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

THRASH (article first published : 2008-07-6)

I have always managed to miss one of Ingrid Wylde’s productions at the National Arts Festival so this year I was determined to include something in my schedule. The production of my choice was Thrash! which featured on The Studio programme of the Main festival.

Presented by Ubom! Obutsha in collaboration with the Purple Dragon Theatre from Canada. Thrash! was performed at the Recreation Centre in Rhini, the township area of Grahamstown.

The new Ubom! Obutsha Youth Company draws on young people from the area and offered what is described in the festival programme as a vibrant production “thrashing” the box of conformity and dealing with the search of identity.

Sensitively directed by Ingrid Wylde, Thrash features 12 talented youngsters in a story that deals with the challenges that beset young people these days. Malusi (17) is head of his household and he joins a gang hoping that they will protect and support his family. However, this doesn’t stop a rival gang member raping his sister. Performed to Afro hip-hop, the production doesn’t flag and much credit is due to this young cast for handling sensitive moments with maturity and professionalism.

The message is punted loud and clear with youthful energy: “Thrash violence and poverty”. – Caroline Smart




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