A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

drama
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

THE PRIVATE EAR (article first published : 2004-04-28)

Running concurrently with Stitch at the Kwasuka Theatre is a production of Peter Shaffer’s hilarious The Private Ear by the RITE Co.

R.I.T.E is an acronym for Research in Theatre Education and this non-profit making company is designed to empower young theatre artists. It was founded by its artistic director, Debbie Lutge, who is currently HOD of the Drama Studies Department at the Durban Institute of Technology. RITE operates as a training programme as well as a bridging facility from tertiary education to the harsh real world of professional theatre.

Directed by Debbie Mailovich with set and lighting design by Tina Le Roux, The Private Ear features performing arts graduates Andile Mngadi, William Waldon and Debbie Dolan.

Peter Shaffer’s humour is brittle, clever and occasionally very penetrating. While they didn’t quite crack it in true Shaffer style, the performers coped extremely well with the humour and gave a very credible rendition of the play.

I always have a problem with accents if they aren’t done accurately. The words should come tripping off the tongue as if the performer has been speaking that way all his or her life. Provincial British accents are not heard as often in South Africa as they would be in the UK and so local actors’ ears are not naturally attuned to the nuances and rhythms of the speech patterns. William and Andile have obviously worked extremely hard on their accents but I felt that their performances were compromised by their attention to their speech.

Andile Mngadi has grown considerably as an actor during his years at DIT. As the smart-talking, quick-thinking Ted who is bright, sassy - and anybody’s - he shows a good sense of comedy timing and stage presence. I would, however, liked to have had more glimpses of the darker and frustrated side of the character.

William Waldon handles the more complicated role of Bob, a reserved classical music and sound system fanatic who is floundering in the complexities of his first date which is further complicated as he’s invited her round to dinner! I was uncomfortable with his tendency to stoop and felt he needed to take more control of the character. However, in the latter part of the show, he came to the fore and his last scenes were excellent.

As the ditsy Doreen, Debbie Dolan sailed through with flying colours – accent and all. Her performance was an absolute delight and her comedy timing impeccable.

Do try to see this production if you can to enjoy Peter Shafer’s brilliant dialogue and it is great to see such talented new faces on the professional theatre scene.

Performances of The Private Ear continue until May 1 at 19h00 (followed by Stitch at 20h00) at Kwasuka Theatre and booking is through Computicket or on 031 204 2194. – Caroline Smart

The profit on all RITE Co productions is evenly distributed among the actors in order to generate salaries. The organisation is currently seeking funding to continue their work and thereby deserves every support. Interested parties are invited to contact Debbie Lutge on 031 204 2194.




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart