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OPDRAG: INGRID JONKER (article first published : 2002-06-30)

Wyl haar kind, Simon, rustig slaap, stap die 31 jarige Ingrid Jonker, digter en skeppende kunstennaar die see in. Dekades later haal Nelson Mandela haar gedig Die Kind aan in sy openingsrede in die Parlement pas nadat hy as President aangewys is. Hy verwys na Jonker as gelyk Afrikaan en Afrikaner. Jonker, die sestigers ikoon, word ook ikoon van 'n nuwe orde.

‘n Metaforiese agtergrond vir ‘n kragtige teks deur Ryk Hattingh in samewerking met Jana Cilliers wat hierdie eenvrou-vertoning ‘n absolute moet maak vir enige teaterganger. Die regie word behartig deur Mark Graham wat Cilliers ook in Master Class geregisseur het. Die FNB Vita-bekroonde driemanskap bewys opnuut die krag van uitmuntende talent en suiwer kreatiwiteit.

“Daar is soveel wat mens kan doen” (omtrent Jonker) verklaar Cilliers in haar karakter as Die Aktrise “Om iets van haar (Jonker se) spirit te voel”. Sy neem die gehoor deur ‘n sensitiewe sielereis. ‘n Reis wat die ongelooflike opregtheid in die mens verweef met die van kunstenaar, skrywer, digter en die energieke skeppingsdrang van die reinheid in die heelal.

Soos Jonker nooit genoeg liefde kon vind nie, het “Die Aktrise” ‘n amperse obsessie met die kort reis van Jonker. Hierin ontbloot sy haar eie psige met rou eerlikheid.

Die kommentaar en vraagtekens agter Jonker word puik verweef met haar gedigte. ‘n Deelname in die iets tussen Jonker en Die Aktrise. Deur die oë van Jonker kyk Die Aktrise na haarself en word die gehoor inderdaad ge-“seduce” tot ‘n diepere self-ondersoek. So word die reis van Jonker en die van aktrise uiteindelik die reis van die self.

Met ekonomiese dekor, merkwaardige beligting wat geweldige dissipline van Cilliers verg, die gebruik van ruimte, die krag van die woord en natuurlik die ware rypheid van Cilliers se vermoë, skep Mark Graham ‘n diep en intense ervaring. Opdrag: Ingrid Jonker speel by die Nasionale Kunstefees in Grahamstad. – Thomie Holtzhausen

ENGLISH TRANSLATION: The unbeatable team of Jana Cilliers and Mark Graham weaves its dramatic magic in Ryk Hattingh’s play in Grahamstown (Review by Thomie Holtzhausen)

Whilst her child Simon is asleep, the 31-year old, poet and creative artist walks into the ocean as she commits suicide. Decades later, her poem Die Kind is quoted by Nelson Mandela during his first opening of parliament as President. He referred to Jonker as both African and Afrikaner. The icon of the sixties, Jonker also became an icon of a new order.

This provides a metaphorical background for a powerful text by Ryk Hattingh in close collaboration with actress Jana Cilliers. A must-see for any lover of compelling theatre, Opdrag: Ingrid Jonker is directed by Mark Graham, who also directed Cilliers in Master Class. This multi FNB Vita-awarded team again proves the power of astonishing talent and pure creativity.

“Daar is soveel wat mens kan doen” (so much can be done on Jonker) to get a feel of her soul explains Cilliers as The Actress character. She takes the audience on a sensitive journey. A journey which encapsulates the unspoilt original nature of mankind with that of artist, writer and poet rooted in the pure energetic creative discipline of the Universe.

Just as Jonker’s quest for love was never satisfied, so The Actress is almost obsessed with the writer’s short journey and through this Cilliers exposes her own psyche with raw honesty.

The questions and comments on Jonker’s life are superbly woven into her poems and writings: a participation in something between Jonker and The Actress. Through the eyes of Jonker, The Actress is investigating her own inner feelings and she successfully seduces the audience into its own self-discovery. The interactive process allows the journey of Jonker – as well as that of The Actress - to be an observation of one’s own.

With economic décor, brilliantly disciplined lighting and beautifully choreographed use of space as well as the power of the word and the mature truthfulness of Cilliers’ acting, Mark Graham has created a deep and intense experience. Opdrag: Ingrid Jonker runs at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. – Thomie Holtzhausen




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