise of water, of wealth. He meets a hilarious gang of characters along the way, everyday people doing everyday things… a mother looks for her naughty child, an elderly man wants a cup of tea, the town drunk causes mischief, an artist works at his craft. We, the people.
Enter “Aikona Municipality” and its buffoons whose pomp and performance draw attention away from the real issues at hand. Through the comedic setup of a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Murray and his team allude to the joke status that many citizens believe South Africa to be. Shared wealth is promised, but who lives below the water line?
Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink. Waterline takes a no holds barred stab at government and municipal corruption. And Murray aims straight at the top. A well-timed fireman’s hat donning points to Nkandla’s scandalous swimming pool. One character resembling a certain nonagenarian president fires his second in command and replaces her with someone who will fulfil his bidding and serve his greed. A now infamous “Hehehe” echoes relentlessly over the crash and bang of protesters smashing all in sight. Their mouths masked with X – a shuddering reminder of the recent Xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Greed and corruption beget violence… Waterline hits hard with an acerbic critique of South Africa’s current political situation.
A heart breaking climax gives gravitas to Waterline’s antics. There are serious consequences for choices made in the name of progress… but who truly suffers those consequences..? We, the people?
Special mention must be made of the magnificently detailed masks – artworks in their own right – designed by Catherine Jacot-Guillarmod. The old grumpy man’s lumpy nose, the child’s bratty grin, the lover’s wide-eyed naivety – the artistry captures in their inanimateness, an uncannily human character.
Waterline whets your appetite, feeds your soul, and washes it all down with a generous gulping of humility, humanity and humour.
– Sarah Roberson
Uyabona Ke is Ayanda Nondlwana, Nombasa Ngoqo, Khaya Kondile, Mandisi Heshu, Mzwanele Jodwana and Zwelenzima Somyali.
Click here for production info. Waterline’s next show is 03 July @ 17h00 @ the NG Kerk Hall.