Diverse KZN productions

2010-06-23 00:00

ALTHOUGH the National Arts Festival began on Sunday, the streets and theatres of Grahamstown are not the flurry of activity they have been in previous years. While it is still early days it seems football fever may have taken some of the attention away from the festival.

But the exciting shows and exhibitions on offer this year combined with the longer duration of this year’s festival is sure to keep the art lovers who have made the pilgrimage to the Eastern Cape on their seats. Productions from KwaZulu-Natal have already captured audiences and I caught the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Peace. Love. Recycle. and Claire Mortimer’s Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and walked out of both either enlightened or enchanted.

Peace. Love. Recycle. is not the most artistic piece but the message behind it is one all South Africa should hear. Using their own stories the five-person cast explains to the audience that now is the time to unite our nation while reusing its bounty for a more sustainable future.

Through humour, pop culture, song and dance, the play, written and directed by Lauren Jones and Tamika Sewnarian, kept the packed Rehearsal Room theatre engaged in the thought-provoking social commentary.

Kiss of the Spiderwoman was absolutely spellbinding, but sadly the Monday show did not experience the full house it deserves. The play, adapted from the book written by Argentinian Manuel Puig, centres around two prisoners in the Devoto prison in Buenos Aires in 1976. The relationship between the two, a homosexual and a political rebel, blends politics, romance and friendship intensely which left the audience both intrigued and startled.

The eyes of the small audience were glued to the talented actors who portrayed their characters with conviction. Even when a small fire erupted on the gas stove, used as a prop, the two kept in character and incorporated the blips effortlessly into the magnificent story line.

The diverse range of KZN productions this year is sure to impress the art goers at this year’s 15-day long festival. And if day two is anything to go by they will not be disappointed.

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