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

BAFANA REPUBLIC…EXTRA TIME (article first published : 2008-07-4)

Bafana Republic … Extra Time appearing on the National Arts Festival fringe programme is written by Mike van Graan, directed by Francois Toerien and performed by Rea Rangaka.

A one-an show, full of laughs and great commentary on the state of sports in South Africa, specifically soccer. The show was vast in style and took an audience on a journey of the state of soccer in South Africa building up to the 2010 world cup. The entire show was assisted by a screen onto which projections of pictures, videos, cartoons, and sceneries were presented.

Rea Rangaka portrayed each character with absolute sincerity and amazing comic timing. He successfully slipped into each character quickly and convincingly.

Characters ranged from famous reality TV presenters, a little boy, a little girl, a woman footballer, disabled colonel in the South African defence force, the spokesperson of Mbhekistan, a stand-up comedian, a guy from Barzakstan, a hip hop rap artist, and a American and French puppets. Rangaka effectively brought in the comedy during which the audience was laughing hysterically at, as well as the tragedy of some of the stories he told – such as being disabled, being raped, and a little boy who replaced his love of soccer with the love of shooting a gun.

At the beginning the audience was given the chance to see well-known characters from popular reality TV shows such as Survivor, The Biggest Loser, The Weakest Link and The Amazing Race. I was particularly impressed by the use of his shadow that fell on the screen on which scenery was projected. He would transform into a character with a specific background and his shadow appeared as if it were the character in the true form within the projected picture. The subtle interaction between the performer and that which was projected on the screen came through with amazing effect.

A relevant piece of work for today’s times with a little bit of everything on offer. I was pleased that the energy levels of this fast-paced piece was maintained. - Shika Budhoo




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