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.

JUTRO (article first published : 2007-07-4)

Appearing on the fringe of the 2007 National Arts Festival, Jutro is a heart-warming and poignant story beautifully portrayed by James Cuningham and Keren Tahor. Under Helen Iskander’s skilful and imaginative direction, it is set in World War II in Nazi-occupied Poland and tells the story of a bartender and a cabaret singer who work at an underground nightclub.

She (Miss Mina) is late for work one night and he (Janusz) warns her that the club proprietor will be displeased but the moment she takes her place on the stage and starts to sing, there is the terrifying sound of bombing and falling rubble. Clouds of dust envelop them and their surroundings and they balance precariously on the fallen debris to revive themselves with some brandy in a glass decanter, which has miraculously survived the devastation. They josh each other along, saying that in America there is not so much dust - they have the Hoover!

A wayward plank stretching to the height of the ceiling provides an escape route into the outside world up above – a beautiful theatrical transference of perspective here - but Janusz, who is in love with Miss Mina, won’t let her go out into the street. She will be at risk because, being Jewish, she has to wear the identifying yellow star on her coat. Janusz sneaks out to find morsels of food and also to go in search of Victor who has the answer to Mina’s survival.

Accompanied by a sultry sax musical score, the two struggle to maintain some sort of equilibrium. He stays in his haven of squeaky timbers under what’s left of the bar and she gets under the dressing table. They consume cabbage with relish on a plank perched atop a pile of rubble which also forms a seesaw, dipping and rising as does the hopeful (or otherwise) nature of the conversation.

They dream, they laugh, they dance. They kiss.

Keren Tahor’s naive, wide-eyed and utterly endearing performance makes a perfect foil for James Cuningham’s sensitive and somewhat bashful barman who will go to any lengths to save his love. This is a disarming piece of theatre – watch out for it! – Caroline Smart




 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