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.

COLOUR ME EVIL (article first published : 2006-01-21)

Kwasuka Theatre in Durban saw the launch of the first Musho Theatre Festival, a bold initiative by the Performing Arts Network of South Africa (PANSA) to celebrate the one and two person theatre genre. January is traditionally a dead month on KZN stages, and following on from the big, glitzy pre-Christmas shows, one and two-handers, often challenging or experimental, demand a change of direction and thinking from audiences. Let’s hope the idea gets public support.

Musho! is an isiZulu word which translates to something close to Bravo! Themi Venturas and the organising team have put together a wide-ranging programme with shows at the Kwasuka and Catalina theatres, two of Durban’s best small venues.

The mornings are for kid’s theatre with Faces of Africa from Jean van Elden and Grandpa Grumps and the Magical Junk Shop from Neil Coppen and Bryan Hiles while adults can choose from known hits and brand new work in the evenings. Among the former are Greig Coetzee’s Johnny Boskak is Feeling Funny; Matthew Ribnick in Geraldine Naidoo’s Hoot and the always popular Gcina Mhlope with Chanting the Bridges, while interesting-looking new work includes Belinda Henwood and Richard Walne in Lush; Clare Mortimer and Neil Coppen in Two and Marc Kay in the whacky sounding Pope Chronicles.

The Festival opened with the Dutch play Colour Me Evil, performed in perfect English and sponsored by the Royal Dutch Embassy who are regular supporters of the beleaguered South African arts scene. Based on a true story, the piece tells the tragic tale of Jacobus Capitein, taken from Ghana at the age of 10 in the 1720s as a gift for a Dutch merchant. He was trained to be the first black minister in Dutch history, and then sent back to Africa to win souls. His white predecessors had had signally little success with the project; with no backing and some very cynical puppet masters behind the scenes, his mission was doomed from the start to failure and tragedy.

The show is set in the studio of a contemporary painter, planning a portrait of Capitein and engaged on a huge backdrop painting of the Garden of Eden, complete with snake and devil. Other props include a white 18th Century-style dress, a large etching of Capitein, severe in his minister’s bands, and several pots of paint, all of which are put to use. Gustav Borreman moves seamlessly between the characters of the painter, Capitein and Antonia, the orphaned white bride shipped off to Africa to get her away from a scandal and to prevent Capitein showing too much interest in local females captured as slaves.

It makes for interesting, very watchable theatre, if at times a little over-complicated. Borreman is an engaging performer, able to convince in all his roles, and the piece leaves the audience with issues to think over and the satisfaction of having seen a skilled actor at work. – Margaret von Klemperer

The Musho! Festival continues until January 22. The full programme and details of shows are available at www.mushofestival.co.za or phone the Catalina Theatre on 031 305 6889.




 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