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.

STORY SEEKER (article first published : 2008-07-1)

“Story Seeker combines two very different theatre techniques and traditions in a fresh and approachable way.” So says Adi Paxton co-creator of Story Seeker currently showing at Kwasuka Theatre. This is an innovative piece inspired by an original story by Gcina Mhlophe and adapted for the stage by Adi Paxton and Gerard Samuel who also directed the play. Produced by Cherryco, the show combines the ancient technique of Asian shadow puppetry with the African tradition of storytelling.

Mazanendaba (a warm hearted woman), the narrator played by Thandulwazi Ncube, takes the front of the stage and tells of her search for stories. Meanwhile, still on stage but behind a screen, various scenes are depicted and illuminated in the form of shadow puppets. So we almost have a play within a play with the two mediums merging one into the other.

The shadow techniques used include black cutout silhouettes with back projected line drawings and shadowography or hand shadows. Of the latter, the ostrich (a hesitant denialist) was delightful as he nonchalantly pecked at his neck feathers.

As the search continues, various characters in the form of animals appear on front stage played by Adi Paxton and Pamela Tancsik (who also created most of the puppets). The spider (a crazed medicine doctor) was particularly effective producing squeals from the children in the audience. At other times the children participated with singing and dancing and looking for the dolphin. So the piece neatly integrated activity with the gentle contemplative qualities of shadow puppetry.

Finally, Mazanendaba finds the Queen of the Spirit people (played by Adi Paxton) who agrees to exchange a seashell full of stories for a wood sculpture by Zenzele (Mazanendaba’s husband).

The costumes are simple but effective and the bird and insect sound effects created a realistic atmosphere. All in all a delightful piece of innovative theatre.

Performances run at Kwasuka Theatre until June 29 daily. Tickets R50 (R30 children) booked through www.strictlytickets.com or call 031 305 6889. Block bookings R25 pp with teachers free.

Special school performances take place from July 19 to 27 at 11h00 and at 09h00. Bookings on 031 201 2515 or contact Adi Paxton on 083 725 0925. (Janet Whelan)




 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