Thought-provoking play in Durban

A scene from Kwasha! Theatre’s production of Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, at Durban’s Courtyard Theatre at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) on Friday and Saturday.

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BY BILLY SUTER

A SHOW exploring the tragic situation of human politics through the use of fantastical images is headed for the Courtyard Theatre on the Berea campus of the Durban University of Technology (DUT) on Friday and Saturday, October 25 and 26.

The production is Kwasha! Theatre’s version of Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, offering a contemporary interpretation of this thought-provoking tale.

Performances are scheduled for 10am and 7pm on Friday, and 7pm on Saturday. Tickets cost R80, but R30 for school pupils and pensioners. Tickets are available from Alliance Française at (031) 312 9582.

Already known for their mastery of physical theatre comedy, Kwasha! Theatre will combine different registers to bring this metaphor to life, exploring the tragic situation of human politics through the use of fantastical images, says a spokesman.

A memorable moment from Rhinoceros.

“We have seen a strange and unprecedented phenomenon this year, that has been happening to the young Kwasha! Theatre Company. It appears that each of the company’s members has been slowly transforming into gigantic grey beasts, that look like rhinos. Each of them, except one…”

Written in 1939, Rhinoceros is an emblematic work from French-Romanian playwright Ionesco, one of the foremost figures of the French avant-garde theatre and forefather of the Theatre of the Absurd.

The play depicts an imaginary epidemic of “rhinoceritis”, a disease that frightens inhabitants of a city and soon transforms them into rhinoceroses. A metaphor for the rise of totalitarianism on the eve of World War 2, it addresses the themes of conformism and resistance to political power.

“This play allows us to simultaneously honour the Market Theatre tradition of making socially relevant theatre while giving young actors the opportunity to work on a classic and stretching texts or adaptations. It is the reason why the play has been chosen to open the Market Theatre Laboratory’s ‘30 Years of the Lab’ celebrations and form part of a month-long festival of events.”

Directed by Billy Langa and Mahlatsi Mokgonyana, the cast features Aalliyah Matintela, Molatelo Maffa, Sibahle Mangena, Sinenhlanhla Mgeyi, Thulisile Nduvane and Vusi Nkwenkwezi. Dialogue Coach is theatre luminary Vanessa Cooke.

The Kwasha! Theatre Company is a collaborative project between the Market Theatre Laboratory and The Windybrow Arts Centre. The project aims to support the careers of recent graduates, as well as provide drama classes for youth at the Market Arts Centre in Hillbrow.

Each year, six of South Africa’s most exciting emerging theatre makers are identified as members of the company and work together to create an exciting programme of new and dynamic theatre pieces.

Kwasha! thrives on making work that is bold and confronts our current socioeconomic environment.

The French Institute of South Africa and the Market Theatre Laboratory, with the support of Mazars, are pleased to present Kwasha! Theatre Company’s latest production.

The production is supported by IFAS, the cultural agency of the Embassy of France in South Africa, the French Institute of South Africa; The Market Theatre Foundation, the Durban University of Technology Drama Studies and of course the always proactive, visionary Alliance Francaise de Durban.

 


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