Several SBAM artists are involved in Woordfees, happening in Stellenbosch from 3-12 March. We got the production details for your watching pleasure:
The play, written by the young cast, all former UCT students, is an honest, thought-provoking and healing response to the recent student movements. The Fall garnered unprecedented sold-out success and critical acclaim during its four-week run at the Baxter Theatre last year. The play is mostly based on the writer’s personal experiences during the student movements that took South Africa by storm in 2015 into early 2016 and delves into the issues that the movement aimed to address, including race, class and gender: delivering a human voice to the widely publicized ideological issues.
Ameera plays Camilla, a black radical feminist who tackles issues of patriarchy, institutionalized racism, rape culture, and queerness within the spaces of the student movements.
Sihle plays Zukile Libalele (the wounded one). Through him we grapple with and question pressing issues concerning African culture, institutionalised racism, growing up fatherless, homophobia, radical behaviour, patriarchy, and spirituality.
Thando plays Chwaita, a young womxn who joins the movement wide-eyed and tentative. Although she is materially privileged she identifies with the movement’s ideology. At first she does not fit in and is a dissonant voice amongst her peers, but she stays because she has found a home within the movement.
SING JY VAN BOMME – Hilda Cronje
Written by Ryk Hatting and directed by Gerrit Schoonhoven, Sing Jy van Bomme, is set in a post-apocalyptic world where chaos is the order of the day. It is a protest piece against institutional violence and disorder as well as a look at the personal landscape of each character stuck in this warzone over a two year period.
‘Effort for no reward, energy wasted in the void, futile activity followed by interminable waiting…’
Hilda plays Mona, a rebellious girl with the desire to sing.
NÊRENS NOORD-KAAP – Geon Nel
Three brothers grow up in Nêrens, a small little town in the heart of the Kalahari. As kids they were inseparable, but through the years they begin drifting apart. Now, against their will, they have to see each other again on the farm which they left behind. This is a new production by Nico Scheepers in a similar vein to his much adored play Amper, Vrystaat.
Geon plays the character of Frans (Boeta) Adendorf. He is the eldest of the three brothers and the only one that stayed behind on the farm whilst the other two left. He is the true farmer of the three: A very stoic man that knows the barren landscape of the Northern Cape like the back of his palm.
NAGWANDELAARS – Geon Nel
Follow the “nightwalkers” on a journey that blurs the lines between reality and imagination. Ghost stories and site-specific theatre are used to give new life to the well-known ghost stories of CJ Langenhoven.
Geon plays Bertus, a magician and spiritualist who enjoys speaking to the dead. The question is: Is doing it for real, or is all a con? Come and see for yourself what is real, and what is not…
HEIDI – Dean Balie
This musical family entertainment show explores the adventures of Heidi, a small girl, and the love and joy she brings to everyone that she meets.
Dean plays Peter, Heidi’s first friend when she stays with her grandfather in the Alps. He takes care of the village’s sheep but loves the freedom to play.
DIE FLIEK – Dean Balie
This adaptation of Anne Baker’s award winning play follows the story of three underpaid usher workers in a cinema, and their day-to-day chores. With clever writing, the conversational tone of the play gently touches on themes of communication and understanding.
Dean plays Avery, the new replacement, and is absolutely obsessed with films. In trying to get over personal issues, he is forced to confront new ones as his interaction with Sam and Rose grows.
GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN – Cody Mountain
On some nights anything can happen. Your life can shapeshift into something you could never have predicted. Your heart can turn into a minefield of regret. A group of strangers’ lives become intertwined and turned upside down by the multi-tool of drugs in sport, GHB. The play is an ACT Cape Town production, written and directed by the multi-award winning playwright Nicola Hanekom.
Cody plays Kevin, an ambitious young tennis player and son to a wealthy family, has his sights set on winning the Davis Cup, both singles and doubles with the help of his partner, Mike. If he could do it on his own he would, but regulations are regulations. Not that he’s always been one to follow the rules.
THE SWAN SONG – Buhle Ngaba
There is an ancient belief that swans, who are usually silent, burst into song with their dying breath. The swan song is the metaphor used to describe the final gesture or performance given by an artist just before death or retirement. Buhle Ngaba uses this metaphor is a solo physical/visual theatre piece to illustrate a woman’s recollection of experiencing love as an emotional and physical disease. The audience finds themselves immersed in a nest baring witness to the dying swan unleashing her first flood of words upon the world.
BACCHUS IN HILLBROW – François Maree
Bacchus in Hillbrow, written by François Maree, tells the story of Bacchus: Roman god, tired god. The charming clouds of simmering gold and everlasting power are long overdue. Bacchus finds himself in Hillbrow for one night. He whines and complains about everything. He is looking for his mother. Every littered corner, aborted dream and skinny Jew sipping on a decaf flat white, showcasing hope for a dark and impossible Africa. Bacchus’ journey is inexhaustible. The searing Johannesburg heat makes him uncomfortable. He is not the prodigal son; he is just thirsty and sweaty. And tired. He is a tired god. And he is looking for his mother. Devils and animals have been chasing him throughout the day. All he wants is a drink in Hillbrow.
Bacchus in Hillbrow is a search for identity. It is an investigation of family and known landscapes. The discourse of sexuality, race, class, gender and identity politics are seen through different interactions and tensions, and this will not only create an open debate of views on Johannesburg/world in 2017, but also an individual’s inner debate, coping within a new way of surviving.
François plays Bacchus, who is the Roman god of wine, agriculture and theatre. His father, the king of the Roman heavens, Jupiter, proclaimed that his mother was still alive and residing in Hillbrow, after years of lies. Bacchus is hedonistic and selfish, but he is not heartless, and his longing for his mother is apparent. His journey to go to Earth, to Hillbrow, signifies his urgency. Bacchus did not know what he would find on his nocturnal Hillbrow journey. He sees a lost world in his exploration, which is a threat to every other city. All of these cities will become generic manifestations of Hillbrow, plunged in detriment and hopelessness.
DRIF – André Roothman
Written by Reza de Wet, and directed by Mari Borstlapp, this Victorian local melodrama which loses all dignity and pretence as it follows the story of a pair of sisters who manage a hostel near a dangerous river and a pair of magical hypnotists in the area, Maestro and Esmerelda.
André plays Maestro, a psychopathic hypnotist who aims to exchange his hostess’s sister with his current prostitute.
HOTEL MALARIA – André Roothman
This contemporary drama, written by Peter Verheist and directed by Marthinus Basson, deals with love’s redemption during a painful time for a woman suffering from a terminal illness.
André plays a man recruited by a woman who needs to come to terms with her final weeks.
DIE VROU UIT DIE SEE – Natasha Dryden