Play explores ‘tragedy’

2019-09-03 06:01
The cast of Antigone (not quite/quiet). PHOTO: Mark Wessels

The cast of Antigone (not quite/quiet). PHOTO: Mark Wessels

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Antigone is the first in a series of four productions by the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies (CTDPS) and Magnet Theatre that will explore the concept of “tragedy”.

At the beginning of 2019, CTDPS previously the drama department and the School of Dance embarked on a five-year research project on Re-imagining Tragedy from Africa and the Global South (Retags). Led by Mark Fleishman and Mandla Mbothwe, the project is made possible through funding by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation.

Fleishman, director of the production, says it engages with the concept of the aftermath: the tragedy of our particular aftermath in post-1994 South Africa and the aftermath of tragedy as a form. Performers are drawn from the CTDPS postgraduate cohort and trainees at Magnet Theatre, who were recently seen on the main festival at the National Arts Festival in Makanda (Grahamstown in G7: Okwe-Bokhwe, directed by Mandla Mbothwe).

They are led by Jennie Reznek with Abigail Mei, Balindile ka Ngcobo, Carlo Daniels, Jason Jacobs, Luxolo Mboso, Kanya Viljoen, Motlatji Mjamba, Sityhilelo Makupula, Sivenathi Macibela, Sive Gubangxa, Siyavuya Gqumehlo, Sizwe Lubengu and Yvonne Msebenzi.

Fleishman says, “The broader research project proposes to take the concept of “tragedy” X from the very beginnings of theatre in its European manifestation X and to reimagine it from a perspective in Africa, that is, at once, directed at the complex challenges of our global postcolonial present and towards our possible futures.”

The research is based on a recognition of the numerous adaptations and staging of ancient tragedies by major writers and theatre-makers across the African continent. From Wole Soyinka, Ola Rotimi, Femi Osofisan (Nigeria), JP Clark, Efua Sutherland, Ama Ata Aidoo (Ghana), Ebrahim Husssein (Tanzania), Sylvain Bemba (Congo Brazzaville), Saad Ardash (Egypt), to numerous others; Athol Fugard (South Africa) and Trinidad Morgades (Equatorial Guinea).

The production previews on 18 September, opens on 19 September and runs for a limited season, at the Baxter Golden Arrow Studio, until 28 September. Performances are at 19:30 with Saturday matinees at 15:00. Ticket prices range from R100 to R150 and R50 for students and scholars. Matinees and evening performances cost R70.

Booking is through Webtickets or Pick n Pay stores.

  • Call Leon van Zyl on 021 680 3973 for more information.

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