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.

LEFT LUGGAGE (article first published : 2001-07-4)

Left Luggage is the University of Natal Durban’s production on the Student Festival of the Standard Bank National Arts Festival and possibly one of the most thought-provoking pieces the department of drama has mounted.

It is directed by former movement lecturer Margaret Larlham who is now lecturing at the department of theatre at San Diego State University. She has brought with her three of her students – Tracy Dourgarian, John Henry Litten and Jomar Tagatac to work alongside their Durban counterparts. These are: second year student Clare Cassidy, third year students Musa Hlatshwayo, Sikhumbuzo Mbuthu and Nompumelelo Mdima. Also appearing is fourth year student Candice Pankhurst who will be remembered for her fine performance in the department’s production of Electra held in the Square Space some months back.

Left Luggage is set in a landscape where birds have suitcases for wings and neck ties form a major part of the costume make-up. A group of people, either deported or running away from tragedy and trauma involving fire and explosions, appear before a rhyming-speak guard asking permission to pass through his area. He sends them off across water to an island but the guard there, having been alerted to the impending visit of non-desirables, sends them off on another route – presumably to oblivion. Before they depart, they must leave their luggage behind. Inside one of the cases is a young boy. What follows is his story and the influence he exerts over his peers.

This is a workshopped piece which can be taken at face value but it also invites the audience to explore its many levels. The cast had to produce a two minute monologue on the subject of luggage, in either its figurative or literal sense. These ranged from an argument between a couple with the one resisting the other’s demands for expensive luxuries to a character battling to get her luggage through the airport doors. Another had to deal with a journey in life. The resulting mix of scenarios with their African and American influences makes for fascinating theatre.

Margaret Larlham indicates that what she is trying to say in the piece is that the arts – and artists themselves – are able to create unity out of diversity. They provide the only uniting force which can pull together in one direction - leaving the “luggage”, as it were, of the individual proponents behind.

She’s got a highly talented cast and there are good performances all round. Jomar Tagatac is outstanding – I hope we see him back in South Africa soon. I’d like to see him working with Candice Pankhurst, an equally focused performer, as the scene they played together in this production was riveting. – 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