Theatrical magic

2010-10-14 00:00

Review: Tin Bucket Drum

Playhouse Loft Theatre

 

A BEAUTIFUL story, simply told, and a moving, powerful, performance combine in Neil Coppen’s Tin Bucket Drum to deliver one of the best evenings of theatre I’ve been privileged to see.

Mpume Mthombeni is like a chameleon as she moves from character to character: one minute a child filled with innocence and joy; then an elderly man, crippled by torture, but determined to be true to himself; then a government stooge determined to enforce the state’s rule that no music or dancing is permitted in Tin Town.

To help tell the story Mthombeni uses a table, a red cloth, hats and the tin buckets of the title. And throughout the piece Wake Mahlobo’s amazing percussion skills help bring to life everything from rain drops to gunshots.

Tin Bucket Drum tells the story of Nomvula, a young girl born in a mining town with a heart that beats louder than a drum. Ordered to hide her child from the world, Nomvula’s mother, Nandi, cannot stop her from finding rhythm in everything she encounters.

Infuriated by the little drummer girl’s ‘rebellion’ the state declares her a ‘weapon of mass disturbance’ and banishes her to the water wells on the outskirts of the town. Here she is forced to carry water to the residents all day long.

But not even this punishing work can stop her heart beating out a passionate rhythm and when the rains begin to fall after 20 years of drought, Nomvula chooses to defy the dictator’s decree, no matter what the cost.

Not only is this play real theatrical magic, but Coppen’s words seem especially pertinent at a time when South Africans are confronted on a daily basis by stories of corruption and new threats to freedom of expression.

Like Nomvula, we citizens need to stand up, be counted and make our voices heard.

 

• Tin Bucket Drum opened this year’s New Stages programme at the Playhouse in Durban and is set to tour Swaziland, Zimbabwe and New York next year. Mpume Mthombeni shares the role with Thuli Zuma, the daughter of President Jacob Zuma and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.